Prime Minister Bill English has appointed four new ministers in his first caucus reshuffle and taken the Police and Corrections portfolios off Judith Collins.

In changes announced this afternoon, second-term MP Alfred Ngaro has gone straight into the Cabinet, and Mark Mitchell, Jacqui Dean and David Bennett have become ministers outside Cabinet.

Amy Adams and Simon Bridges received the biggest promotions, moving into the so-called kitchen cabinet.

Collins, on the other hand, has lost the Corrections and Police portfolios and fallen two places in the ministerial rankings - a move described by Labour as payback for her behaviour while challenging for the party leadership. Collins has picked up the Revenue, Energy and Resources and Ethnic Communities portfolios.

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"It's not a demotion," English told reporters today, noting that her ranking reflected the arrival of new ministers, rather than a deliberate relegation. Explaining the change of portfolios, he said Collins had business and commercial experience which had not yet been utilised.

"Now we can use her talents elsewhere in revenue and commerce," he said.

But Labour's deputy leader Annette King said her loss of the portfolios was a "vindictive" move and that Collins had paid the price for saying the Government needed to fund more police officers during the leadership campaign.

Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett has been given Collins' police portfolio. She has also become the Minister for Women, elevating women's issues to the top of the Cabinet. Louise Upston, who was previously Minister for Women, has moved into the Cabinet and taken on Collins' Corrections role - a significant promotion.

Speaking about the new ministers, English said Ngaro had jumped straight into Cabinet because he had experience across a broad range of social issues "and we are keen to advance those issues in the political debate".

"Alfred has got a unique type of experience for a National MP, and a very persuasive ability to articulate what this Government's trying to choose."

Bridges has risen into the top five in Cabinet and takes Steven Joyce's Economic Development portfolio. He has also taken on the Associate Finance and Communications roles, while keeping the Transport portfolio. Bridges was now "a key part of our economic team", English said.

Adams held onto the Justice portfolio and has taken on two housing roles - English's Housing New Zealand portfolio and Bennett's Social Housing portfolio. She will take on the newly-created Social Investment role and the Associate Finance portfolio, which English said would be linked.

"There's changes going on in the public service about how to deliver social investment more effectively," he said

"Amy's a thorough and energetic minister and we're at a stage where more precision will help us to deliver in communities more effectively."

Nick Smith held onto his housing and environment responsibilities, despite speculation he could pay the price for rising house values and the bungling of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. His ministerial title has changed from Building and Housing Minister to Building and Construction Minister - a change which English said better reflected his role.

As already confirmed, Steven Joyce will become the new Finance Minister. But he has also been given a new portfolio, Infrastructure.

Murray McCully, who is leaving Parliament next year, held onto the Foreign Affairs role but only until May. That meant McCully could leave Parliament without sparking a by-election, but English said this was not the "driving reason" for keeping him on in the role. He would not say who his pick for a replacement was, though Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has been tipped to take over.

Hekia Parata, who is leaving Parliament at the general election, would also stay on as Education Minister until May. Nikki Kaye is expected to take over once she has recovered from treatment for breast cancer.

Kaye is on leave from Parliament and her ministerial duties, but English said today her "progress and prognosis is good".

"But we don't want to put pressure on a minister who's had some health issues," he said.

King said the reshuffle was "underwhelming" and had "very little new thinking". Just one minister had been brought into Cabinet and two of the three ministers outside Cabinet had been in Parliament for 11 years, she said.

Labour's deputy leader also criticised English's decision to keep on Smith despite his performance in the housing role, saying it smacked of "mateship".

WATCH BEEHIVE ANNOUNCEMENT:

The full list

1. Bill English

Prime Minister

Minister for National Security and Intelligence

Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services

2. Paula Bennett

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister of State Services

Minister for Women

Minister of Tourism

Minister of Police

Minister for Climate Change Issues

3. Steven Joyce

Minister of Finance

Minister for Infrastructure

4. Gerry Brownlee

Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration

Minister of Defence

Minister of Civil Defence

Leader of the House

Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission

5. Simon Bridges

Minister for Economic Development

Minister of Transport

Minister for Communications1

Deputy Leader of the House

Associate Minister of Finance

6. Amy Adams

Minister of Justice

Minister for Courts

Minister for Social Housing

Minister Responsible for Social Investment

Minister Responsible for HNZC

Associate Minister of Finance

7. Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

Minister for Sport and Recreation

8. Christopher Finlayson

Attorney-General

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service

Minister Responsible for the GCSB

Associate Minister for Māori Development

9. Michael Woodhouse

Minister of Immigration

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

Minister for ACC

10. Anne Tolley

Minister for Children

Minister for Social Development

Minister of Local Government

11. Hekia Parata

Minister of Education

12. Nathan Guy

Minister for Primary Industries

Minister for Racing

Associate Minister for Economic Development

13. Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs

14. Nikki Kaye

Minister for Youth

Associate Minister of Education

15. Dr Nick Smith

Minister for the Environment

Minister for Building and Construction

16. Judith Collins

Minister of Revenue

Minister of Energy and Resources

Minister for Ethnic Communities

17. Todd McClay

Minister of Trade

Minister for State Owned Enterprises

18. Maggie Barry

Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Minister of Conservation

Minister for Seniors

19. Paul Goldsmith

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Minister of Science and Innovation

Minister for Regulatory Reform

20. Louise Upston

Minister of Corrections

Associate Minister of Education

Associate Minister for Primary Industries

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

21. Alfred Ngaro

Minister for Pacific Peoples

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

Associate Minister for Children

Associate Minister for Social Housing

22. Nicky Wagner

Minister of Customs

Minister for Disability Issues

Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration

Associate Minister of Conservation

Associate Minister of Health

Associate Minister of Tourism

23. Mark Mitchell

Minister for Land Information

Minister of Statistics

Associate Minister of Justice

24. Jacqui Dean

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Minister for Small Business

Associate Minister for ACC

Associate Minister of Local Government

25. David Bennett

Minister of Veterans' Affairs

Minister for Food Safety

Associate Minister of Immigration

Associate Minister of Transport

Support party ministers
Peter Dunne

Minister of Internal Affairs

Associate Minister of Conservation

Associate Minister of Health

Te Ururoa Flavell

Minister for Māori Development

Minister for Whānau Ora

Associate Minister for Economic Development

Parliamentary under-secretary
David Seymour

Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the:

Minister of Education

Minister for Regulatory Reform