Back to top anchor
Cabinet Office circular

CO (17) 8: Arrangements for transition to a new administration

Issue date: 
Friday, 20 October 2017
Issue status: 
Published by: 


1The Leader of the Labour Party has announced her intention to form a coalition government with the New Zealand First Party, and with the support of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, that is able to command the confidence of the House of Representatives.

2This circular sets out the next steps in the transition to a new government.

Appointment of the new ministry

3Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries will be appointed by the Governor-General at a ceremony at Government House at 11 am on Thursday 26 October.

4The 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. 

5The Cabinet Office will advise those involved in the ceremony about the arrangements.

The conduct of government over the transition period

6Until 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.

7Government business should as far as possible be held back until new Ministers are sworn in next week. The final Cabinet meeting of the National-led administration will be on Tuesday, 24 October 2017. It is not expected that Cabinet will deal with any substantive business at that meeting.

8Ministers 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)

Cabinet meetings

9The first Cabinet meeting of the new administration will be on Thursday, 26 October 2017.

10Cabinet will next meet in the week beginning Monday, 30 October 2017.

11The Cabinet Office will release further advice on the resumption of Cabinet business once the new government has been appointed and Cabinet has met.

Michael Webster
Secretary of the Cabinet


Rachel Hayward, Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet (Constitutional and Honours)
Ph. 817 9778

Martin Bell, Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet (Secretariat)
Ph. 817 9740

Anna Fleming, Legal and Constitutional Adviser
Ph. 817 9741  

Last updated: 
Friday, 20 October 2017

Help us improve DPMC

Your feedback is very important in helping us improve the DPMC website.