New Zealand Prime Minister Reshuffles Cabinet

By Ben Collins Features Dow Jones Newswires

New Zealand's Prime Minister Bill English announced a cabinet reshuffle on Monday ahead of an election in September, with several changes including Gerry Brownlee taking over the foreign affairs portfolio from Murray McCully.

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The country will also have a new defence minister, Mark Mitchell, who will be promoted to the cabinet to replace Mr. Brownlee. There will also be a new minister of civil defence and a new education minister in Nathan Guy and Nikki Kaye, respectively. Mr. English made the annoucement during a press conference in the capital.

Mr. McCully and the current education minister Hekia Parata had previously said they would retire from politics after the election in September this year.

The new appointees will be sworn in on Tuesday, next week.

Prime Minister English's center-right National Party has been in power in New Zealand since 2008 and recent polls show it is likely to win another term at the upcoming election, albeit with a reduced majority or, potentially, as a minority government with the support of the populist New Zealand first party. Mr English was sworn in as prime minister after John Key resigned unexpectedly late last year.

Write to Ben Collins at ben.collins@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 23, 2017 22:08 ET (02:08 GMT)