Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Cabinet reshuffle was billed as 'minor', instead she threw the pack in the air

The Prime Minister's office billed it as a "minor" reshuffle - instead, Jacinda Ardern threw the pack in the air.

The resignation of Immigration, Justice and Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi, and the end of Speaker Trevor Mallard's 35-year parliamentary career. The axing of Poto Williams as Police Minister, to be replaced by Chris Hipkins, with COVID-19 Response handed to Dr Ayesha Verrall.

From strumming on stage to stumbling on the severe nursing shortage, the last three years have seen Kris Faafoi tumble from a rising star in the Labour Cabinet to a reluctant minister.

He asked Ardern last year if he could bail, she asked him to stick it out for another year. 

"He goes with the love and thanks of his colleagues for his contribution over many years," Ardern said on Monday.

It comes after Newshub revealed on Sunday that health sector leaders were not consulted on immigration policy to address the dire nursing shortage despite Faafoi saying they were.

Faafoi's portfolios will be divvied up between Kiritapu Allan who gets Justice, Michael Wood with Immigration and Willie Jackson with Broadcasting.

"It's an honour and something I've always wanted to do," Jackson said.

The increasingly under-fire Williams has lost her Police portfolio to Labour's Mr Fix-it Chris Hipkins. Her struggle to deal with rising gang tensions and violence proving too much of a distraction.

"Minister Williams and I sat down and had a conversation about whether or not we were able to focus on those issues clearly in the current environment and both agreed we couldn't," Ardern said.

The National Party was quick to claim scalps

"Well, we called for that last week obviously having seen she was out of her depth and struggling in the role," Christopher Luxon said.

The reshuffle is good news for Priyanca Radhakrishnan who in 2020 oversaw the building of a new Ministry for Ethnic Communities. She's been promoted to Cabinet.

"I've been working really hard… It's great to see that's been recognised". 

Wairarapa's Kieran McAnulty has been bumped up to minister outside of Cabinet with a focus on regional issues. The greyhound owner was "stoked" to scoop up the Racing portfolio among others.

Unexpected promotions for some, but for others like Faafoi, it's long-awaited time to chill out with family.