Lockie confirmed

December 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Michelle Cooke at Stuff reports:

Parliament’s worst kept secret of 2012 is official – Speaker is heading to London to take up the position of New Zealand High Commissioner.

The House has risen for the year, MPs are on holiday and Smith has put his role as Speaker of the House aside to move to the United Kingdom.

Smith’s upcoming move was already widely known, but Prime Minister John Key formally announced the appointment today.

“Lockwood Smith has had a distinguished political career and his nomination is a mark of the high esteem in which he is held,” Key said.

“I wish Lockwood and his wife, Alexandra, all the best for this new appointment.”

Smith has been a Member of Parliament since 1984 and was the MP for Rodney from 1996 until 2011, when he was elected under the National List. His fellow MPs elected him as Speaker in 2008 and again in 2011.

It is understood that MPs will vote in a new Speaker at the end of January. 

My understanding is that the first day back is debate on the PM’s statement. The second day back will be the election of the new Speaker. I’ll post more on Lockwood’s legacy in January, but suffice to say for now that he has improved democracy in this country by his insistence on Ministers having to actually answer questions.
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12 Responses to “Lockie confirmed”

  1. flipper (4,330 comments) says:

    Smith, Lockwood Rt Hon and Ph.D (in animal husbandry), and good bloke.
    .
    With personal knowledge going back to (and including) Speaker Jack, I can think of none better.
    As you say DPF, he improved democracy, especially during “question time”.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give him 9 (he should have tossed out Peters more). Peter Tapsell was his own man, and fiercely defended his independece as Speaker, and his control of the buildings (over the obhections of some ‘crats.).

    Wilson was inept and arrogant, failing sometimes to recognise and acknowledge McGee’s expertise. Wilson rates well below Gerry Wall. A 2 would be generous.

    Presumably the New Year’s list will bring Smith KCMG or similar.

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  2. Manolo (14,169 comments) says:

    But he will never surpass the peerless Jonathan Hunt, member of the Order of New Zealand, one of the 20 greatest living Kiwis, sent to London by the wonderful comrade Helen Clark.

    The insatiable trougher Hunt left an indelible impression on buffet and banquet tables, and countless wine cellars.

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  3. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    Hes done a great job. A gentleman.

    Back when Dime was in uni i used to call him “uncle lockwood”. he was minister of education and dished out my loan every few months so i could go and get slaughtered :D

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  4. metcalph (1,367 comments) says:

    He’s improved immeasurably since his time as Minister of Education where the high point was to defenestrate himself to avoid a student protest.

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  5. Positan (396 comments) says:

    re flipper: “Wilson was inept and arrogant … ” To any watcher, she was indeed a screeching harridan whose shrieking performances demeaned the office.

    re Manolo: “But he will never surpass the peerless Jonathan Hunt … ” Yes, Hunt was derided on both sides of the House as “the Minister for Food & Wine.” He was the epitome and personification of a JAULT – just another unashamed Labour trougher – and the sad fact facing the country is that there now seems to be so many more of them. They’re all there, or trying hard to get there, solely for the high-living perks of office that each and every single one of them would vehemently rail against and decry if any leader of industry had been similarly indulging in such pursuits at cost only to himself. Like inflation, Labour hypocrisy never shrinks.

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  6. iMP (2,456 comments) says:

    So Rt Hon Dr Lockwood Smith gets replaced by Aaron Gilmore. That’s refreshment?

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  7. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Good for him. A loss for parliament. He’s been an excellent speaker.

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  8. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Well done Lockie..I remember him from television when he was the quiz master on a teen quiz show. He’s come a long way since and done a fine job. Now off to trough. At least he’s earned it.

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  9. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    We couldn’t ask for a better rep in London.
    Metcalph – Lockwood was a very sound Minister of Eductaion who achieved a huge amount. He would never have countenanced the current shambles.

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  10. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    A great speaker , that cannot be denied by even the most one eyed leftie.

    However he is still a pompous prick who thinks that the rest of NZ shares his love and respect for the institution that is parliament, what also cannot be denied is that Lockwood is a serial trougher who thinks that because he is in the house that he has a divine right to stick his hands in our pockets.

    So, will he be missed?….well yes, as a speaker there is nobody who comes close in living memory. However as an MP and a trougher we are well shot of him

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  11. Reid (16,700 comments) says:

    We couldn’t ask for a better rep in London.

    At a guess I’d imagine there are at least a dozen or so MFAT professionals who have spent their entire careers in the diplomatic service who would do a better job at the Court of St James than he or any of his political predecessors have done.

    The only politician who has ever done a decent job in these sinecure appointments is Bolger. Possibly because he wasn’t just an MP has was a PM, but he’s the only one I can recall, out of the dozens and dozens of fat useless troughers who have oinked their way into London or Washington or any of the other plum posts reserved exclusively for people whose only qualification for the job is their loyalty to the govt of the day.

    Frankly I think it sucks and I don’t care if it’s the lefties or the conservatives and I also don’t care that other countries do the same thing. The practice is plain wrong, it should be eschewed and the public, if it knew anything at all about right and wrong, which they don’t, should excoriate all politicians on both sides who dare to bribe their mates with such a transparently venal sinecure to end their “stellar” political careers. After all, if this practice was followed by say, the head of MFAT, who rewarded his/her lieutenants for loyalty rather than appointing on talent, none of you above would tolerate it for a second.

    So since this is spending OUR money, why on earth do you approve of the exact same practice when it’s done, time after time after time, by politicians?

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  12. Urban Redneck (234 comments) says:

    Lockwood Smith’s true legacy is what he let happen in the 1990’s during his tenure as Minister of Education.

    Completely out of his depth, and on the advice of the left-wing politburo within the Ministry Of Education, he presided over the official jettisoning of teaching grammar and syntax in the new English curriculum. He also allowed himself to be seduced by the same bureaucrats into the concept of the “unit standards” apprenticeship schemes, which were are a testament to bureaucratic overindulgence and saw nothing but a wholesale dropout of employers who traditionally took on apprentices annually.

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