Prime Minister John Key today announced that Tim Groser has been appointed New Zealand's Ambassador to Washington and will take up the post early in 2016.
Mr Groser will resign from Cabinet on Monday 14 December, enabling him to fulfil his responsibilities as Climate Change Issues Minister at the current COP21 meeting in Paris.
Mr Groser will resign from Parliament effective from 19 December, and will be replaced in the House by Maureen Pugh from the West Coast. Ms Pugh will be sworn in as a new Member of Parliament when the House resumes in February 2016.
Judith Collins will re-join Cabinet taking up the Police and Corrections portfolios. Ms Collins will be sworn in on 14 December.
"I want to congratulate Tim Groser on his appointment as Ambassador to Washington. His experience in the trade portfolio, including the successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations, makes Mr Groser an ideal person to represent our country's interests in Washington,” says Mr Key.
"On a personal note, Tim will be very much missed by his colleagues in Cabinet and Caucus. Tim has been a valued colleague since his election to Parliament in 2005 and has made a significant contribution to New Zealand's interests.
"I am pleased to welcome Judith Collins back to Cabinet. Judith has been a competent Minister, and will quickly be able to pick up the Police and Corrections portfolios that she has successfully held before.”
Following Mr Groser's resignation and the ministerial appointments, Mr Key has made a small number of portfolio changes.
The key changes are as follows:
- Paula Bennett picks up the Climate Change Issues portfolio from Mr Groser.
- Todd McClay becomes Minister of Trade. He retains his responsibilities for State Owned Enterprises, while handing over the Revenue portfolio to Michael Woodhouse.
- Having picked up the Revenue portfolio, Michael Woodhouse hands Police to Judith Collins.
- Sam Lotu-Iiga picks up the Local Government portfolio from Paula Bennett, while handing Corrections to Ms Collins.
All ministerial changes become effective on Monday 14 December.
Mr Key also offered ACT Leader David Seymour the positions of Minister for Regulatory Reform and Associate Minister of Education.
“He declined my offer as he wants to see through his member’s bill on End of Life Choice. He is also focused on continuing to re-build the ACT party and working hard as the new MP for Epsom.
“I respect his decision and look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his current roles,” says Mr Key.