Cabinet reshuffle: Judith Collins 'feels sorry' for Phil Twyford

National MP Judith Collins "feels sorry" for Phil Twyford after the Prime Minister split his Housing portfolio in her Cabinet reshuffle

Collins, the National Party's Housing spokesperson, was Twyford's main political opponent in Parliament, but she told Newshub he "actually tried really hard". 

"I do feel a bit sorry for Phil Twyford because he's actually tried really hard."

Twyford's Housing portfolio has been split between Energy Minister Megan Woods who will now be responsible for KiwiBuild, and Faafoi who will take charge of public housing and tackling homelessness.

Woods' new title will be Minister of Housing while Faafoi will become Associate Minister of Housing, and Twyford will keep Urban Development in the Housing portfolio.

When Newshub asked the Prime Minister if Twyford's demotion was an admission he failed, she said: "No... it was a huge job, too big for one minister, and it's an admission that we have got things wrong with KiwiBuild."

Twyford has always insisted he had what it took to pull off the job leading KiwiBuild. In January he said: "I always knew you'd need balls of steel to do this job."

Now the job has fallen to Energy Minister Megan Woods. She adds the Housing portfolio to five other significant portfolios. 

She will lead the new split Housing team with Twyford and new Cabinet Minister Faafoi - the former television reporter, who will look after public housing. 

"I grew up in a state house, so having that privilege of a state house has meant a lot for me and my family, so taking over that challenge is something I'm looking forward to," Faafoi told Newshub.

The Prime Minister informed her caucus on Thursday morning about the reshuffle. When asked by Newshub if she had crushed any dreams, she said: "Absolutely not."

But Twyford might not agree, nor Meka Whaitiri who was kicked out of Cabinet last year over bullying allegations, and hoped to return. 

"This isn't the right time. I know Meka is doing work and continues to do work," the Prime Minister said at her Beehive press conference. 

It means there are just six women in the 20-strong Cabinet - just 30 percent. The Prime Minister admitted the number was "disappointing". 

Poto Williams has now become a Minister outside of Cabinet. She told Newshub: "It was pretty exciting, especially when your phone comes up with the Prime Minister."

Ministers who have been on the ropes were given a stay of execution, such as Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway who survived the Karel Sroubek scandal. 

Labour MP Ruth Dyson, who's retiring next year after nearly three decades in Parliament, moves on from chief whip, and will be replaced in that role by Labour MP Michael Wood.