Brownlee Becomes Transport Minister


Gerry Brownlee is the surprise choice of transport minister taking over from Steven Joyce.

Joyce, successful campaign manager for the last election, gets his reward of becoming a super minister driving economic development, associate finance, science and innovation and associate finance. He also is minister in charge of tertiary education.

He jumps to fourth place in Cabinet from 14th.

Bill English is still finance minister and infrastructure remains part of that.

Brownlee returns to Cabinet after concentrating on driving the post-Christchurch quake recovery and while he will still be a Minister in charge of that, he returns to being Leader of the House and picks up transport.

Steven Joyce: A new super economic minister

There had been speculation Nathan Guy, Otaki’s MP, and associate transport minister would take over. Guy’s electorate includes the controversial Kapiti highway/ Transmission Gully developments.Guy is Minister of immigration and racing.

Full Cabinet list




  1. joust says:

    oh dear

  2. rtc says:

    Yawn - Brownlee knows as little about transport as Joyce does, so it’ll merely be a hollow man of a different man announcing new motorways.

  3. Matt L says:

    To me it is quite telling how worried national must be on transport that it is being handed to someone so high up the pecking order.

  4. ingolfson says:

    Matt L - whatever the official talk, Joyce was (and remains) a major “power behind the throne” (I could use some more sinister images of course ;-) , so I am not sure this is necessarily handing it up. It was pretty high before.

  5. Matt L says:

    ingolfson - I agree he was high up but you have to remember that he was a new MP last term so in a way was unproven as a minister, something that can’t be said for Brownlee.

  6. Geoff Houtman says:

    Can we give Brownlee 10 minutes to settle in before we bag him?

    (Unless he’s already known to have motorway blinders on)

    What if he does something positive?

  7. Patrick R says:

    Geoff- that’s not impossible but by their actions we shall know them ie you’re dreaming. And I’m sorry to say that as regards your little pony, her own party clearly regards her even less than others do. Her role is to allow people to believe that National might do things they won’t- eg the CRL.

  8. Patrick R says:

    Secondly. Clearly Joyce feels he has made his mark here, he has set in tow years of spending. The ‘creative’ work has been done and now it just needs toughing out as it is executed. A job that a bullying plodder can manage. Also Brownlee, as No3, needed some face-saving for losing economic development, bingo- a swap. Joyce’s mitts will still be all over everything but Brownlee will now have to front against the pesky rail and PT lobby and deal with messes like the Rena grounding, while Joyce can fiddle with the much more abstract and ‘feel-good’ portfolio of economic development. Oh joy.

  9. ingolfson says:

    Then we applaud him. However, the fact that he is National, and comes with National’s policies, already gives you a lot of reasons to worry.

  10. Simon C says:

    Yes, Brownlee has always been seen as the big, tough, customer to deal with dessent and he`s been put in as he`s the type that won`t cave in easily to pesky Auckland Council politicians and PT supporters on things such as the CRL.

    He is one of the Old Boys club members at the centre of this govt so absolutely no progress there for PT transport which is no surprise. And as minister for earthquake recovery as well he is likely to scotch the Christchurch council hopes of getting PT such as light rail included in the recovery plans. I think the`ll be a definite dowsing of that.

    Patrick, completely right about Kaye. She wins a traditional Labour seat for a successive time while Bennett loses hers but you can see who the old boys club holds in higher regard. Show pony indeed. You can`t help thinking Kaye joined the wrong team. The boys are never going to give her anything.

    Ardern has far more potential than Kaye so she has really undersold herself by not putting her name forward for deputy with David Shearer. That would`ve been a team that would really differentiate itself from Key and English and appeal to a wide cross section of society.

    One bright note. John Banks didn`t get Local govt minister. :) )

  11. Cam says:

    So nothing changes really. The govt will continue to quietly smother PT with a pillow while trumpeting what they have done for it by reffering to old projects started by the last government.

  12. Geoff says:

    It’s no wonder PT advocates get nowhere with the government, they are so determined to isolate themselves from the get go, instead of engaging in a positive manner. Talk about self sabotage.

  13. Cam says:

    Really Geoff?? Len brown and the Camapign for Better Transport have engaged and continue to engage the governemnt in a positive manner on this issue and how many wins do they have so far?

    Please don’t give me this garbage that all we have to do is just present the argument and this government will consider it in a reasoned and objective manner. You know that’s not true, just look at the CBD loop busniness case, look at the way they have cut PT funding over the next decade.

    Have a read of Stephen Joyce’s opinion peice in the NZ Herald in 2010 and tell me that this government has not made up it’s mind on the issue.

    I understand if you are a big supporter of this government - good for you - but to pretend they are in any way open minded in the issue of PT is frankly being deluded.

  14. Simon C says:

    I couldn`t have put it better myself Cam. Thanks.

  15. Geoff says:

    “I understand if you are a big supporter of this government”

    Nope, I vote Greens, but my comments were clearly referring to the many people jumping on the “let’s bag Brownlee before he starts” wagon. I made no mention of CBT or Len Brown.

    You say “on this issue” - what issue? I didn’t mention one.

    Sorry Cam, but your post makes little sense.


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