The new Cabinet will meet for the first time this afternoon, after ministers were sworn in at a ceremony in Wellington today.

Prime Minister John Key, along with 24 National Party ministers and four support party ministers, was sworn in by Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at Government House this morning.

About 90 guests, made up largely of the ministers' families, witnessed the occasion as the group signed their ministerial warrants and swore oaths to the crown.

The only minister absent from proceedings was Tim Groser, who is due to swear his oath when Cabinet meets.


Congratulating his ministers, Mr Key offered some light relief from the formal event.

"There's something rather comforting about being in this position, given I signed my resignation about half an hour ago,'' Mr Key said.

Speaking to reporters following the ceremony, Mr Key said Cabinet would meet at about 2pm, and a second meeting would be held on Monday before the Christmas break.

Mr Key said the Government's plan to sell shares in state assets would be among the issues on the agenda for the first meeting, and that there was some early advice around the timeframe and work programme for the plan.

"We won't be making further decisions on that today, but there is some preliminary advice."

Mr Key said there was a great degree of expectation on the new Government, and that his ministers had been warned about that.

"It's an encouraging message as opposed to a threatening one,'' he said.

"I believe we've got together the best ministry we can with the best people that are dedicated to what they are doing.''