21 Jan 2013

PM lists 2013 issues crucial to next election.

6:00 am on 21 January 2013

Prime Minister John Key says the Government needs to do well this year to help the National Party's chances of re-election in 2014.

Speaking from Antarctica, Mr Key says the Government has a big agenda of work to complete before considering next year's election.

"My main focus at the moment really has to be on ... those really critical issues: we need to see stronger economic growth in 2013, more New Zealanders in work," he says.

"And we have to deal with those issues in the education sector that still are of great concern, that are really about lifting participation rates".

Mr Key says if the Government does manage those matters well that will help it at the election.

The Prime Minister expects to announce changes to his Cabinet line-up early next week but says the reshuffle will not be significant.

Mr Key says that on Tuesday he will speak to his preferred choice to replace Lockwood Smith as Parliament's Speaker.

That will then pave the way for a change in ministerial posts.

"There are some changes, and there are changes brought about - in part - because of the vacating of the Speaker's role.

"That gives me the opportunity for one or two things. When you set off one piece it triggers a number of others.

"There's not no movement, but I wouldn't describe it as hugely significant," Mr Key says.

Primary Industries Minister David Carter is widely expected to get the Speaker's job although John Key would not confirm that on Sunday.