Cabinet committees announcedPrime Minister
Details of the make-up of the new National-led Government's Cabinet committees were announced today by Prime Minister John Key.
"A new development is the inclusion of support party Ministers as members of Cabinet committees," says Mr Key.
"I welcome the involvement of Ministers from the Maori Party, Act and United Future on committees which they are members of. I am sure they will make a valuable contribution.
"We entered into the relationship with these support parties in good faith, and I am sure that these arrangements will ensure that the strong relationship continues."
Note on role of Support party Ministers
1. Support party Ministers will be members of a number of committees. This is a further development of the support party Minister model. Under the previous government, support party Ministers were not members of Cabinet committees, but did attend meetings for their papers.
2. Under the new arrangements, where a support party Minister is a member of a committee, they will receive the agenda and all papers for that committee, and can attend the committee meetings for all items on the agenda, in the same way as other committee members. Support party Ministers will only be bound by collective responsibility in respect of their own portfolios, but they will be bound by confidentiality in respect of everything else (the content of papers and the discussion at committee meetings).
3. Support party Ministers will be free to disagree with government decisions in areas outside their portfolios, once those decisions have been announced. On some issues, they may decide to opt out by not receiving papers or being involved in discussions, to remove themselves completely from the decision-making process on an important issue of differentiation.
4. For committees where they are not members, support party Ministers will receive copies of any papers relevant to their portfolios, and may attend committee meetings for those items.