New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Monday named Nicky Wagner the country's new Customs Minister. Wagner, who will be a minister outside Cabinet, will also take on the portfolio of statistics, as well as associate roles in conservation and recovery of the earthquake-battered Canterbury region. In a statement, Key also named Housing Minister Nick Smith as the new Building and Construction Minister, while Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse would take on Land Information. The roles were vacated by Maurice Williamson, who was forced to resign last week following revelations of his inquiries into a police investigation into a Chinese businessman and political supporter. His resignation came less than five months from a general election that opposition parties are fighting with claims that the government is indulging in "cronyism". Williamson admitted he had contacted police officers overseeing the investigation of businessman Donghua Liu on charges of assaulting a woman. Last year, the police charged Liu with assault with intent to injure and male assault on a female, and Liu pleaded guilty in court to both charges earlier this year.