Following Kiri Allan’s resignation from cabinet after being caught up in a drink-driving scandal, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has appointed Damien O’Connor as New Zealand’s new Associate Transport Minister.
O’Connor will assist acting Minister of Transport David Parker, who took over the role from Michael Wood in June.
The shake-up comes after Allan was charged with the careless use of a motor vehicle and issued with a drunk-driving infringement over the weekend, following a collision with another vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
She subsequently resigned from her ministerial roles which have now been distributed to other members of the Labour Government.
Hipkins reallocated the Minister of Justice role to Ginny Andersen, while Kieran McAnulty will become the new Minister for Regional Development. Grant Robertson will take over the lead coordination role for Tairawhiti.
Parker said he will pass on his Revenue commitments to Barbara Edmonds, which will “free him up” to focus on transport. Edmonds has also been appointed the Associate Minister of Finance while her Associate Health role has been distributed amongst other Health Ministers.
“Between now and the election our singular focus must be on making life better for everyday Kiwis. That is what I have sought to do, and I need everyone to do the same,” Hipkins said.