Rotorua MP Todd McClay says he's "absolutely delighted" after receiving a big promotion in the National Party reshuffle.

McClay was named at number five on the National list and moved to the front bench when leader Simon Bridges unveiled his new-look line-up on Sunday.

The former Trade Minister retained his trade portfolio and picked up Foreign Affairs and Tourism.

He had previously held the Associate Tourism Minister role in the last Government.


"I'm really delighted to be given the opportunity, it's a big step up in responsibility," McClay said.

He was "particularly pleased" to be given the tourism portfolio, as it was "very important for Rotorua".

He said he would hold the Government to account over its promises around tourism spending.

McClay also had some tough words for his Government counterpart, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis.

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis says the last National Government made a mess of tourism and the present Government is cleaning it up.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis says the last National Government made a mess of tourism and the present Government is cleaning it up.

"Kelvin Davis is the most confused minister since the Government came into power, and the tourism industry doesn't have time to wait for him to find his feet."

Davis described McClay's comments as "pure rhetoric".

"The previous Government made a big point of welcoming tourists to New Zealand but did little to manage the consequences of that for local communities. They left us with a mess.

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"Even their Tourism Infrastructure Fund came at the last minute (Budget 17) after ignoring the problems councils were having with tourism infrastructure for years. I will be announcing a second round of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund soon," Davis said.

"The Government recognises that increasing visitor numbers are causing pressure in parts of New Zealand. We are considering options, including a visitor levy, to help deal with this."

While he was grateful Bridges had backed him, McClay said his primary focus was still on the electorate.

Other big winners in the reshuffle include leadership challengers Judith Collins, who moves up to be fourth-ranked MP and will take on Labour's Phil Twyford in Housing and Urban Development, and Mark Mitchell, who gets Justice and Defence.

The reshuffle results in demotions for Gerry Brownlee, who drops from four to 11 but takes over as Shadow Leader of the House and gets the intelligence agencies and the America's Cup.

Michael Woodhouse drops from 10 to 13, losing Housing and picking up Immigration and Workplace Relations.

Bridges said it was experience mixed with new talent.

The front bench included "decades of experience". He said the new talent was those he believed had proven what it took and had worked hard.

He cited McClay's experience in the TPP negotiations after the United States withdrew.