At last we have a Government, and some clearly defined roles. To me / to the Construction industry, the big story is not the purile banter of who will be Deputy Dawg and whether it is a co-share or a one-after-the-other share of the role, it is who will take the roles that define us as an industry. To start off then, and just to note who is what, the following has been announced:
New Zealand First Ministers
Winston Peters: Deputy Prime Minister (until 31 May 2025), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Racing.
Shane Jones: Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Resources, Associate Minister of Finance and Associate Minister for Energy.
Casey Costello: Minister of Customs, Minister for Seniors, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Immigration and Associate Minister of Police.
Mark Patterson (outside Cabinet): Minister for Rural Communities and Associate Minister of Agriculture.
Jenny Marcroft MP: Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Media and Communications.
End result therefore, Zero influence on Architecture and Construction, unless you are designing a new Grandstand for the Races. Much to my amazement, Winston is still going to be Minister of Racing.
Act Party Ministers
David Seymour: Deputy Prime Minister (from 31 May 2025), Minister for Regulation, Associate Minister of Education (Partnership Schools), Associate Minister of Finance and Associate Minister of Health (Pharmac).
Brooke van Velden: Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.
Nicole McKee: Minister for Courts and Associate Minister of Justice (Firearms).
Andrew Hoggard (outside Cabinet): Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Food Safety, Associate Minister of Agriculture (Animal Welfare, Skills) and Associate Minister for the Environment.
Karen Chhour (outside Cabinet): Minister for Children and Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence.
Simon Court MP: Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Infrastructure and Minister Responsible for RMA Reform.
Looks like Simon Court may be a big player in our arena, being both Infrastructure and RMA Reform. I know nothing at all about him – does anyone?
National Party Ministers
Christopher Luxon: Prime Minister, Minister for National Security and Intelligence and Minister responsible for Ministerial Services.
Nicola Willis: Minister of Finance, Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Social Investment and Associate Minister of Climate Change.
Chris Bishop: Minister of Housing, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister Responsible for RMA Reform, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Leader of the House and Associate Minister of Finance.
Dr Shane Reti: Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples.
Simeon Brown: Minister for Energy, Minister of Local Government, Minister of Transport, Minister for Auckland and Deputy Leader of the House.
Erica Stanford: Minister of Education and Minister of Immigration.
Paul Goldsmith: Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Minister of Justice, Minister for State Owned Enterprises and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.
Louise Upston: Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Social Development and Employment and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.
Judith Collins: Minister of Defence, Minister for Digitising Government, Minister Responsible for the GCSB and NZSIS, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology, Minister for Space and Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques.
Mark Mitchell: Minister of Corrections, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery and Minister of Police.
Todd McClay: Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Minister for Hunting and Fishing, Minister for Trade and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Tama Potaka: Minister of Conservation, Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti, Minister for Māori Development, Minister for Whānau Ora and Associate Minister of Housing (Social Housing).
Matt Doocey: Minister for ACC, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Youth, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Transport.
Melissa Lee: Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Ethnic Communities, Minister for Media and Communications and Associate Minister for ACC.
Simon Watts (outside Cabinet): Minister of Climate Change and Minister of Revenue.
Penny Simmonds (outside Cabinet): Minister for Disability Issues, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment.
Chris Penk (outside Cabinet): Minister for Building and Construction, Minister for Land Information, Minister for Veterans and Associate Minister of Defence Associate Minister of Immigration.
Nicola Grigg (outside Cabinet): Minister of State for Trade, Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Agriculture (Horticulture).
Andrew Bayly (outside Cabinet): Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Small Business and Manufacturing and Minister of Statistics.
So – here’s the real power for the sector, and it fills me a little with dread. Chris Bishop I personally find to be a complete meathead, but he will be the Minister for Housing, for Infrastructure and for RMA reform. Chris Penk (another total unknown) is down for Minister of Building and Construction, which is where the real meatball sits in our sandwich. Simeon Brown as Minister for Transport will be also relevant, more is the pity, as he does not look old enough to wipe his own arse, and Paul Goldsmith as Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage will also be relevant, and Tama Potaka as Associate Minister of Housing (Social Housing) – does that mean that he may be in charge of Kainga Ora?
So, what do we know about Chris Penk? His bio on his web page says nothing at all about Building and Construction, although his “key focus is providing great representation for Kaipara Ki Mahurangi” he studied at Auckland Uni, gaining a BA, then joined the NZ Navy, worked as an aide-de-camp to Governor General in 2003, joined the Aussie Submarine corps, and then returned to Auckland Uni and gained a LLB and then formed his own legal practice. He’s only been in politics since 2017, so it is fair to say that he is probably the most inexperienced Minister for Construction we have ever had.
Similarly, Simeon Brown, I find out, is clearly old enough to be a grown up boy, as he has three children already, so why he does not look haggard, I do not know. He is clearly into drugs and speed humps, as in, against both of those. He also started in 2017, and knows nothing about Transport, at a guess, other than he wants more cars that can go Vrooom vroooom.
And as feared, we have Chris Bishop as well, which should go down like a bucket full of cold sick amongst most of the Civil Servants in Wellington. On paper he sounds like a thoroughly nice chap, being head of the Parliamentary Cricket team, and also having a BA / LLB from Vic, and acting for people like Phillip Morris, the tobacco people. Nice. Luckily he is vastly more experienced than the other two, as he has served three terms in Government – so, one term under John Key. But I suspect that he will be axing LGWM – well, in effect they have axed themselves as they have been so incompetent. They (LGWM) will be history, and there is likely to be nothing left behind, except a steady stream of more buses. What a waste. Certainly no chance ever of Light Rail in Auckland or Wellington, as he has publicly stated that even Te Huia in Waikato may be cut, although there will be continued support for the Wellington and Auckland existing train services. He is a boy from the Hutt after all, and like all Hutt boys, he will be used to taking the train into the city.
No word yet of what will happen in real life – the fun all starts Monday.