NZ's Energy Minister Phil Heatly Gets the Sack

New Zealand's Energy Minister Phil Heatley was told Tuesday to hand in his resignation, after Prime Minister John Key decided to drop him from the Cabinet.

Heatley, who was appointed into his role in late 2011, will be replaced by Simon Bridges, who will be promoted from outside the Cabinet. Bridges, in addition to taking on the Labor, Energy and Resources portfolios, will also be Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues.

Local media said that Heatley was "surprised and disappointed" when he learned of Key's decision.

"I have made the judgment that it is time for fresh energy and ideas, and for other members of our talented 59-strong caucus to be given an opportunity," Key said in a Tuesday statement. 

"Bridges has had a very good first year as a Minister and is ready to step up and take on more responsibility," Key added.

Key was referring to Bridges' performance last year as Consumer Affairs Minister, Associate Minister of Transport and Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues.

Heatley's resignation will take effect Jan. 29, while Bridges will assume his new role Jan. 31.


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