Key Points:

Once they were farmers, now they're lawyers.

The last National Government could name at least six farmers in the Cabinet.

Or if they weren't farmers, they had farming interests and concerns.

Men and women like Jenny Shipley, John Luxton, Wyatt Creech, Bill English, Lockwood Smith and David Carter.

Don McKinnon was into farm management, and even Clem Simich lists farming as a former occupation.

This time around law leads. We are now guided by eight representatives with legal qualifications, including Simon Power, Judith Collins, Chris Finlayson, Wayne Mapp, Kate Wilkinson, Richard Worth, Murray McCully and Georgina te Heuheu.

And some are very highly qualified. Ms Collins, Mr Finlayson and Dr Mapp have masters degrees in law, while Pita Sharples, Nick Smith and Lockwood Smith all hold doctorates.

The agricultural community is represented, but only just. Mr English and Lockwood Smith still list farming as their other occupation.

Another current benefit is that now, when the cry goes up, there is a doctor in the House. Jonathan Coleman, MB, ChB, MBA, is more than qualified to deal with health concerns, ably assisted by Heather Roy, a physiotherapist.

The previous incumbents' health difficulties may have been overseen by Pete Hodgson, a veterinarian, or Annette King, a dental nurse.

But the last Cabinet was weighted in favour of university lecturers and teachers. Helen Clark, Michael Cullen, Phil Goff, Jim Anderton, Chris Carter, Trevor Mallard, Maryan Street and even Winston Peters all list teaching, at schools or universities, as a previous job, or hold a teaching qualification.

And if the unthinkable happens, and Lockwood Smith steps down as Speaker of the House, he at least has an honourable profession to return to - TV presenting.