National Party MPs react to their new spokesperson roles on social media

Todd Muller presented a new-look National Party on Monday, with members of the caucus shuffling around in rankings and some changing the portfolios they are responsible for.

The majority of the 55 members of the party have each been designated some role, whether it be as a spokesperson, associate spokesperson or whip. Those without a portfolio including MPs retiring at the election such as Anne Tolley, who is the deputy Speaker, and former leader Simon Bridges. Bridges is promised a shadow-Cabinet role if he decides to stay in politics, which he has indicated he will.

Here's how some of the party's top 20 MPs reacted and shared the news with the public on social media when the reshuffle was announced.

"New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through the crisis. There is only one team that can spend it competently and well, and that is my National Party team," Muller said, linking to a full list of his team.

Deputy Nikki Kaye honoured Amy Adams, who will remain to Parliament after last year announcing her retirement to look after the COVID-19 Recovery portfolio. 

"It would be hard to find anyone better in Parliament with her grasp of the machinery of Government and the capacity to deliver," Kaye said.

Adams said she had been "looking forward to some quieter time ahead", but with "the challenges NZ is facing I felt that I could be of help". 

Judith Collins will no longer be the party's Housing spokesperson. Instead, she will take a number of roles including Economic Development, which became Phil Twyford's ministerial portfolio after he was dropped from Housing. 

"I am also very, very happy with mine. Looking forward to seeing a bit more of Phil Twyford and Shane Jones," Collins wrote on Twitter.

Nicola Willis, who jumped a massive 31 spots to 14 in the party rankings, takes the Housing portfolio as well as Urban Development.

"I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to deliver much-needed change in an area important to every New Zealander. I'm thrilled also to keep my (loved) role as our Early Childhood Education Spokesperson.

"I am looking forward to continuing the fierce advocacy Judith has brought to Housing and Urban Development issues over the past two years."

Michael Woodhouse, who is the Health spokesperson, said he was "privileged to be part of this talented National Caucus" while Todd McClay, the MP for Rotorua, has Trade and Tourism. 

"These are two areas that are extremely important to creating and protecting hundreds of thousands of jobs and will play an equally important role in rebuilding our economy."

Scott Simpon continues in Environment and Climate Change, with RMA Reform added into the mix.

"Three areas of vital interest to New Zealanders and to the New Zealand National Party," he said.

Jacqui Dean retains the Conservation role, a job she says she enjoys. 

"I’m looking forward to getting back out there (in this post COVID world) and meeting with many key conservation groups and working to create key policies for National to take into the election," she said.

"Conservation is very important across the Waitaki electorate with kilometres of conservation land, Crown Pastoral leases, Wallabies, Wilding Pines, our natural treasures such as the penguins in Oamaru and many more. I’m lucky to be able to work proactively within my portfolio across the electorate."

Chris Bishop has Transport and Infrastructure.

"Both portfolios are critical to New Zealand’s future and I am looking forward to developing and delivering our plans."

Muller's former Agriculture portfolio moves to Hamilton East MP David Bennett.

"Very excited to be the National Party spokesperson for Agriculture. I look forward to advocating for the issues facing rural New Zealand leading up to this year's important election," Bennett said.

Dr Shane Reti, who is in charge of party's policy in tertiary education and Treaty of Waitangi negotiations, said: "Privileged to put my shoulder to the wheel along with my caucus colleagues and look to make a difference."

Melissa Lee spoke of the importance of her Data and Cyber Security portfolio. 

"The risks of Cyber-crime, Data Theft and Privacy Breaches are a real concern to me and the entire National Party team so I am absolutely delighted that I've been confirmed as National's new Data & Cybersecurity Spokesperson in addition to my continuing portfolio work in the Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media sectors," she said.

Andrew Bayly has popped into the top 20 with a number of roles, including Revenue and Commerce. He told his followers he was "very grateful" for the new responsibilities. 

Rounding out the top 20, Alfred Ngaro is the spokesperson for Pacific Peoples, the Community Sector, Children, and Disability Issues. 

"Through these portfolios, I have met and learnt from many amazing people and NGOs working to build our communities and care for our people."