Will Smith return?

April 3rd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young writes at NZ Herald:

’s reshuffle yesterday promoted Simon Bridges and Chris Tremain and leaves the way open for to come back if the Prime Minister deems he has been punished enough. …

Local Government and the job of shepherding through major reforms in the area designed by Dr Smith has been allocated to Primary Industries Minister David Carter.

But Mr Carter is one of the contenders for the position of Speaker to replace Lockwood Smith, who is earmarked for the role of High Commissioner to London this year.

If Mr Carter becomes Speaker, Dr Smith could be rehabilitated back into the ministry without much fuss.

As I see it, there’s four issues here, around whether Nick Smith might return to the ministry.

  1. Will John Key change his previous policy of not having former Ministers return to the ministry. The public get rather cynical if a resignation in fact turns out to be a temporary sin-bin. They know that in the real world if you resign your job, you don’t get it back in six months.
  2. David Carter may not become Speaker. As I understand it the three main contenders are David Carter, Anne Tolley and Maurice Williamson.
  3. What risk is there that if returned to the ministry, Nick may commit another judgement of error. Because if a PM returns a Minister to the ministry, and there is a further judgement of error – then the media and public will hold the Prime Minister responsible, not the Minister.
  4. Against the risks in (1) and (3) you balance the benefits of having an experienced and effective Minister back in the Cabinet.

It will be interesting to see what happens in due course.

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15 Responses to “Will Smith return?”

  1. Sam Hill (34 comments) says:

    The Fresh Prince of Nelson?

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  2. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Anne Tolley as Speaker? Heaven forbid!

    Williamson would probably be good.

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  3. tvb (3,941 comments) says:

    Nick Smith has been in politics long enough to be a low risk of a judgment error. However he does develop these obsessions. I have forgotten the details of debacle about his short term Deputy Leadership and that may cause the PM to pause and think hard.

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  4. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    Like treaty claimants..you can bet ya bottom dollar smith will be back

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  5. simonway (356 comments) says:

    Will Smith in Cabinet? He’s not even a New Zealander.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,523 comments) says:

    Cool, another movie star buying up NZ realestate? As long as he does not have any chinese ancestors then people will be happy.

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  7. peterwn (2,935 comments) says:

    Nick tends to get into trouble through his willingness to help people. He had nothing to gain personally from the scrapes he has been in, apart from a super high majority in Nelson. I would argue his ‘sin’ was not as bad as Ruth Dyson (drink drive), therefore John should let him back in after a ‘cooling down’ period.

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  8. YesWeDid (1,002 comments) says:

    I doubt Will Smith has ever heard of Nick Smith; but he is returning in Men in Black 3.

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  9. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    Didn’t Phil Heatley return to Cabinet a few months after resigning?
    It does not seem to me that Smith’s sin was so bad as to earn a lifetime ban. A yellow card seems more appropriate.

    [DPF: Heatley was effectively cleared]

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  10. jims_whare (389 comments) says:

    Judgement of error? Hmmm thats a new ‘phrase of turn’ lol

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  11. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    peterwn, I agree. However, David’s point that Key will wear any blunder Smith makes after returning is also strong. He can’t afford another “What on earth was he thinking?” moment.

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  12. Shazzadude (467 comments) says:

    If say Peter Dunne became speaker, how would he cast his vote? Would he have to stand up in the speaker’s chair and cast his vote when it’s voting time.

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  13. Viking2 (10,723 comments) says:

    Smith has had his day. Pasture time for him. That the Nats don’t have another good contender says more about them than Smith.

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  14. bc (1,251 comments) says:

    toad – Anne Tolley is pretty good at “speaking”, it’s the listening and understanding she has problems with!

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  15. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    I can’t see Key really bringing Smith back – he’s getting on, and as DPF is fond of pointing out, renewal needs to start about now and continue. So why bring back someone who’s never moving up and is a risk. Give his job to someone newer and keener, and tell Smith that with his majority, he’s welcome to be backbencher for ever, otherwise he needs to go find a successor in Nelson.

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