New Zealand PM reshuffles cabinet

Indo Asian News Service

Wellington, April 24 (IANS) Four months after taking office, New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English on Monday announced several changes to his administration team.

According to a statement, English has appointed Gerry Brownlee as the new Foreign Minister, replacing Murray McCully, Efe news reported.

The leader of the New Zealand National Party, who was Deputy Prime Minister from 2008 to 2016 -- when on December 12 he took office as Premier, made the changes in response to the resignation by McCully, who has announced his retirement from politics, meaning he will not run in the General Elections in September.

Mark Mitchell has been promoted to Defence Minister while Nathan Guy has assumed office as Civil Defence Minister and Nikki Kaye takes over as Education Minister.

Among other changes was the appointment of Simon Bridges as new leader of the House.

The new ministers will be sworn in to office on May 2, with their first Cabinet meeting scheduled for May 8.