Five National Party backbenchers have been given promotions by Prime Minister Bill English.

Melissa Lee, Jian Yang, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Jonathan Young and Scott Simpson have been given Parliamentary Private Secretary roles.

That means they will assist ministers, but are not part of the executive and do not get a pay rise.

Lee has been reappointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Ethnic Communities Minister Judith Collins and Yang will also take on this role.


Bakshi will assist the Police Minister Paula Bennett and Young will work with Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges.

Simpson will work with both Environment Minister Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry.

English said the private secretary positions were important roles which helped ensure strong links between ministers and the caucus.

The appointments come after backbenchers called for more say within the caucus during the leadership contest to replace John Key.

Parliamentary private secretaries cannot be delegated statutory roles or functions but they can represent ministers at public events, or deliver speeches.