John Key has announced his Cabinet line-up this afternoon, and as could be expected, there are winners and losers. Maurice Williamson will doubtless be gutted to be the highest-ranked Minister Outside Cabinet, and Lockwood Smith is likely to follow the tradition of incoming Speakers in having to be dragged to the Chair protesting loudly.
But on the winners' side, Steven Joyce is the bolter - not from his inclusion, but for his portfolio of Transport, not Infrastructure as expected. Paula Bennett makes a remarkable transition from social welfare beneficiary to Social Development Minister, and Jonathan Coleman will make an excellent Broadcasting Minister, as long as his cigar habit is discrete! And Pansy Wong has earned the honour of being New Zealand's first Asian in Cabinet.
The John Key government faces some huge challenges. Keeping Stock sincerely hopes that a few bruised egos won't hamper the performance of the new government and cabinet as they report for duty later in the week.