A Treaty of Waitangi lead negotiator says it makes sense that the National Party's Hekia Parata has been appointed as Minister of Education - because Maori are underachieving.
Ms Parata replaces National's Anne Tolley.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister John Key on Monday.
Ms Parata also takes up the role as Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.
The lead treaty negotiator for Ngati Raukawa Chris McKenzie says she would have been suited to the role of associate Maori Affairs Minister.
But, he suspects she'll do far better in the role as Education Minister because Maori feature in negative statistics year on year.