New Zealand PM announces Cabinet reshuffle

WELLINGTON. April 2. KAZINFORM New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced Monday a reshuffle of his Cabinet following the resignation of senior minister Nick Smith last month, according to Xinhua.

Trade Minister Tim Groser would take on the portfolio of Minister for Climate Change Issues, Key said in a statement.

David Carter would assume the role of Local Government Minister in addition to his current portfolio of Primary Industries, said Key.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams would take over as Environment Minister and hand the Internal Affairs portfolio to Civil Defence Minister Chris Tremain, who would joint the Cabinet after being sworn in on Tuesday.

Simon Bridges would be appointed a Minister outside Cabinet.

"Mr. Bridges will be the new Consumer Affairs Minister and Associate Minister of Transport, taking over from Mr. Tremain. Mr. Bridges will also be Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues, " Key said.

Smith, who had held the portfolios of Climate Change Issues, Local Government, and Environment, resigned on March 21 after he admitted a conflict of interest in his past position as Minister for the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), a government insurer that covers personal injury claims for all New Zealanders.

Smith admitted to the Parliament that he had made two "errors of judgment" in signing letters of support for a friend and fellow National Party member, who was seeking compensation from the ACC after sustaining a head injury.

Smith had been a key player in forming New Zealand's policies for major international events such as the Rio+20 Earth Summit to be held in Brazil in June.

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