National MP Michael Woodhouse the new opposition spokesman on housing and social housing portfolios, Nick Smith gets forestry and aquaculture

Opposition leader Bill English announced his party’s various spokespeople for the various portfolios Thursday, saying National was unveiling a strong Opposition team that would hold the Labour-led government to account.

In government, National didn’t have a Minister of Housing for the final part of its nine-years, with Nick Smith holding Building and Construction, and Amy Adams holding responsibility for Housing NZ and Social Housing.

Michael Woodhouse – the former Immigration Minister – has now been handed the shadow Housing and Social Housing Portfolios, while Scott Simpson has been handed “Planning”. Andrew Bayley has “Building Regulation”.

Nick Smith has ended up with Forestry and Aquaculture – Forestry actually being a big plank of the Labour-led government’s policy agenda, with New Zealand First’s backing.

Amy Adams now has responsibility for Justice, and Workplace Relations and Safety, including Pike River.

Steven Joyce has kept the Finance and Infrastructure responsibilities.

Read English’s press release below. And click here for the full list of who has each portfolio for National. 

National Party Leader Bill English has unveiled a strong Opposition team which will hold the Government to account and ensure it does not squander the opportunities New Zealanders have created for our country in recent years.

“New Zealand is doing well, with low unemployment, thousands of jobs being created every month, strong public services and New Zealanders getting ahead,” Mr English says.

“That’s a direct result of the hard work and dedication of New Zealanders who have operated confidently with the support of a clear and consistent economic plan and a government focused on achieving measurable results.

“We will be pushing the new Government to maintain that success and that focus.

“Today I am announcing our Opposition lineup which makes the most use of our dedicated and talented caucus. We are the largest Opposition Party New Zealand has ever seen, and the largest party in Parliament. We will ensure we make those numbers count.

“I have ensured we make the most of the experience and knowledge of our former ministers, while also utilising the talents of our large caucus who are passionate about New Zealand’s future.

“All but the latest intake of MPs have been allocated portfolios. Those MPs will be given time to understand Parliamentary processes and work alongside our spokespeople, and be allocated portfolios in due course.

“We will be a strong and loyal Opposition. We are ambitious for New Zealand – and we remain committed to building a stronger, more confident and more prosperous nation.

“We will work tirelessly to ensure New Zealand continues to succeed and New Zealanders continue to get ahead, while holding the current Government to account on any decisions that place that progress at risk.”