David Parker said he would keep some of his revenue responsibilities despite being reshuffled from the portfolio by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins at his own request.
Barbara Edmonds became the new Minister of Revenue, but Parker retained his Associate Finance portfolio.
Associate portfolios come with delegated responsibilities from the main portfolio. These have not yet been decided for the most recent reshuffle.
Prior to Hipkins’ most recent reshuffle, Parker’s associate portfolio came with a delegation for revenue matters. It’s not clear whether Parker will keep this delegation, whether it will go elsewhere or be extinguished entirely.
When asked whether this delegation would stay with him, Parker replied, “yes - no change”.
But Finance Minister Grant Robertson was not quite so affirmative.
When asked whether Parker would keep his delegated revenue responsibilities, Robertson said Parker’s main piece of work with that delegation, an IRD research project into high-wealth individuals, had now ended.
Robertson said he had not had a chance to talk to Parker about his delegations with the associate portfolio yet.
“He is the Associate Finance - I haven’t had the chance to talk to him about that - clearly the piece of work that was referred to in those delegations is the high net-worth individuals one so in a sense that work has been completed,” Robertson said.
Asked whether the completion of that work meant that Parker would no longer have a revenue delegation, Robertson said: “We’ll have to go back and have a look at that, but there’s not really any more work being done in that way.”
Hipkins referred the question back to Robertson, but said Edmonds would pick up the Associate Finance responsibilities of Kiri Allan, rather than Parker.
“Certainly Grant Robertson will obviously work through that, but my understanding, when I did that list, was that Barbara Edmonds would pick up the delegations Kiri Allan previously had,” Hipkins said.
Robertson also said that some of Allan’s responsibilities would go to Edmonds like “Māori access to capital”.
Allan was given an Associate Finance portfolio in June 2022, but lost it in Hipkins’ first reshuffle in February 2023. She got it back in June after Michael Wood resigned.
Parker told journalists on Tuesday he had offered up the Revenue portfolio to Hipkins after disagreeing with him on a wealth tax.
Parker said his support of a wealth and capital gains tax made it “untenable” for him to remain as Revenue Minister, given Hipkins had ruled those taxes out for as long as he is Labour leader.
“Look, you know, my views on those things, I thought it was untenable for me to continue so I suggested to Chris [Hipkins] that it was in the best interests of him and the party that someone else take that role,” Parker said.
Thomas Coughlan is deputy political editor of the New Zealand Herald, which he joined in 2021. He previously worked for Stuff and Newsroom in their Press Gallery offices in Wellington. He started in the Press Gallery in 2018.