Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta (Tainui) has welcomed having more time to spend on her portfolio.
Mahuta lost her controversial local government portfolio this week as new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins put his stamp on the Labour cabinet.
Mahuta said that she had been in politics for many years and that stepping back and getting younger ministers to take the reins allowed her to focus more on her foreign affairs role.
“I now have an opportunity to dedicate myself to getting out and about and also front footing, reconnecting with the world strategy, as well as our economic strategy to diversify our markets and it’s needed now more than ever before.”
Mahuta said the Labour party was full of talent, with the cabinet picks part of Hipkins’long-term plans for beyond the next election.
Mahuta said she had taken the local government policy work as far as she could go.
“I got some of the legislation over the line, there is still some before the House.
She said there were a lot of proactive conversations happening around the need for water reform now.
“And actually recent events have shown that we should have probably done these changes at least 20 years ago. And now that’s Kieran McAnulty’s job.”
Mahuta said she had seen evidence that water networks across the country had been under-invested in, leading to many communities having major health issues.
“Many communities throughout New Zealand are facing boiled water notices. And that’s been evidenced again, not just yesterday, but over a long period of time that shows how vulnerable our water network is.”
“So we’ve got to not only invest in what’s in front of us, which is repairs and maintenance but what’s ahead of us which is about growth, responding to growth.”
“What’s more pressing, is dealing with a resilient water infrastructure network so we can cope better with the natural weather events in the impact, especially in our urban areas.”
Credit: Source link
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