Popular Westie Paula Bennett is the big winner as Minister of Social Development and Employment - one of the biggest jobs overseeing the biggest ministry with the biggest budget.
It has gone to someone with just three years as an MP who has drawn on the DPB herself in the past as a solo mother .
Key said it was not it risk. It is but it one worth taking. She proved herself an able politician quickly in opposition embarrassing plenty more seasoned MPs in Government in early childhood education.
Whether she can prove able minister at a time when the welfare bill is expected to rise will be an incomparable test - not to mention having an experienced street-fighting minister in Ruth Dyson sitting opposite.
Georgina te Heuheu is a good choice to be associate Maori Affairs Minister to Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples. The only other option, Tau Henare, was not a real option given that Henare himself was the last Maori Affairs Minister in a National-led Government.
Pacific Affairs was a surprise for te Heuheu but a good choice.
But I don' think Murray McCully should have given away Disarmament and Arms Control. Phil Goff in Labour elevated its importance and it should have been returned to the senior minister.
Tau Henare is entitled to feel a bit disappointed in not having been made a minister outside cabinet. He will probably chair the Maori Affairs select committee Key said.
The other Maori co-leader, Tariana Turia, will be associate to Tony Ryall in health. Time may have healed the rift between them when she was Associate Corrections Minister in Labour and he demanded her resignation over what he saw as interference.
Headaches ahead for Anne Tolley who has a huge workload. She has taken on not just education but tertiary education as well, where National wants to trim the Tertiary Education Commission. Again she will up against some of the toughest Labour has on offer in ex-minister: Trevor Mallard; Michael Cullen; Chris Carter and Pete Hodgson.
One of the puzzles is why Tim Groser has got Conservation as well as Trade - though he does live in the Waitakeres. He is a former top Trade official turned politician and his CE in Conservation is former political editor of Radio New Zealand Al Morrison.
Bill English clearly put his foot down and insisted on having Infrastructure instead of newcomer Steven Joyce.
Key at his press conference denied the rumour that Richard Worth had been promised the Speaker's role (for not fighting Rodney Hide win Epsom in 2005). Worth will be bitterly disappointed to not be Speaker, doubly so to be outside of cabinet, and triply so to have Internal Affairs.
Neither he not Maurice Williamson are returning calls at present.
Williamson was demoted from the front bench, but with more challenging portfolios (Building and Construction) than Worth.
They could be given a little grace and have time to lick their wounds but not too much longer lest they give the impression they don't want it.