Dr Nick Smith's three portfolios have been split among three ministers after his resignation from Cabinet.

David Carter will take over Local Government, Amy Adams will take over Environment, and Tim Groser will get Climate Change Issues.

Amy Adams will relinquish Internal Affairs to Chris Tremain, who has been promoted into cabinet from his ministerial position outside Cabinet.

Mr Tremain will relinquish Consumer Affairs to Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, who has been appointed a minister outside Cabinet


Mr Bridges will also become Associate Climate Change Minister, standing in for Mr Groser when he is travelling as Trade Minister as he does frequently, and Associate Transport Minister.

Dr Smith resigned from cabinet after the Herald revealed he had, as ACC Minister, written a reference for ACC claimant Bronwyn Pullar who unsuccessfully sought payment from ACC.

It is possible he could be promoted back to the ministry in a future reshuffle. The next one is expected this year when Speaker Lockwood Smith is named as High Commissioner to London.

Mr Carter is one of the prime contenders for the Speakership and so he could hand Local Government back to Dr Smith at that time.

Mr Bridges' elevation leaves a vacancy as chairman of the finance and expenditure committee, which is usually considered a stepping stone for promotion.

National list MP Paul Goldsmith is the current deputy although has been in Parliament only five months.

Prime Minister John Key announced the reshuffle this afternoon.

Mr Bridges, who is in his second term of Parliament, will be sworn in tomorrow.