1 The Leader of the National Party has announced his intention to form a coalition government with the ACT Party and the New Zealand First Party that is able to command the confidence of the House of Representatives.
2 This circular sets out the next steps in the transition to a new government.
Appointment of the new ministry#
3 Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries will be appointed by the Governor-General at a ceremony at Government House at 11am on Monday 27 November 2023.
4 The ceremony will formally mark the formation and commencement of the new government and the end of the caretaker period. The incumbent Prime Minister and all other Ministers will resign with effect from the date of the appointment of the new government.
5 The Cabinet Office will advise those involved in the ceremony about the arrangements.
The conduct of government over the transition period#
6 Until the formal appointments have taken place, current Ministers continue in office. Portfolio responsibilities do not change until the previous Minister has ceased to hold office and the new Minister is appointed by the Governor-General.
7 Government business should as far as possible be held back until new Ministers are sworn in next week.
8 Ministers will act in accordance with the second arm of the caretaker convention. They will therefore undertake no new policy initiatives and will act on the advice of the incoming government on any matter of such constitutional, economic or other significance that it cannot be delayed until the new government formally takes office (see paragraph 6.29 of the Cabinet Manual).
Briefings for Incoming Ministers (BIMs)#
9 The Prime Minister has agreed that BIMs may be provided to incoming Ministers now that the Ministerial list has been announced.
10 Agencies should inform the incumbent Minister before providing BIMs in such cases. (The Public Service Commissioner is aware – no notification to him is required.) As noted above, the incumbent Minister continues to hold full executive authority until the incoming Minister has been appointed.
11 The Cabinet Office will release advice on the resumption of Cabinet business in the coming days.
Secretary of the Cabinet
Nicola Purvis, Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet (Constitutional and Honours)
Ph. (04) 831 4824
Diana Hawker, Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet (Secretariat)
Ph. (04) 495 6725
Rose Goss, Senior Legal and Constitutional Advisor
Ph. (04) 830 6435