It's said a week's a long time in politics and while the past week must have seemed like an eternity for the National Party, it's seen Whangārei MP Shane Reti promoted to the party's front bench.

New National leader Judith Collins has announced that Reti is National's new health spokesman.

He has been promoted to the front bench and his elevation is at the expense of the party's former health spokesman Michael Woodhouse.

Collins said Reti is a doctor, a specialist and "has even worked at Harvard". She said Reti has shown himself to be an excellent performer in the House.


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Woodhouse was tied up in the scandal that saw National MP Hamish Walker leak private information about 18 people who were in Covid-19 managed isolation.

Walker had received the information from former National Party president Michelle Boag and it was later revealed that Woodhouse received similar material from Boag, but did not leak it.

Collins said she had spoken with Woodhouse about this. She said Woodhouse should have told Boag that it was wrong of her to send him confidential patient data on Covid-19 and he should have told the Minister of Health straight away.

Woodhouse will be given the Pike River Mine Recovery portfolio. He will also get regional development and will keep associate finance and will remain deputy leader of the House.

Woodhouse is a "top performer" and is an important part of National.

Collins said the matter has "now been resolved" and Woodhouse is happy with his portfolios.

She said it is her belief that no other National MPs have any leaked information.


Collins said a more full reshuffle will be announced today. She said it was more difficult divvying up portfolios than receiving them.

Collins supported the Prime Minister's Covid-19 planning, which would implement regional lockdowns rather than a country-wide lockdown if there was another outbreak.

She said Woodhouse is "utterly delighted" with the outcome of the reshuffle.

"We need to move on," she said, adding that it wasn't acceptable to have received the leaked data and not pass it on to the Minister of Health''.

"I have no doubt at all that Michael will never make that mistake again."