Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has today been promoted by Prime Minister John Key from outside of Cabinet taking on the Labour, Energy and Resources portfolios.
"Simon has had a very good first year as a Minister and is ready to step up and take on more responsibility," Mr Key said.
Mr Bridges said on his Facebook page: "It will be a great privilege to become a Cabinet Minister next week as Minister of Energy and Resources and of Labour. I'm looking forward to the additional responsibilities in John Key's Government."
The Prime Minister announced a series of changes to the National-led Government's Cabinet today, refreshing a Ministerial team which is firmly focused on delivering results for New Zealanders.
Mr Key confirmed the Government's nominee for Speaker to replace the departing Lockwood Smith will be long-serving National MP and Cabinet Minister David Carter.
"I'm pleased to announce David Carter as the Government's nominee for Speaker and I'd like to thank him for his service as a Minister," Mr Key says.
"I have taken the opportunity presented by the change of Speaker to look at the Cabinet line-up as a whole, in the context of the Government's priorities.
"As we begin a new year I am optimistic about the progress we can make, while being mindful of the challenges created, in particular, by the uncertain international economic environment.
"New Zealanders expect their elected Government to get on, and not only do what it has promised to do, but to do so with a sense of urgency and purpose, with real energy and new thinking along the way.
"It is in this context I have decided to make changes to the Ministry."
Two other Ministers will also be leaving Cabinet on 29 January - Phil Heatley and Kate Wilkinson.
"Phil and Kate have both made a real contribution to the Government in their four years as Ministers and I'd like to thank them for that," Mr Key says.
"I have made the judgement that it is time for fresh energy and ideas, and for other members of our talented 59-strong caucus to be given an opportunity."
Returning to Cabinet is Nick Smith, who will take on the Housing and Conservation portfolios. Mr Key says Dr Smith will bring his trademark energy to housing market and social housing issues, which are of real public interest.
"I have also asked Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to work with Nick as Associate Housing Minister, reflecting the strong links between these two areas. Tariana Turia will remain as Associate Minister and a part of that housing team."
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye will be appointed to Cabinet where she will become Minister for Food Safety, Youth Affairs and Civil Defence. She will also be Associate Education Minister, reflecting her work as Chair of the Education select committee.
Senior Whip Michael Woodhouse will be the third new Minister, serving outside Cabinet as Immigration and Veterans Affairs' Minister as well as Associate Transport Minister.
"I'd like to congratulate Nikki and Michael on their promotions, which are both well deserved," Mr Key says.
The remaining position inside Cabinet will be filled by Simon Bridges, who will be promoted from outside Cabinet and take on the Labour and Energy and Resources portfolios.
Nathan Guy will pick up the Primary Industries portfolio to be vacated by David Carter, with Jo Goodhew assisting him as Associate Minister.
Mr Key says Chris Tremain will be appointed as Local Government Minister and is well placed to work with the sector on the Government's well-advanced reforms.
"This refreshed Ministerial team is ready to continue the Government's focus on its four key priorities for this term - responsibly managing the Government's finances, building a more competitive and productive economy, delivering better public services within fiscal restraints, and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch," Mr Key says.
"I will have more to say about how we intend to meet these priorities in coming days."
Read more in tomorrow's Bay of Plenty Times