Master Builders Update: Government Announcements

19 January 2023

Welcome back to all of our members, or at least those that are back to work. We hope you managed to have a relaxing time off, despite the fact that for most of the country we had the worst weather in 20 years.

The Advocacy team are back on board, and what a start to the year it has been, with three major announcements released today. We always knew this year was going to be a big one with the election and also facing the challenges of the predicted economic downturn, and we are certainly experiencing that right from the start.

Today saw the following announcements:

  1. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation
  2. The election date has been set
  3. The National Party announced its new shadow cabinet line-up for the election.

More on each of these below.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigns
Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her resignation as Prime Minister, which will be no later than February 7th. Although many commentators and political pundits were making noise regarding whether she would remain leader after the election, it still comes as a surprise for her to resign at this point. We do not think this was expected. Many assumptions will be made on why, however regardless of political leanings, it is undoubtable that the PM has had a tough tenure and that does take a hefty toll.

The Labour Caucus will undertake a vote for a new leader in three days’ time. If a leader is successfully elected, then they will be sworn in as the new Prime Minister. We note that Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will not be putting his name forward as Labour’s new leader.

There will be lots of conjecture on who the new leader will be. We will be speaking to our political contacts and remaining close to this and will keep you updated as matters progress.

Date for the general election
The Prime Minister has also announced that the general election will be held on Saturday, October 14. There had been quite fierce debate over whether we would have a late or early election. Here at Master Builders we had called an early election, which is what we have ended up with, and we are quite pleased with this.

We are in the process of finalising the Master Builders election manifesto, which will be completed by the end of February. We had already commenced our advocacy work and government relations for the 2023 election in 2022 but will continue this with gusto once we have the final manifesto. We will also share this with you all once it is final.

Christopher Luxon announces National caucus reshuffle
National leader Christopher Luxon has also announced his party’s refreshed caucus line-up ahead of election 2023, with a number of MPs getting new portfolios. Chris Bishop has picked up the urban development and RMA reform portfolios to go with housing and Infrastructure and is now ranked third. Building and Construction has moved from Andrew Bayley to Waikato MP, Tim van de Molen. Tim is sitting at number 26, so this is lower than what we would like for the portfolio, and we would prefer that it remained with the housing portfolio as is the current case with Minister Woods. However, we will be working hard to ensure that the important issues are well understood and that the link between building and construction and housing is not lost.

We will continue to engage with our political contacts in the next months and we will keep you informed of any updates we receive.

David Kelly and the Master Builders Advocacy Team