Small changes to Key ministry for election year [UPDATED]

John Key has announced some small changes to his ministry for election year.

Prime Minister John Key today announced changes to the National-led Government?s Ministerial line-up, to take effect from?Tuesday, 28 January.

Internal Affairs and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain, who has announced his intention to retire from Parliament at the upcoming general election, will be resigning from the Ministry.

Peter Dunne will be appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Conservation. Mr Dunne will be a Minister outside Cabinet as he was prior to his resignation in June last year.

Michael Woodhouse will be promoted to the vacancy in Cabinet, and will retain all of his current responsibilities.

Paula Bennett picks up the role of Minister of Local Government, in addition to her current portfolio responsibilities.

The new Minister outside Cabinet will be Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who will be appointed Minister of Pacific Island Affairs and Associate Minister of Local Government. Mr Lotu-liga is the MP for Maungakiekie and was first elected to Parliament 2008.?

Tremain’s exist was predictable as was the rehabilitation of Peter Dunne.

I am very pleased to see Sam Lotu-Iiga rewarded for his hard work in becoming a minister, no wonder he had a smile from ear to ear when I spoke to him last Saturday.

Paula Bennett’s appointment to local government will be entertaining to watch. She is no soft touch and being from Auckland she well knows the problems that face us with a lame duck mayor and out of control council spending. She is tough and will make the hard calls in tickling up ratbag councils.

Woodhouse’s promotion should make his attempt to sidle out of Dunedin and into the now vacant Invercargill seat more palatable for Southlanders to welcome a short-arsed metro-sexual type who is the complete opposite of tall Kiwi bloke Eric Roy.

UPDATE: Michael Woodhouse states he is going to stand in Dunedin North, my comments about being a short-arsed metro-sexual stand.

John Key goes into the election with a refreshed caucus and candidate lineup and Labour’s David Cunliffe has tired old retreads from the Lange and Clark ministries…the contrast couldn’t be more stark.