Prime Minister John Key says there will always be some MPs who lose out when the Cabinet is reshuffled.
Announcing the post-election Cabinet at Parliament on Monday, he said it had quite a different look to last term's line-up.
Steven Joyce, Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata have all been promoted to the front bench.
Anne Tolley and Nick Smith both lose their frontbench positions, but retain substantial portfolio responsibilities.
Mr Key said neither of those ministers did anything wrong, but people move up the Cabinet rankings, some others have to move down.
He says ministerial retirements last term did give him a bit more flexibility than he would have had otherwise.
One of the three new Cabinet ministers, Amy Adams, says she is looking forward to the challenge her job will present.
Ms Adams will become the Minister of Internal Affairs, and will have associate responsibilities for earthquake recovery in Canterbury.
She says it is daunting, but she will jump in and do the best she can.
The other newcomers are Craig Foss and Nathan Guy.
Dr Smith loses ACC to Judith Collins, but picks up Local Government.
He says he is pretty relaxed about being moved from number six to number 10.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says she is delighted with her promotion to the front bench in the new Cabinet line-up.
Ms Bennett goes from number 16 to number nine in the Cabinet rankings.
She says she is keen to progress the welfare reforms National campaigned on before the election.
Ms Bennett is awaiting a judicial recount after losing her Waitakere seat to Labour when the final election results were declared during the weekend.
She says her promotion came as a surprise.