Cabinet takes shape with six new ministers on board

By Audrey Young

Labour will have six new faces in its third-term Cabinet after a caucus vote last night just hours after Helen Clark announced unusual arrangements for her new Government.

Trade Minister Jim Sutton will stay on in what Helen Clark called a "supernumerary" role until December. Foreign Minister Phil Goff will take over trade from then.

Helen Clark said she expected several retirements from list MPs. She did not rule out the possibility that Mr Sutton would retire. The Labour caucus technically votes for Cabinet, but the result is almost always pre-negotiated with the Prime Minister.

Damien O'Connor and David Cunliffe are at present ministers outside Cabinet. Lianne Dalziel has been reinstated after being sacked from Immigration in March last year.

The rest of the present Cabinet will remain, minus the three retirements last week: George Hawkins, Marian Hobbs and Paul Swain.

The following will retain their places in Cabinet but can expect a major reshuffle when portfolios are allocated, probably today: Jim Anderton, Steve Maharey, Mr Goff, Annette King, Trevor Mallard, Pete Hodgson, Parekura Horomia, Mark Burton, Ruth Dyson, Chris Carter, Rick Barker and David Benson-Pope.

New in Cabinet

* Clayton Cosgrove, Waimakariri

* David Cunliffe, New Lynn

* Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch East

* Nanaia Mahuta, Tainui

* Damien O'Connor, West Coast Tasman

* David Parker, List MP

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