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Region gets a chief whip, two ministers

Kieran McAnulty. PHOTOS/FILE

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Meka Whaitiri.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri is a minister once again.

She is a minister outside cabinet and regains the customs portfolio she stood down from last September.

She is now minister for veterans’ affairs and associate minister for agriculture and for statistics.

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern accepted Whaitiri’s decision to stand down after a complaint about her from a staff member last year, Ardern said she would not rule out Whaitiri returning to cabinet in the future.

Maori Party MP Rawiri Waititi said on national television straight after the October 17 election that having Whaitiri reinstated as minister was one of the first things he wanted to see happen.

Wairarapa is also home to the new justice minister Kris Faafoi.

Faafoi moved to Greytown just before the election. He no longer has the housing portfolio but has picked up immigration.

Kris Faafoi.

Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty is the chief government whip with the task of keeping Labour Party politicians in line and the work flowing through.

McAnulty spent the last term as the junior whip and a list MP.

He now has more staff as the electorate MP and three staff with him in the whip’s office.

“I am delighted to be nominated for the role of chief government whip by the prime minister this morning, with unanimous support of the Labour Party caucus,” McAnulty said on Monday.

McAnulty has the responsibility of ensuring progress of government legislation, administering leave, organising professional development of staff and caucus and for “pastoral care and discipline”.

“The size of the team reflects the unprecedented size of our caucus. To be entrusted with this role with a caucus our size is a huge honour,” he said.

“Whips have direct access to those that make decisions, and I am looking forward to leverage this role to benefit Wairarapa.”

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