Nick Smith announced:
National MP Nick Smith has announced he will retire from Parliament on 10 June at the end of the current Parliamentary sitting block.
“I have decided to retire for personal and professional reasons, including a current Parliamentary Services inquiry into an employment issue.
“I was disappointed to lose the Nelson seat at the 2020 election after 30 years representing the region. It was working for constituents and advocating for the region that I enjoyed most and I have come to realise that the role as a List MP is just not me. I had decided to retire earlier this year and the only question was when.
It is no surprise that Nick doesn’t want to stay long-term as a List MP. He has loved being MP for Nelson and won the seat off Labour and held it for 30 years, despite it never being a blue seat. He had very strong cross-party appeal for most of that time and many Labour and Green voters still voted for him.
Nick has pretty much devoted his life to National. I met him in the late 1980s when he was the NZ Deputy Chair of Young Nationals and I was the Southern Regional Chair. He became an MP in 1990 and has devoted all his energy to National, as an MP and Minister. Everything he did, he did with vigour.
“Parliamentary Services have been conducting a confidential inquiry into a verbal altercation in my Wellington office last July that has not concluded.
“I was advised on Friday that the inquiry and its details have been leaked to the media for release tomorrow. It is inappropriate for employment disputes to be litigated in public. I will put on the record that I regret the incident, I apologised at the time and I apologise again today. I have decided the best course of action for the parties involved, the National Party, my family and myself is to retire now.
Sad to have this as part of Nick’s end story. Not 100% surprising as Nick was known to fly off the handle from time to time.
“This is an opportunity for National to renew. The Leader, Party and Caucus will continue to have my full support.
“It has been a huge privilege to be a National Member of Parliament, serve as 15 different Ministers under four Prime Ministers and to represent the Nelson region for 30 years.
His replacement will be former Whanganui MP Harete Hipango.
“I am looking forward to re-joining the Smith family crane and construction businesses in New Zealand, Australia and in the Pacific.”
Nick is an engineer by training.
I wish Nick well in the future and will miss him. I always enjoyed working with him.