Jacinda Ardern's new Cabinet: Who's promoted, who keeps their role and who is pushed down the line?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has unveiled her new Cabinet, with Grant Robertson becoming the new Deputy Prime Minister and Māori Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta appointed as Foreign Affairs Minister. 

What you need to know:

  • Labour won 64 seats in Parliament after the election meaning it now has the power to govern alone without the need for a coalition like it had with NZ First. 
  • With NZ First out of the picture, some big positions have been filled, from Deputy Prime Minister, to Foreign Affairs Minister, Defence Minister, Regional Economic Development Minister, and Internal Affairs Minister. 
  • Despite Labour winning a majority, Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson have been offered ministerial positions as part of a 'cooperation agreement', but they will not be part of Cabinet. 
  • Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis ruled himself out of the Deputy Prime Minister position and it has now been filled by Grant Robertson who will also remain Finance Minister. 
  • Labour MP Phil Twyford has been demoted and is no longer in Cabinet, losing his transport portfolio to Michael Wood. Meanwhile David Clark – who stepped down as Health Minister in the last term – has been reappointed to Cabinet and given several ministerial roles. 
  • Ardern said on Sunday she tried to strike a balance between "using the expertise and experience we have whilst also bringing in some of the fantastic talent we have across our caucus". 

These live updates have finished. 

4:35pm - Jan Tinetti, who has been named as the new Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Education, says she is excited to get stuck in and admits she was in disbelief when she was informed that she would be brought into the executive.

"For me, the next few weeks or next few days is about getting my head around my portfolios and the job that I've been privileged to have been given... Then maybe come back to me in a couple of weeks' time when I've got my head around those and what I want for my portfolio areas," she told reporters.

"But what I will say is that I'm up for the challenge. I've had many challenging jobs over the years, particularly in the education sector as a principal for 20 years - that was challenging and I'm looking forward to the new challenge that I've got now."

Tinetti said she was in disbelief when the Prime Minister informed her of the intention to make her a Government minister.

"I think for the first time in my life I was actually speechless. I was ready to take on any portfolio area... But when she said she was bringing me into the executive, I thought 'that's great maybe I've got an undersecretary role', but when she said we're taking you on as a minister and a minister in Cabinet, for a very short space of time I was completely speechless. I did not know what to say."

Labour MP and minister Jan Tinetti.
Labour MP and minister Jan Tinetti. Photo credit: Newshub

4:10pm - Housing Minister Megan Woods, who will also continue on as Minister of Energy and Resources and Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, while also picking up Associate Minister of Finance, has tweeted about her excitement.

"Delighted to be continuing the mahi we have going on in housing, energy, & science & innovation, and excited to be part of the team working on our economic recovery by picking up a new role as an Associate Finance Minister," she wrote.

4pm - "COVID-19 is a huge challenge. It's going to be a challenge that will be with us for some time yet," said Chris Hipkins, the new Minister for COVID-19 response.

"Obviously I've spent a bit of time over the last four months looking at all the ins and outs of our COVID-19 response identifying where we needed to strengthen things and take action to make sure they are being strengthened," he told reporters.

"That's an ongoing process. It's something we're going to have to keep doing and I'm very comfortable to continue leading that work."

Hipkins is also Education Minister. He was appointed Health Minister in July after David Clark stepped down from the role. Hipkins said he told the Prime Minister it would be challenging to continue in both health and education.

"I said to the Prime Minister I thought it would be challenging to do both health and education when she asked me to that four-and-a-half months ago. I also said at the time it would be unreasonable to expect someone to continue to do both roles in the longer term," Hipkins said.

"But I do believe that the COVID-19 component is something which we've got a bit of momentum behind and I think I can manage to do that. I've managed to do both jobs in their entirety over the last couple of months and I think this will be a slightly lower workload."

Hipkins said the big challenge for him in his new COVID-19 ministerial role is overseeing managed isolation, which had been led by Housing Minister Megan Woods.

"We've got a big challenge coming up around managed isolation. There's a lot of pressure on our booking system, we've got a lot of Kiwis coming home for Christmas so we're going to have to work very carefully to make sure that we manage our capacity there very carefully," Hipkins said.

A new allocation system becomes mandatory on Tuesday which will match supply and demand in the Government's managed isolation accommodation with airline tickets.

"We've still got to keep our testing surveillance rates up," Hipkins said. "Our testing rates have stayed relatively high over the last couple of weeks and I'm very heartened by that. They drop off a bit in the weekends but they're coming back to a good level during the week."

Minister of COVID-19 response Chris Hipkins.
Minister of COVID-19 response Chris Hipkins. Photo credit: Newshub

3:43pm - There are seven ministers new to Cabinet in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's new Government, and six ministers overall who hold a ministerial role for the first time.

"I am excited by this team. They bring experience from the ground, and from within politics. But they also represent renewal," Ardern said at her press conference.

"We know we have a big job ahead of us as New Zealand continues to respond to some enormous challenges, but the commitment this team has to the task is absolute. Now, it's time to crack on with it."

3:35pm - Animal rights group SAFE is pleased that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has brought back the role of a minister responsible for animal welfare.

Meka Whaitiri, who was stripped of her ministerial responsibilities in September 2018 over accusations she bullied a staffer, has been reinstated as Associate Minister of Agriculture with responsibility for Animal Welfare.

"This ministerial role with a focus on animal welfare has been vacant for nearly two years," SAFE CEO Debra Ashton said in a statement.

"The reinstatement of Meka Whaitiri in this role is welcome news, because there's much work to be done."

Ashton said one of the priorities for the incoming Labour Government should be to ban live exports and end the caging of hens.

Ashton also wants the role of Minister for Racing to be disestablished. The role has been given to Grant Robertson after it was previously held by NZ First leader Winston Peters.

"We'd like to see racing responsibilities wrapped into the Sport and Recreation portfolio, and for the new Cabinet to put a focus on improving our country's appalling record on animal welfare."

Meka Whaitiri.
Meka Whaitiri. Photo credit: File

3:35pm - Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson, who has been given the new role of Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, has congratulated fellow Māori women MPs in Labour on their ministerial appointments.

Labour MP Kiri Allan has been appointed Conservation Minister replacing Green MP Eugenie Sage who held the role last term. Nanaia Mahuta has been appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, replacing NZ First leader Winston Peters.

"Congratulations to those wāhine! Proud to serve alongside," Davidson said on Twitter.

3:19pm - Dr Ayesha Verrall, a first-term Labour list MP who has been appointed to Cabinet, says she feels "very humbled" and plans to bring her expertise as an infectious diseases expert to the table.

"I'm eager to bring my expertise," she told reporters. "I'm excited to be working with such experienced ministers in the health team."

Dr Verrall, who led a review of the Government's contact tracing system before running for Parliament, said she "tried to expect nothing" but was "prepared for anything" ahead of the Prime Minister's Cabinet announcement.

Dr Verrall joins the health team alongside new Health Minister Andrew Little, former Health Minister Chris Hipkins who now leads the COVID-19 response, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare who will focus on Māori health issues, and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio, who sits outside Cabinet and will focus on Pacific people's health. 

3:04pm - Andrew Little, the newly appointed Health Minister who previously was Justice Minister, says it's a "daunting" task but he also feels "gratified" to be given the health role, which was held by Chris Hipkins. 

Little told reporters there are "major challenges" in taking on the role, and he aims to "drive the machine" to make changes in the sector by leading work to implement changes recommended in the Health Simpson report, which suggested fewer district health boards (DHBs).

Health Minister Andrew Little.
Health Minister Andrew Little. Photo credit: Getty

2:48pm - Nanaia Mahuta, the new Foreign Affairs Minister, is the first female to hold the position. She was also the first woman to be appointed Māori Development Minister in the last term of Government.

"It's a huge privilege," she told reporters. "But I hope that when people reflect on a number of firsts of many women in this Parliament, it's the legacy that we've inherited - the first country to give women the right to vote, the first country to ensure that we are progressive issues relating to women."

Mahuta said she follows in the line of a legacy of firsts for women and hopes that other women of all walks of life will see it as lifting the ceiling on opportunities that once seemed closed off to them.

"Nanaia Mahuta will become the Minister of Foreign Affairs – the first woman in our nation's history to hold the portfolio," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

"She brings the experience of being an Associate Trade Minister in the last Cabinet. She will hold on to Local Government continuing the work started on three waters and will pick up an associate Māori Development role."

Read more here

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Photo credit: Newshub

2:37pm - The New Zealand Maori Council has welcomed the make-up of the new Cabinet and Government, particularly the appointment of Māori Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta as Foreign Affairs Minister.

The appointment of Peeni Henare as Defence Minister and Associate Health Minister with a focus on Māori has also been welcomed. 

But executive director Matthew Tukaki is disappointed that Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis decided not to taken on the role of Deputy Prime Minister, a position which has been given to Grant Robertson.

"Peeni has already proven himself as a minister and I welcome his roles," Tutaki said.

"The appointment of Nanaia Mahuta to the role of Foreign Minister is also very welcomed. I can tell you as someone who has been a former country representative to the United Nations these times require good steady hands on the art of diplomacy and Nanaia has it in spades - our first female Māori Minister of Foreign Affairs is something to be applauded."

The Maori Council is also pleased to see Kiri Allan join Cabinet, which Tutaki says is proof that the mahi she has done over the last few years hasn't just paid off for her but also Māori". 

2:27pm - The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Toi Mata Hauora has welcomed the appointment of Andrew Little to the role of Health Minister, saying his track record in Government on Treaty of Waitangi negotiations will support a "much-needed focus" on ending health inequities.

The organisation is also welcoming the inclusion of both Associate Health Ministers in Cabinet - Māori MP Peeni Henare and new list MP Dr Ayesha Verrall.

2:15pm - Grant Robertson has described his new appointment as Deputy Prime Minister as "a true honour", a role he's taken on after NZ First leader Winston Peters did not make it back into Parliament.

Robertson said he would have been "delighted" if Kelvin Davis took on the role of Deputy Prime Minister, and insisted he and the Prime Minister did not pressure Davis to turn down the role. 

Robertson, who is openly gay, also acknowledged that he is proud to become Deputy Prime Minister and be a role model for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Robertson has not spoken to Winston Peters since the election but plans to reach out to him.

Robertson said he watched the NZ First leader in the Deputy Prime Minister role, but said he sees the position as being a supporter for the Prime Minister.

"I'll do this my way," he said, when asked how it feels to step into Peters' shoes. 

2:08pm - Greenpeace is welcoming the Prime Minister's announcement that the Fisheries Ministry will get a name change to the Ministry for Oceans and Fisheries.

"The oceans have never had a dedicated portfolio and this change signals that the Government recognises the need to protect our big blue backyard, not simply use it as a resource to be extracted from", Greenpeace campaigner Jessica Desmond said in a statement.

"Not only has Labour put 'Oceans' in the name of the ministry, it comes before the very industry that's been threatening it, I take that as an encouraging sign."

Greenpeace sees the appointment of Labour MP David Parker as vital to meeting threats such as biodiversity loss in the ocean. 

"Labour's promises to review the management of New Zealand fisheries were stymied by New Zealand First, but the so-called 'handbrake' is off. Now is the chance for transformative change," Desmond said.

She said Parker must get straight to work.

2pm - ACT leader David Seymour says the Government's new ministerial line-up reveals a "serious skill shortage".

"Even after failing to deliver KiwiBuild and light rail, Phil Twyford will continue to receive a ministerial salary," he said in a statement.

"Former Health Minister David Clark went mountain biking during a pandemic, but he returns as Minister in charge of billions of dollars worth of state-owned enterprises.

"Meka Whaitiri - dumped after allegedly manhandling a staff member - gets her Customs portfolio back. New Zealanders will be wondering what you need to do to be fired from Ardern's Cabinet."

Seymour warned the Government faces "serious, long-term challenges" in housing, welfare, education and productivity and he fears the new Cabinet is "not up to the job".

"Labour has few ideas and even fewer Ministers capable of implementing them."

1:45pm - Cabinet line-up:

  1. Jacinda Ardern - Prime Minister, Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.
  2. Grant Robertson - Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Infrastructure, Minister for Racing and Minister for Sport and Recreation.
  3. Kelvin Davis - Minister for Māori Crown Relations, Minister for Children, Minister of Corrections, and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education).
  4. Megan Woods - Minister of Housing, Minister of Energy and Resources, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation and Associate Minister of Finance.
  5. Chris Hipkins - Minister for COVID-19 Response, Minister of Education, Minister for the Public Service, and also Leader of the House.
  6. Carmel Sepuloni - Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for ACC, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Disability Issues.
  7. Andrew Little - Minister of Health, Minister Responsible for the GCSB and NZSIS, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and also Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry.
  8. David Parker - Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Minister of Revenue, and Associate Minister of Finance.
  9. Nanaia Mahuta - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Local Government and Associate Minister for Māori Development.
  10. Poto Williams - Minister for Building and Construction, Minister of Police, Associate Minister for Children and Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing).
  11. Damien O'Connor - Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Land Information, Minister for Rural Communities, and Minister for Trade and Export Growth.
  12. Stuart Nash - Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Minister of Forestry, Minister for Small Business and Minister of Tourism.
  13. Kris Faafoi - Minister of Justice, Minister for Broadcasting and Media and Minister of Immigration.
  14. Peeni Henare - Minister of Defence, Minister for Whānau Ora, Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health), Associate Minister of Housing (Māori Housing), and Associate Minister of Tourism.
  15. Willie Jackson - Minister for Māori Development, Associate Minister for ACC, and Associate Minister of Justice.
  16. Jan Tinetti - Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Education.
  17. Michael Wood - Minister of Transport, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety and also Deputy Leader of the House.
  18. Kiri Allan - Minister of Conservation, Minister for Emergency Management, Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Associate Minister for the Environment.
  19. David Clark - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister of Statistics and Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission.
  20. Ayesha Verrall - Minister for Food Safety, Minister for Seniors, Associate Minister of Health, and Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation.

1:35pm - Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis, who has turned down the role of Deputy Prime Minister, will become Minister for Children, a role previously held by NZ First MP Tracey Martin.

The role is contentious after controversy surrounding Oranga Tamariki's uplift of Māori babies.

Davis will remain Minister for Māori Crown Relations and Minister of Corrections and he will also take on the role of Associate Minister of Education with a focus on Māori education. 

1:30pm - Phil Twyford has been pushed out of Cabinet and no longer holds the Transport Minister role. That has been given to Michael Wood, who has also taken on the role of Minister for Workplace Relations which had been held by Iain Lees-Galloway.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Twyford has always been an "amazing team member", but acknowledged he hasn't made sufficient progress in some previous portfolios such as housing, in when he oversaw KiwiBuild failures.

Twyford is now Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth. He will become Associate Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister of Immigration.

1:23pm - Dr Ayesha Verrall, a first-term Labour list MP, will become Associate Health Minister. She led the review into the Government's contact tracing system.

"It's not without precedence," Ardern said regarding throwing Dr Verrall in the deep end. "It would be wrong not use that talent,"  Ardern added, referring to Dr Verrall's background as an infectious diseases expert.

Dr Verrall will also become Minister for Food Safety, Minister for Seniors, and Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation.

1:20pm - Megan Woods will remain Housing Minister and will also become Associate Finance Minister. 

1:18pm - Andrew Little has been appointed as the new Health Minister, a role previously held by Chris Hipkins, who has taken on the new ministerial role of overseeing the COVID-19 response. 

1:15pm - Nanaia Mahuta has been appointed as Foreign Affairs Minister, the first time a woman has held the role, which had been held by Winston Peters. 

1:12pm - Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that the caucus has re-elected Kelvin Davis as deputy leader despite him ruling himself out as Deputy Prime Minister.

"I respect his decision," Ardern told a press conference.

1:10pm - Grant Robertson has been confirmed as the new Deputy Prime Minister, after the role was left available by the departure of NZ First leader Winston Peters. 

1:05pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her new Cabinet will reflect "greater coordination around management of COVID-19 and economic response" and confirmed there will be new talent. 

12:50pm – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce at 1pm her new Cabinet line-up at a press conference in the Beehive after Labour held a caucus meeting in Parliament where members were able to have their say on the positions.

12:40pm - Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien has tweeted that she understands Māori Labour MP Peeni Henare has been offered the role of Defence Minister while David Parker has not been offered Foreign Affairs Minister so it could likely go to Andrew Little.

Kelvin Davis could become Justice Minister.

12:10pm - Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson has confirmed she will not become Deputy Prime Minister. 

"Definitely not," she said on Twitter, after some asked if the Green Party-co-leader - who will become a minister for the first time in the new Government - would replace Winston Peters in the role.

Davidson defended criticism during the election campaign by National leader Judith Collins amid speculation she could become Deputy Prime Minister if Labour and the Greens formed a coalition.

"I think they should be very concerned... the Deputy Prime Ministership of Marama Davidson would be challenging I think for the country," Collins told a crowd of supporters in Hamilton

Davidson said Collins' attack was desperate. 

"Sounds like a desperate bid for the National Party who, unfortunately, their campaign has been in complete and utter chaos," she told Newshub during a visit to Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae in Auckland. 

12:05pm - Māori Labour MP Peeni Henare has addressed speculation he could be given the health portfolio, after he openly expressed interest in it. 

"I don't know, we'll have to find out shortly," he told reporters. 

12pm - Labour MP Kiri Allan is staying tight-lipped on whether she could become a minister.

"Looking forward to finding out this afternoon," she told reporters.

11:45am - Senior Labour MP Andrew Little has addressed speculation that he could be the new Foreign Affairs Minister, now that NZ First leader Winston Peters is out of the picture.

"I'm awaiting the Prime Minister's announcement like everybody else," he told reporters.

Little, who has served as Justice Minister, said he enjoyed the role.

"I've enjoyed and feel privileged being a minister for the last three years," he said. "I really enjoyed it."

Little said he has also "thoroughly enjoyed" being Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.

Little stepped down as Labour leader in 2017 to allow Jacinda Ardern to take the helm and he provided some context around Labour deputy Kelvin Davis choosing not to take on the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

"You do it for the political team that you're in and you do it because you know at points you have to leave your ego at the door and you do what's right for the greater and collective good."

11:30am - Neale Jones, a political commentator and former senior adviser to the Labour Party, said on Twitter he was disappointed that Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis turned down the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

"Disappointed to see Kelvin Davis has decided not to seek the role of Deputy PM. A lot of the narrative against him has, in my view, been grounded in racism. We need leaders who can speak to Māori audiences, not just Pakeha."

In the comment section someone said "Please say it's not Grant," alluding to speculation Grant Robertson could be offered the role and Jones responded: "Grant would do a very good job."

11:10am - The rules of the Labour caucus are that each member gets a say on the Cabinet and get to elect the members, but party leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has chosen to "do things a little differently".

"We will work through every minister's name in that room because I think it's important the team has an overall view of the proposed team and have the ability to endorse that," Ardern told reporters when asked about the Cabinet decision process. 

"We work through it as a group. Anyone is able to nominate and we're able to have a vote if required."

Ardern later added, "The process that I use as a leader is probably a bit different than others. I do spend the better part of a week in talks with all of our members working through their expectations and my expectations and then I spend a bit of time socialising some of the decisions."

She said what is presented to the caucus won't be much of a surprise because Ardern has spoken to each of them individually. 

"I make suggestions and the team are free to nominate others but essentially we do work through a bit of a consensus process. That's how I've done it both times and it's tended to work."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Newshub

10:40am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is confident her new Cabinet will have sufficient Māori representation.

"Yes, absolutely, but of course I'll be making announcements about the full breadth of the Cabinet later on this afternoon," she told reporters in Parliament. "What will be key to me is making sure we use that talent across the board."

It comes as Labour's Māori deputy leader Kelvin Davis ruled himself out as Deputy Prime Minister despite Ardern offering him the role. 

"Obviously Kelvin's made this decision and it is one he's made," Ardern said. "Of course, he still has my full support and my full confidence."

"He will have my full support to remain as deputy leader of the Labour Party. However, it's been his choice and his decision that he does not want the role of Deputy Prime Minister and that's been his call."

Ardern said there is "no reason why we can't have that difference in roles", after she was asked how Davis can be Labour deputy leader but not be Deputy Prime Minister. 

"The deputy leader of the Labour Party is a role that means taking on a lot of the care of the caucus and that connection with the party. It's been a role that Kelvin has had for the last three years without being the Deputy Prime Minister.

"My complete focus has been on building an entire team and Kelvin has been a very important part of that. I'm just pleased he has still made the decision to stay on as deputy leader of the Labour Party because it's been a role I've felt really well supported by him in that role."

10:35am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed she asked Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis to consider taking on the role of Deputy Prime Minister even though he told her before the election he was not interested. 

"Kelvin contacted me before the election and made it clear to me that the role of Deputy Prime Minister was not one that he wanted to take. I asked him to wait until after the election to give it some thought and consideration but more recently he's continued to hold that position," she told reporters in Parliament. 

Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis has ruled himself out as Deputy Prime Minister.
Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis has ruled himself out as Deputy Prime Minister. Photo credit: Newshub

10:30am - Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis has addressed questions on why he does not want to be Deputy Prime Minister when he is the party's deputy leader.

"We do have a very big caucus of 64 members and that will take a lot of management around the needs of our backbench and I'm happy to play that role and allow whoever is Deputy Prime Minister and of course the Prime Minister to fulfil their duties," he told reporters.

"I see myself as supporting the wider caucus."

Davis said the Prime Minister offered him the role of Deputy Prime Minister but she told him it was his decision to make after the election.

10:21am – Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis has ruled himself out as Deputy Prime Minister in the new Government. 

"I have made the decision not to seek the role of Deputy Prime Minister but I will look to remain as deputy leader of the Labour Party," Davis told reporters in Parliament. 

"From the outset, the Prime Minister has said that it is my decision and my decision alone. But I came into politics for two reasons - one to represent Te Tai Tokerau and the other to make a difference for Māori."

10:20am - Labour's Grant Robertson is brushing off speculation he could be offered the role of Deputy Prime Minister. He told reporters it's up to the Prime Minister and she will reveal all at 1pm. 

10:15am – Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis is expected to reveal if he has taken on the role of Deputy Prime Minister, ahead of Labour's caucus meeting in Parliament. Stay tuned. 

10am - Duncan Garner, host of The AM Show, is predicting Kiri Allan - Labour's new East Coast MP - to become a Government minister. He is also questioning if the Prime Minister has "got it in her to dump the hapless Phil Twyford".

Read his opinion piece

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Labour MP Kiri Allan.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Labour MP Kiri Allan. Photo credit: File

9:45am - Former Labour Party president Mike Williams told The AM Show he expects Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis to be appointed Deputy Prime Minister, but only if he wants the role.

"He's got a lot of pots on the boil," Williams told The AM Show on Monday. "He's made some real gains in the Corrections area - so he may not want the position of Deputy Prime Minister. If he does, it's his for the taking."

Williams said incumbent Health and Education Minister Chris Hipkins, who replaced David Clark following his resignation in July, will likely keep the health portfolio but lose the education portfolio so his workload eases.

"He [Hipkins] will want to stay in education [but] he made such a good fist of health - I suspect that Jacinda will want him in health and put someone else into education."

Read the full story.

9:30am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Sunday she has spent a lot of time thinking about who should get ministerial portfolios in her new Government. 

"For me, it's something that I do spend a lot of time on. You know, I will have an initial conversation with my colleagues. By the time this is done, I will have spoken to every one of my colleagues. I will have spoken to some of them multiple times," she said. 

"For me, it's a matter of both using the expertise and experience we have whilst also bringing in some of the fantastic talent we have across our caucus, and so that is a balance I'm very carefully striking but I feel pleased with where things have landed."

But Ardern said not to expect "large-scale deviation" saying there will be "some tweaks here and there" in who holds portfolios. 

Ardern said COVID-19 has played a role in her decision-making process. 

"I am very mindful that those acute issues that require very focused attention, I have been mindful of that informing this Cabinet," Ardern said. 

"One thing I would say is we pan across and look at the situation around us globally - the UK going into another lockdown; Belgium, France - COVID is having another devastating effect on Europe.

"That is a sign to us that we cannot be complacent. It is a tricky virus and it is only swelling once more. That's all the more reason for us to continue a very concerted effort here and I've had my mind to that."

Ardern also commented on how there are several big roles up for grabs now that NZ First is no longer in Government and how portfolios like foreign affairs have changed because of COVID-19 and its affect on the globe. 

"The only affect is has is that they are now available for Labour ministers. I have not viewed these as being any lesser because of our travel situation. In fact, in this particular time, now is the time when we have to innovate in the way that we reach out in our relationships," she said. 

"I'm also factoring in that I will continue to play an important role in that space too."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking to reporters on Sunday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking to reporters on Sunday. Photo credit: Newshub