Election 2011 News

State assets top of sworn-in Government's agenda

Updated at 10:46 pm on 14 December 2011

Prime Minister John Key says one of the first matters the new National-led Government will consider is the partial sale of state assets.

The Governor-General, Lieutenant-General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, has appointed the Government and re-instated John Key as Prime Minister, as well as the Cabinet and eight ministers outside Cabinet.

Cabinet members are sworn-in at Government House on Wednesday.

Cabinet members are sworn-in at Government House on Wednesday.

Photo: RNZ

At Government House in Wellington on Wednesday morning, Sir Jerry told the ministers they had an awesome responsibility in uncertain times.

John Key says he is confident his new team of ministers will perform well.

"I believe we've put together the best ministry that we can with the best people. They're dedicated to what they're doing; I know they're going to work hard.

"The responsibility you feel as a minister is intense, I can tell you that from personal experience, and people want to do well - that's why they came into Parliament and they want to succeed for themselves and their country. So I'm very confident they'll do a good job."

The National Party had campaigned on state assets, saying it would sell part of the Crown's stake in four state-owned energy companies and reduce its shareholding in Air New Zealand.

The Cabinet met at the Beehive for the first time on Wednesday afternoon where John Key said this is one of the first matters it will consider.

Mr Key said Cabinet ministers have already received some advice from the Treasury on prospective asset sales and is confident at least one of the energy companies will be partially privatised by the end of 2012.

Listen to political analysis on Checkpoint ( 2 min 51 sec )

Dream come true, says Adams

Newcomers to the Cabinet are Otaki MP Nathan Guy, Tukituki MP Craig Foss and Selwyn MP Amy Adams.

Amy Adams says it is a tremendous opportunity.

Amy Adams says it is a tremendous opportunity.

Photo: NZ GOVERNMENT

Mrs Adams has been in Parliament for three years and has the final spot in the 20-strong Cabinet, picking up the communications and information technology and the internal affairs portfolios, as well as an associate role for the Canterbury earthquake recovery.

Mrs Adams said it is a dream come true.

"When you're first sworn-in as a Member of Parliament and you give your maiden speech that's fairly emotional. But today is something I'll remember for a long time.

"You never expect anything in this job. You come in, you do your best and you recognise there's a lot of good people around you, any one of whom would step up and do a good job.

"If you get the opportunity, you grab it. And the Prime Minister's given me a tremendous opportunity and I don't plan to let it go."

Chris Tremain, the MP for Napier and former senior Government whip, takes up the portfolios of Civil Defence and Consumer Affairs outside the Cabinet and said he is still pinching himself about the promotion.

"I remember back to when I first got elected to Parliament in 2005 and it was the first time I went through the doors ... and I'm still pinching myself about that ... and now to have this opportunity to step up - it's amazing."

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has been reaffirmed as the Maori Affairs Minister and said he wants to build on work he achieved as the minister in the last parliamentary term.

Prime Minister John Key, left, at the first meeting with his new Cabinet.

Prime Minister John Key, left, at the first meeting with his new Cabinet.

Photo: RNZ