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Smith to go

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, March 21st, 2012 - 218 comments
Categories: ACC, corruption, john key - Tags:

3 years ago, even 1 year ago, there would be no doubt what would happen next. John Key’s political instincts then were sharp.

He would have sized up Nick Smith weighing his value as a minister – he failed to find a way to let private companies compete with ACC and is currently being caught out with his same use of dodgy numbers over local government reform as he was with ACC levy hikes – against the political liability he has become over the Pullar affair.

Key would have sacked Smith without hesitation.

Has Key lost those instincts? Has just 3 years in the artificial world of government been enough to dull them?

Update: Key won’t comment now but will this afternoon. Needs time to make some backroom deals so that skeletons stay in closets

Update: Smith has been summoned to Wellington. Press conference at 1.45

Update: He’s gone. They’re trying to downplay the reasons. What a disgrace.

Update: The video of Key explaining his timeline.  hat-tip: <a href=’http://www.interest.co.nz’>Alex Tarrant</a>

218 comments on “Smith to go ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Hubris possibly. ShonKey increasingly acts like an elected dictator. With the signalled TABOR approach to local government they really are going for broke in the second term, just as a number of commenters here predicted. Smith should go now.

    Treasury are getting into education policy now, and with the POAL debacle and Talleys trying to starve workers into submission it really is going to be a winter of discontent.

  2. rosy 2

    Has Key lost those instincts? … No, he might lose his majority if there’s a resign from parliament response from Smith to a ministerial sacking.

    • Smith resigning from Parliament would not effect the makeup of Parliament, the next person down National’s list would simply join the back benches.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1

        Mp for Nelson, innit?

      • Eddie 2.1.2

        There would be a by-election in nelson, which both sides would throw the kitchen sink at but the nats would probably win

        • Pete

          I agree. Nick Smith won 18,360 votes in the electorate, more than half of the 35,517 votes cast. Maryan Street came second with 11,272 votes. I don’t think a Nelson by-election would garner the Opposition any new MPs – especially if the left vote gets split between competing parties.

          • Lanthanide

            I wouldn’t be so sure. Any by-election in a blue seat becomes a test on asset sales. Labour campaign that a vote for them won’t change the government, but it will allow the MP to stop, or heavily curtail, the asset sales programme.

        • David H

          Really? Don’t you think that the good people of Nelson may have had enough of this bunch of incompetents. As it seems a lot of Kiwi’s have, and that could be Key’s Worry. And with the amount of Anti Asset sale people growing. And with all the other ugly things rearing their head in the NACTS camp.

          • felix

            Tell you what, if Key was confident about the Nats’ support he’d go the by-election in a heartbeat just to prove it.

            Telling that he doesn’t.

            • Lanthanide

              Well that’s not entirely true, because the better test of asset sales would be a binding referendum or a snap election.

              Also having a by-election just of the fun of it is a waste of a lot of money.

              • felix

                “Also having a by-election just of the fun of it is a waste of a lot of money.”

                I haven’t noticed any aversion to wasting money from this govt, have you?

          • Blighty

            if the Greens and Labour sat down and came up with a sensible agreement so that the Greens didn’t stand a candidate…

            the quid pro quo could be letting Norman have a free run at Rongotai when King retires.

            It would be worth it to stop asset sales.

            • Lanthanide

              Greens, Winston and Labour could all get together, put their weight behind the Labour candidate and publicly declare that they are doing so and why – because the future of the country is at stake.

              This could be done with the understanding that Labour would stand aside in an electorate for the Greens come 2014. Not sure what they could/should give to Winston though.

              • Tigger

                Why the hell should Labour give Rongotai to Norman? It’s a safe Labour seat! Let the Greens win a seat by themselves. Not a fan of ‘standing aside’ by any party. Win the fucking seat or shut up.

                • Lanthanide

                  Greens and NZFirst agree to stand aside in this hypothetical by-election, allowing asset sales to be defeated.

                  That’s a much better outcome than Nelson falling to the next National MP in line and asset sales going ahead.

            • Bafacu

              Well, well, well – how strange that a Labour supporter would contenance the “skullduggery” of manipulated (by)elections after the hand wringing surrounding the Epson electorate. Oh that’s right Labour already did that by stealth in Auckland Central where the Green candidate and the Labour candidate both visited places together and said that people should vote strategically – Labour for the seat and Green for the party. How soon we forget our own errors when confronted with others!

              • felix

                I don’t see any reason why parties shouldn’t work together where their interests overlap.

                Epsom stinks but not because two parties are co-operating. It stinks because

                a) without the co-operation, ACT wouldn’t even be in parliament and
                b) ACT who? John Banks is National and so was Brash.

                The Greens are elected on their own steam, and hold 14 seats. No comparison.

  3. Wonker 3

    Smith has demonstrated time and again that he has little respect / awareness of fair process. He’s also been around long enough to have a lot of dirt on other people. Just saying.

  4. ad 4

    With a Police investigation and probably a Parliamentary investigation into the matter, and Collins happy to let him swing in the House, Key will get those instincts back shortly.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Key’s political instincts are as sharp as ever, he is just getting lazy because he knows he can. Just take a look at the ‘living brain-dead’ in the zombie gallery, staring into space until his handlers give them the next ‘key line’ to run. Besides, they have to save his mentor, Boag, too.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Some of us, like my colleague who said to me this morning, may be in two minds – the prospect of Key walking wounded, together with Boag’s valuable involvement, seems politically quite dynamic. Of course, Smith can give you a counterview 🙂

  6. burt 6

    Key is starting to act like Clark did in her 2nd and 3rd terms. Look really this Nick Smith chap was only guilty of trying to help people…..

    • Colonial Viper 6.1


      Key doesn’t give a shit any more, his body is still there, but his motivation and intentions have already left Parliament for greener pastures.

    • Tom Gould 6.2

      This ‘Nick Smith chap’ was not ‘guilty of trying to help people’ he is guilty of using his Ministerial influence to advantage a personal friend when his Ministerial decisions are denying thousands of other ‘people’ not his personal friends access to surgery. And worse, another ‘personal friend’ Michelle Boag, turned up in support, like the former President of the National Party and someone who takes credit for ‘getting Key into parliament and the leadership’ is just normal ‘supportive friend’ off the street? This stinks to high heaven and the media must not let Key get away with this. As usual, he told the MSM that Nick Smith’s actions ‘does not breach the Cabinet Office rules’ but he admits he took no advice on this. He just made it up and the MSM ran it. This is banana republic stuff.

      • burt 6.2.1


        This is banana republic stuff.

        That’s right, like I said; Key is starting to act like Clark did in her 2nd and 3rd terms.

        Hello !

        • bbfloyd

          don’t spoil a perfectly reasonable statement with ego drivel burt…..you say something rational(a first on here), then ruin it with egotistical posturing…. is there no cure for you?

          • burt


            Well Key actually proved me wrong, we didn’t get an inquiry with terms so narrow that Smith was exonerated…..

        • Tom Gould

          Burt, I’m disappointed in you. Can’t you weave in some reference to Finland? Or maybe tell a funny joke, like the ‘clown-in-chief’ does? The Clark thing is so last year.

  7. toad 7

    From TVNZ:

    Responding to the claim Smith became emotional when telling media he was happy to answer questions about his public life, but not his personal life.

    FFS, Smith wrote a ‘To whom it may concern’ letter on his Ministerial letterhead advocating for Pullar and describing her as a “long standing friend”. In doing so, he’s brought his personal life into it himself. Whether she was a “friend” or a “friend with benefits” is irrelevant.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Please please please everyone stop calling it his Ministerial Letterhead, it was his local MP’s letterhead that he used.

      • toad 7.1.1

        It has the NZ Coat of Arms on it and is headed:

        Office of Hon Dr Nick Smith
        MP for Nelson
        Minister for the Environment
        Minister for Climate Change Issues
        Minister for ACC

        That means it is a Ministerial letterhead.

      • Even if it were his local MP’s letterhead he used, or he wrote the stupid letter on plain paper, it’s still inappropriate anyway as he is the minister for ACC and should not be recommending anyone for positions under his umbrella of responsibilities, unless it’s his job to appoint them. Doing it on paper that reminds people he’s the responsible minister merely highlights the stupidity.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.2

      He was dorking her !

    • King Kong 7.3

      Was Peters saying that Smith was shagging Pullar? I missed that but if it is true Nick didn’t need to write a letter as this fact alone is proof that the bang on her head was serious.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.3.1

        Power attracts quite a lot of women

        • manfromnelson

          Nick has quite a reputation for indescetions with Nelson women.
          The [please don’t identify individuals – thanks. r0b] I seem to remember was one of many

      • Adrian 7.3.2

        KK, brilliant. I laughed until it hurt. Good writing.

        • Jackal

          Pass the barf bucket

          The question is what influence did Puller have on Smith to illicit the support letter from him and why would he risk his cushy job by writing a letter that was clearly designed to influence ACC?

          • felix

            Bang on, Jackal.

            Once again Key pretends that he doesn’t know what “conflict of interest” means.

            (In calling him a liar I’m actually giving him the benefit of the doubt by suggesting that he’s not genuinely that thick, so don’t say I never say anything nice about him)

            • freedom

              for Key the word ‘interest’ usually means more profit so he is obviously just not sure what he is meant to be conflicted about

              • felix

                Haha true.

                Or maybe he’s just totally over the whole PM gig: “Conflict of interest? But I’m not interested in ANY of this shit anymore…”

      • starlight 7.3.3

        Lol, love your humour.

      • bbfloyd 7.3.4


      • Frida 7.3.5

        +1 King Kong.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    burt your telling lies just like Nick.

  9. Dv 9

    A couple of things srtuck me
    That Smith wrote the letter after numerous representations by Pullar. Odd that he at the very least didnt think letterhead was approriate.
    His response to the peter sex implications that his private life was his buisiness.

    Was this the reason why he was moved from th ACC portfolio?

    • starlight 9.1

      I would say that your instincts are bang on,key did know about this incident and
      key himself knew smith could not keep his portfolio,so blind faith happened and
      he asigned him his current role,more close investigations into this as well,i think.

  10. Ed 10

    Lack of a replacement? The Super-Ministry is at least partly about sidelining Kate Wilkinson even further ()although not to the extent of losing money) – just who else could Key Trust?

    • He should just give in and make Nikki Kaye a minister, she’s better than half his cabinet.

      • felix 10.1.1

        And that’s saying something.

        She’s utterly vacant, borderline illiterate, contemptuous of democracy, and her primary ability is repeating catchphrases to stonewall interviewers.

        Actually yeah, perfect National Minister.

      • muzza 10.1.2

        Nikki Kaye is as vacuous as they come. Emails from her to serious questions come back with nothing more than the cut and pasted party propaganda. She is nothing more than a party stooge in waiting, almost a shame really , as she is a bright girl.
        Anyone who falls for the Nikki Kaye image meisters has clearly never actually had dialogue with her!

        • McFlock

          Nikki Kaye is as vacuous as they come.[…]almost a shame really , as she is a bright girl.


          • Fortran

            Auckland Central voted for her over in two elections over Jacinta Arden.

            But Auckland City elected Len Brown too.

          • muzza

            She is a bright girl, but it seems from engagement with her, that she is only interested in repeating the party line, and not prepared to think or express herself, hence comes across as if she is empty and vacuous….follow?

            The rediculous AKL Central “battle of the babes” , just needs some male eye candy in the next election to make a complete mockery of the electorate.

            Jacinda = Jury is out !

            Fortran, who should AKL have elected Mayor? The level of contenders was poor!

    • Akldnut 10.2

      Ed he can trust me.
      I’m sure I could easily shag my portfolio, the people of NZ and a few women on the side.
      Shit I’d be the idea Nat MP

  11. coolas 11

    Remember Nick Smith’s melt down in 2005? when Key rolled Brash. He took time off and still looks as if he’s on medication of some sort. He’s unstable and fragile and I wouldn’t be surprised if he imploded again – all the more reason to sock it to him. He should be pressured relentlessly by opposition parties. And before some softies say that’s cruel, just think about the cruelty this Government is rendering on the poor and impoverished.

    • Blighty 11.1

      From Smith’s parliamentary bio:

      Deputy Leader 28 October 2003-17 November 2003

      those glorious 21 days when he was made deputy leader to appease the English faction (which had only lost because Key went turncoat on them), had a breakdown, went back to nelson on stress leave, and was then replaced by Brownlee.

      Interesting to see that Farrar, who ran the numbers for the English faction of which Smith was a senior member back then, is keeping very quiet on the Smith-Pullar affair, while Slater – whose dad was ousted by Michelle Boag – is sticking the knife in. Those factions in National, they’re very personal and they’re very deep.

    • manfromnelson 11.2

      Nick had a very good reason for the meltdown.
      He was under a great deal of stress which i can’t go into here. But i did wonder at the time how he could carry on in such a public position with that amout of stress in his personal life .
      Even I started to feel sorry for him , and I detest him

  12. Rob 12

    Yep, I think it is time for him to go.

  13. Blue 13

    Key’s finally landed himself a situation he can’t be ‘relaxed’ about, and I suspect he’s a little resentful about it.

    He’s going to have to reach into National’s ‘talent pool’ and try to find himself a new Minister for some high level portfolios. I can imagine why that might break him out in a cold sweat.

    It’s not like he has a problem with firing people.

  14. Johnny 14

    It seems Smith resisted supporting Puller until she stopped resisting him one would assume

  15. Boag and pullar deserve thanks for this comming to light in such a spectacular fashion,who
    would have thought all we had to do is sit back,have a cuppa and let the nats shoot them
    selves in the foot,so easy,now who is next?

  16. prism 16

    What an unethical thing – writing on ministerial paper about a personal matter relating to his very own ministry. An experienced politician with respect for the system that elevates political ethics would never do that. Then the conclusion is that he doesn’t have this respect and neither does his party, and the whole lot should go. Let’s all put our hand in the lucky dip barrel again and see what we get.

  17. Monkey nut 17

    Yes he should go, just the same as Helen Clark should have.

  18. Carol 18

    Gone by question time?


    Prime Minister John Key appears poised to move against former ACC Minister Nick Smith after suggesting this morning he had confidence in him “at the moment” but that could change this afternoon.

    or at least dinner time.

  19. Fortran 19

    Thank good the Leader of the Opposition Winston Peters has stirred up the proletariat.

    I wish Labour would do something forward looking and productive rather than let the many opposition parties run the show.

    This is an irrelevance as anybody reading the letter can see. I see that neither of the two main newspapers haave printed the letter – why not ? Smith was stupid in writing on Ministerial letterhead, but I am stupid sometimes. Its not Taito Philip Field.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      A few journos are using the ‘corruption’ word today. Armstrong used it. Garner’s used it in his blog. Tracy Watkins didn’t use it, from memory, but she was saying he had to go. All because of the letter you seem to think aint no thang.


    • Lanthanide 19.2

      Why would newspapers bother wasting precious column space to print that?

    • freedom 19.3

      In an MMP environment there are many points of view that make up the opposition. Your obvious mourning of an us vs them FPP mentality is pointless and regressive. If a functioning democracy actually presents many angles of attack from the opposition it can only help expose the weaknesses of any Government and rightly force that Government to defend, validate or change its position.

      and again
      he is a Minister of the Crown, he should not have considered the letter, let alone penned it

    • deuto 19.4

      Both Stuff and the Herald printed the letter yesterday.

      Here is the Stuff link – http://static.stuff.co.nz/files/nicksmith.pdf and here is the Herald link – http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/201212/Nick%20Smith%20letter%20to%20ACC.pdf

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    Shades of Richard Worth, with the PMs transition of states of confidence being reflected on like a zen koan

    • Maui 20.1

      Merci Pascal !

      What are the odds on Nick surviving this term ?

      iPredict might have a book on him.

  21. ianmac 21

    This could be interesting in Question Time Question 2:
    “DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he expect all his Ministers to comply with the responsibilities set out in the Cabinet Manual?”
    Put that alongside Carol’s quote @ 18 “Key……confidence in him “at the moment” but that could change this afternoon. “

    • deuto 21.1

      And also Grant Robertson’s more specific question 4

      GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Local Government: Will he take the same approach to compliance with the Cabinet Manual as Minister for Local Government as he did as Minister for ACC?

  22. ianmac 22

    Dr Smith couldn’t resign from Parliament because that would cause a bi-election in Tasman -Nelson and that could cause major mayhem! Wouldn’t want that?

  23. Sounds like smith is gonna be ‘gone burger’ this afternoon according to msm

  24. Hey you guys all got his name wrong – it’s “Thick Smith”, suits him don’t you think?

  25. felix 25

    Just out of interest, why is one Smith “The Hon. Dr.” and the other “Dr. The Hon.”?

  26. Johnny 26

    Smith should have left Parliament in 2004 when he was convicted of contempt of court at the High Court in Wellington for leaking private information about a Family Court proceeding to the media. Obviously back then he didn’t know the boundaries and it appears he still hasn’t learnt his lesson. He should get no mercy this time

  27. tsmithfield 27

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he was forced to resign as a minister over this. But I can’t see him resigning as an MP as some here seem to be hoping for. Doesn’t it require conviction for a criminal offence carrying a penalty of two years or greater to force that?

    • Pascal's bookie 27.1

      Convenient that you say such within 30 minutes of the media starting to report that he’s goneburger. Yesterday, you were confident that it would be all forgotten by the weekend.

      As to the question, ask Richard Worth.

      • tsmithfield 27.1.1

        Yesterday there wasn’t the possibility of some sort of sexual relationship raised. If that is the case, then I think the PM won’t have much option but to sack him.

        On the other side of the coin though, what do you think of this:

        Say an ACC minister, for example witnesses a car crash between people he doesn’t know. If one of those parties wrote to him and asked him to give a statement about what he had seen to help in the basis of fact for ACC, would it be OK for him to do so? If one of the people writing to him was someone he did know, should he then refuse to provide such a statement?

        • Lanthanide

          If it was done on plain paper, then that probably wouldn’t be too much of a problem.

          In terms of his relationship to the person involved in the accident, his testimony would be treated the same way that police normally treat testimony of witnesses that have relationships to those involved in accidents: ignored.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Why would a sexual compaonent to the relationship make any difference?

          And your hypothetical is weak. If the minister is a witness, he might make a statement to the police perhaps, but his letter wasn’t about witnessing the accident. Wrong kettle of fish.

          Why don’t we just deal with the facts in front of us. The minister wrote a letter, that yesterday you didn’t think was a big deal becuase he was just doing it for a friend; now you think there may have been a sexual component. Why is one ok, and the other not?

          • tsmithfield

            Pascal “Why would a sexual compaonent to the relationship make any difference?”

            Personally I don’t think it does. But the public perception of it isn’t likely to be very good. And if he hasn’t disclosed this to the PM then he is on shaky ground.

            Lanth “If it was done on plain paper, then that probably wouldn’t be too much of a problem.”

            Personally, I don’t think it makes much difference what letterhead it is done on. As the saying goes “the boss is still the boss, even in shorts”. Either he is entitled to write something in a non-prejudicial manner or not.

            Lanth “In terms of his relationship to the person involved in the accident, his testimony would be treated the same way that police normally treat testimony of witnesses that have relationships to those involved in accidents:”

            The way I look at it is whether he would be entitled to give this sort of evidence in court on behalf of a person whether he knew them or not. I suspect he would either way. If he had personal knowledge of the person, he would need to disclose that, as he has in the letter. I don’t actually have a problem with the letter per se.

            • Lanthanide

              “Personally, I don’t think it makes much difference what letterhead it is done on. As the saying goes “the boss is still the boss, even in shorts”. Either he is entitled to write something in a non-prejudicial manner or not.”

              Except I am specifically replying to your (wonky) hypothetical situation where he witnessed a car crash. In that case it’s a factual matter and nothing subjective like how badly impaired Pullar has been from her accident.

              • felix

                tsmith is just trying to get us to discuss anything but the single salient fact of the matter.

            • felix

              “The way I look at it is whether he would be entitled to give this sort of evidence in court on behalf of a person whether he knew them or not.”

              Well of course you do, it’s much easier for you to argue that than the actual scenario we’re discussing.

              Your “courtroom” analogy conveniently ignores the fact that Nick is the minister in charge of the ministry employing the people he’s presenting evidence to, as you say, whether in shorts or not.

              And that one simple fact that you conveniently ignore just happens to be the only salient one. The rest is scenery.

        • North

          More obfuscation tsmithfield.

          In your traffic accident scenario Smith could lawfully refuse to say a word. He would then be vulnerable to a witness summons to which he would have to respond, attend court, and respond to questioning before the judge. A failure to appear would put him at peril of a warrant for his arrest being issued against him.

          The point is that all this would occur in respect of him as a private individual with a pair of eyes who witnessed some event in time. It would not be a matter advisedly and voluntarily undertaken by him to advantage an acquaintance.

          Smith’s dilemma is that he as the minister with all the punch that status carries in the context, acted advisedly and volunatrily to advantage an acquaintance. He chose to do that. “The Law” did not oblige him to behave in that way at pain of sanction if he did not.

          That’s why I say obfuscation tsmithfield. Damn, you righties will try on any old shit !

    • Lanthanide 27.2

      Pansy Wong resigned.

      • starlight 27.2.1

        Wong was kindly asked to resign to save face for key,shipley and herself as the
        opposition was getting too close to the fact that the three of them were together in business
        in china and putting business deals together,so the whole case was shut down
        by key after calls for an investigation,key can not sack himself or shipley so wong
        was the only one left, she was the ‘fall guy’ so to speak.
        Incidently the tax payers are still keeping her and her ‘free filghts’ overseas.

    • Te Reo Putake 27.3

      As I recall, TS, there is another way an MP can be forced to resign. It takes the form of the MP’s wife being publicly embarrassed by the MP being caught using his little head to think with instead of the one on his shoulders. Frankly, the only card Smith has left to play is threatening to cause a by-election and I doubt if Key would be swayed by that in the light of today’s developments.
      I’m expecting a resignation from Smith shortly after Key sacks him this afternoon with some attached words about a compelling need to spend more time with his family.
      Ps, Just read Armstrong’s piece. 22 comments and all of them anti Smith, Key or National, and most of anti all three. That’s gotta be a record of some kind.

  28. Kevin 28

    If there is more to come as Shearer, Little and Winston alluded to, then Key may move against Nick Smith to kill the story off the front page and to keep the more salacious details confidential.

  29. Blighty 29

    Slater’s putting the boot in:

    Nick Smith is a political corpse…he is starting to stink up the joint. There is a valuable lesson though in all of this…having any association with Michelle Boag only ends in disaster.

    The hate runs deep in the English v Key camps.

  30. Kotahi Tane Huna 30

    Stuff: “Embattled minister Nick Smith is refusing to resign but Prime Minister John Key is hinting his job could be under threat.” 😆

    Hang in there until you’ve done as much damage as you possibly can, Dr. Nick.

    • Blighty 30.1

      “Smith was in Christchurch and on his way to attend a funeral in Nelson when he was apparently summoned to the capital.” – yup. goneburger.

  31. Ross 31

    On the Stuff website, it was reported that Smith said he was faithful to his wife. The trouble is he’s been married twice. Which wife was he faithful to and does it suggest he was unfaithful to the other?

    • Blighty 31.1

      he used a very careful form of words – “I have been loyal to my wife during the entire period of our marriage”

      • Lanthanide 31.1.1

        There was a 4 year gap from 2005 to 2009 after he divorced his first wife before marrying his second.

        Why would someone say something so specific as that, given his background?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 31.1.2

        Sounds like Crosby/Textor has come up with ‘loyal to my wife’ phrasing.

        The normal words for an unequivocal statement would be faith-full

  32. deuto 32

    Latest update on Stuff is that Smith is on his way/recalled to Wellington when he was due to attend a funeral in Nelson, presumably at Key’s “request”.


    Wonder whether we will have a “resignation” before question time – which should be an interesting one.

  33. ianmac 33

    The complaint from Ms Pullar was that ACC was finding excuses to not pay her out on her claim.
    The irony is that under Dr Smith the ACC had made it harder and harder to get claims approved because of pre-existing wear and tear .
    Karma perhaps?

  34. Smith calls press conference for this afternoon,on herald site.

  35. tsmithfield 35

    It looks like its all about to go down.

  36. Dv 36

    Ipredict to loose warrent is 82%, up 73 on the day!

  37. Tiger Mountain 37

    A “puller”, a Pullar, and a Boague, (all riding shotgun on a cement mixer sized load of BS and fear and loathing bewteen Nat factions). Could’t happen to a nicer bunch.

  38. ghostwhowalksnz 38

    1:45Pm Press conference . Means they want to get it out of the way before Question time in parliament.

  39. manfromnelson 39

    I know Nick Smith has a problem with his fidelity I can name at least three women he was shagging when married to his first wife. Nelson is a small place. Mr Smith is not a very nice person, It is time for him to go

  40. Kotahi Tane Huna 40

    Stuff banner headline reporting Smith is gone – details to follow. 🙂

    • Carol 40.1

      Going to go down in parliament according to RNZ – Watching!

      yep – stepped down… explanation now….

  41. dancerwaitakere 41

    And hes gone!

  42. Te Reo Putake 42

    Staying on as MP, though. Till the next incident, anyway.

  43. Enough is Enough 43

    Well that fucks up all the fun and games with question time today…

    That is one more slimey red neck National areshole down the drain. Key’s time is coming. We are coming for you you nation wrecking fuckwit.

  44. freedom 44

    a choked up emotional spilling of BS from Smith and only shows there is no integrity in the current Government. The PM showed very clearly in his body language that he is feeling the noose of truth get ever closer to his neck and could not have been sitting lower in his seat without actually crawling underneath it.

  45. Clamouring for the execution of Nick Smith.

    I realise I’m probably in a small minority, especially here, but I don’t see anything to cheer about in the downfall of Nick Smith. He’s a real person, obviously fallible but who deserves the baying crowd looking for blood method of execution?

    Very sad to see anyone clobbered from all sides in public humiliation, but obviously some people enjoy the spectacle.

    • s y d 45.1

      you are in a very very small minority – probably just you and ahhh, maybe peter dunne.

      • Bazar 45.1.1

        You’re a champion of your cause syd.

        Dismiss out of hand an opposing point of view, and then hurl an insult at the person who dares to have an independent thought.

        I also note with bemusement that your topic is both non-constructive, trolling, and un-moderated.

        [lprent: It doesn’t violate the policy. Perhaps you should read the policy so you understand it. It may save you from attracting my attention.

        Another bloody person with a mirror issue. Seems to be contagious…. ]

        • Bazar

          To read the policy, and repeat the opening:

          “What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others”

          I’d say the posted comment met that requirement.

          “We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate.”

          Arguable, but i think its close enough to met that requirement.

          So the post in question, you believe the post is a fruitful, non personal attack, in a language that is welcoming into the discussion?

          Or that its so well written, and articulated in a calm, cold, and efficient manor, that i’m just reading into it when i see a post designed to start a flamewar against any idiot immature enough to rise to the challenge?

          • felix


          • lprent

            I think that you have led sheltered life if you think that syd’s comment is a pointless personal attack. That would be something like “you are a multiple cuckold” (I am trying to tone down my usual language). A pointed personal attack would be something like “you are a multiple cuckold who intervenes for your partners in conflict of interest situations”. One is pointless in terms of posts and discussion on this site, the other is relevant if it comes to matters that we share a common interest in.

            Similarly a flame starter would have been some meaningless statement purely designed to inflame, like “Helen Clark is a feminazi who wants to ban lightbulbs”. Each statement of which is incorrect and delibertely couched to elicit outraged responses (and some incredibly boring ‘debates’ for moderators to read).

            Syd’s comment was sharply pointed, expresssed his view, the reasons for his view, and wasn’t particurely nice to the recipient. But it wasn’t outside the policy guidelines.

            • Bazar

              “I think that you have led sheltered life if you think that syd’s comment is a pointless personal attack.”

              Oh but it is.
              You can debate over the semantics of how not pointless it is, but its a pointless post.
              Its utterly meaningless, and only serves as a way for syd to vent his political bigotry.

              Its not informative, its not insightful, its a waste of space, the only thing of accomplish is that syd probably felt smug in his superiority writing it.

              “Syd’s comment was sharply pointed, expresssed his view, the reasons for his view, and wasn’t particurely nice to the recipient. But it wasn’t outside the policy guidelines.”

              Sharply pointed is one way of describing that drivel, although i have to wonder if you’ve read the statement, when you tell me hes expressed the reasons for the view, when there clearly isn’t any reasoning at all.
              And as for it being outside the policy guidelines, i still disagree. Take it to an unbiased, uninformed 3rd party, give them the original post and the syd’s post, and ask if you’d be justified in moderating syd’s post based on this paragraph:
              “we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others”

              I expect most would say it does break the guidelines, but isn’t worth the effort.
              As such, claiming that you can’t be arsed moderating such a post is far more valid reason then saying it doesn’t break the policy guidelines.
              As is simply being biased to overlooking posts that slam nact and their supporters.

              • lprent

                You didn’t address the basis of why the comment wasn’t moderated. Where in the policy does it say that the comment should be informative, insightful or any of the other things you value? We don’t constrain people from exposing their political bigotry, indeed the opposite tends to be the case. If it isn’t expressed then people cannot argue against it – which we consider is robust debate.

                All you have managed to say, in my view, is that you don’t like his view. If you wanted me to moderate on a basis that I don’t like people’s views, then I would moderate out most of the comments and posts in the site. I disagree with almost all of them. Furthermore the other moderators would kill my comments and posts. Fastest way I know of to kill contributions and readers…

                Don’t be a moron. The basis of the moderation here as exressed in the policy is to allow differing view points to argue robustly. You don’t do that by moderating opinion on the basis that you disagree with it (which is what you are advocating) because that is what the site is intended to foster. You do it on the basis of behaviors that cause issues with that intent.

                On the basis of the current policies we have been steadily increasing the numbers of contributors, readers, and commentators and show every sign of continuing to do so again this year as well. There is little luck in that growth. It is the result of carefully thinking through why and how the site is to be run, and fixing things that aren’t working out the way that they were expected.

                You haven’t said anything that is anything more than you’d prefer that you were running the site. In my view, it is quite clear that you’d run it into the ground. You’d obviously prefer to put your own views ahead of what is required to achieve the intent of the site and it’s many other contributors.

                You haven’t even contributed any ideas that I’d consider are worth my time. I have seen all of those arguments before, seen them decades ago, seen them expressed far better than you have managed, and figured out why they don’t work. You have merely succeeded in making yourself look like another fool talking about something that you haven’t thought through and doing the usual critics technique of asserting you’d do it better without having ever shown you can.

                But guess what? There’s an exception in the site policies that does follow your thoughtless ideas on moderation. We severely limit people’s ability to express their opinions and views on how we should run our site. The rationale is expressed in the last section of about which was specifically written with tiresome self proclaimed blowhard critics like yourself in mind.

                /end dissecting another blowhard

    • McFlock 45.2

      Here’s a thought – if you want the power and paycheck of being a cabinet minister, maybe you should have some idea of basic ethics?

      Surely an understanding of what might constitute the appearance or actuality of corruption is the least we should expect from our elected representatives?

      • TT 45.2.1

        To be fair to Nick Smith, it’s just what he’s been taught. Monkey see, monkey do and all that. All Tories are corrupt, and most aren’t intelligent enough not to be caught eventually.

        Apparently he was porking this NACT slag to boot. The plot thickens. 🙂

      • QoT 45.2.2

        Here’s a thought – if you want the power and paycheck of being a cabinet minister, maybe you should have some idea of basic ethics?

        Absolutely this – I mean, there’s “fallible” and then there’s “either fucking corrupt or too fucking thick to realise when something looks fucking corrupt”.

    • fender 45.3

      Don’t know why you keep putting up links to your blog PG, I struggle with what you post here and wouldn’t seek further reading from you. I appreciate your usual wrong track comments as an insight into the mind of you and the hair, but if you are looking for numbers to visit your blog I suspect you are looking in the wrong place for followers IMO.
      I’m surprised you are supporting Dr. Smith though PG, he’s clearly not suitable for a position where top ethics are paramount, maybe you have been dumbed-down in the ethical area with your association with the Dunney room loiterer.

    • lefty 45.4

      Smith is now begging to be treated like a human being. Its a pity he has never treated others in that manner.
      The same applies to the woman who pulled him down.

      She was an activist in a party that has made every effort to destroy the ACC system and to deny claimants their entitlements over the years.

      When she is on the receiving end she squeals like a stuck pig.

      Tories are very sick people.

  46. Kotahi Tane Huna 46

    He composed the resignation letter on ACC notepaper LOL

  47. King Kong 47

    Good to see that alot of Lefties on here have had a rethink of their positions on acceptable standards of behavior for MP’s since the Darren Hughes scandel.

    • TT 47.1

      Difference being here, that Darren Hughes didn’t do anything wrong. Can your small mind comprehend that dickhead?

      • King Kong 47.1.1

        No, according to the Police he didn’t do anything illegal. What he did was certainly wrong and from memory I think he even admitted that.

        • Colonial Viper

          King Kong preaching to all of us about right and wrong. LOL

          • King Kong

            Merely idle observation. Just noticed a remarkable turnaround with the shrieks for Smith to be burned at the stake for what seems to be no more than a lapse in judgement.

            • McFlock

              shrieks for Smith to burned at the stake for what seems to be no more than a lapse in judgement as to what seems dangerously close to using one’s ministerial office to influence departmental operations in order to favour someone with whom one has had a (possible very close) personal relationship


            • fender

              Nothing remotely close to the D. Hughes situation K Kong. Try again monkey man

        • McFlock

          From memory, or merely fantasy?

  48. Smith gone,now what did key know,is it going to be another pansy wong style cover up?

    • Draco T Bastard 48.1

      Of course it will be. The resignation is the first step in the cover-up as it gives the excuse to stop any inquiries.

    • Anne 48.2

      I’d say more like a Richard Worth cover-up.

  49. TT 49

    This is the first step. Criminal charges should be laid, and he must immediately resign as an MP. This obviously goes straight to the top. Key is as guilty as Smith. Lets watch the domino’s fall! New election before the end of the year?

    • Ross 49.1

      Geez, calm down.

    • Jackal 49.2

      Some pretty worried Nats in the house contemplating their own sordid dealings.

    • Enough is Enough 49.3

      Key’s 24 hours of backing this corrupt minister clearly shows his own corruption.

      The government is rotten to the core and if there are any decent honest honourable MP’s in National they should cross the floor now and do the only right thing. Withdraw confidence in this mob before they steal more wealth.

      The time is now.

      Cross the floor and champion in some honesty

    • Draco T Bastard 49.4

      Yes, his actions are those that should have had him resigning as an MP and so I get the feeling that him resigning from his portfolios only is because NACTs internal polling shows that they wouldn’t win Nelson back which would be the collapse of this government.

    • Vicky32 49.5

      This is the first step. Criminal charges should be laid, and he must immediately resign as an MP.

      He won’t – but what would the position be if he did? Would the next NACT list person come in, or would they be one short? (Too much to hope for. I fear…)

      • the sprout 49.5.1

        Smith’s an electorate MP, that means if he goes he wouldn’t be replaced by a list MP – it’d necessitate a by-election.

  50. Sea Bandit 50

    National ..begining of the end

    • Colonial Viper 50.1

      Only March of Year 1, second term. Will the present Government even last a full 3 years?

      • Lanthanide 50.1.1

        I’m sort of thinking even odds that it won’t.

        Time for a new iPredict stock.

  51. bad12 51

    Bye bye Nick, Smith has always reminded us in a comical fashion of that other Smith, Zaccariah of the TV series ”Lost in Space” fame,

    We think that this has had as much to do with the often blank,”there,s no-body home” look that occupies Smith,s frontal cranial features,and,here we talk of the ex-Minister not the TV actor,

    What Smith was doing as a Minister of the Crown is beyond the intellectual capacity of many of us to fathom,perhaps the born to rule Tories bored with possession of 90% of the country,s wealth really do like to live dangerously right out there on the edge of the cliff,

    Smith pre-2008 and the National Party spokes-person about something or other took to bad mouthing a building supply company about the efficacy or other of its products,in a move that would make Simple Simon proud to call Him friend, Smith did this bad-mouthing out-side of the Parliaments protective corridors and the building supply ompany took action to sue the little prick and shut His mouth,

    In the wash up that followed after the Tories 2008 election victory a jubilant Slippery JK,(the exalted leader)happily informed us all that the 200 grand plus that it would cost to settle the court claim over Smith,s slanders of that particular company would happily be picked up by the Government,in other words you and me,

    the real question remains why was Smith a Minister of Government at all…

    • Colonial Viper 51.1

      Smith was one of the competent and capable Ministers in the Key Government (lord knows there are not many of them). Whoever takes up his portfolios is sure to be worse.

      • TT 51.1.1

        lol. “Competent, capable” and NACT government, don’t belong in the same sentence. They are all just different shades of inbred red-neck muppet.

        • McFlock

          Because that’s the current leadership style – more malleable for the funders and the strategists. But be very clear: sooner or later they’ll have a core of a few highly competent individuals. 
          We can’t assume that the battle of wits will always be against unarmed opponents. And even the current bunch have managed to bullshit their way back into power (just, and with some good luck). 

        • King Kong

          You stay classy TT

  52. ad 52

    Brownlee appointed to Local Government, which is a smart fit with Christchurch rebuild and Transport portfolios.

    Hopefully he sticks to his instincts to see stuff built rather than reforming for the sake of reform.

    Best thing this Government can do now is a series of new-build openings – showing that it is delivering.

    • TT 52.1

      [Deleted. Over the limit. …RL]

    • fender 52.2

      Shit keep it civil TT, not nice to wish poor health on anybody. The occasion may be too much for you, take a lie down.
      Our woodwork teacher actually looks trimmer lately, his Dr. may have warned him to trim down and get stuck into those spice rack orders.

      sprout: corrected ad to TT

  53. Craig Glen Eden 53

    I get the feeling Winston is not done yet? Time will only tell but things might get a little uncomfortable for Mr Key in the next few months. No one likes a smart ares and I reckon it will be Winston who has the last laugh at Keys expense.

  54. Johnny 54

    Before Nick Smith sacked ECAN it laid 20 odd charges against his brother Tim. He was fined $16,000. Tim said to the Dom in colourful language “I told them their organisation was bloody hopeless and they were all useless bastards who should be sacked,” he said. “I also told them that with some luck my brother and Rodney Hide would do something about it.” Nick denied his brother spoke to him at all about the matter and he had only found out about it from an unnamed family member. It looks like the road finally ran out for this energy drink powered truth stretcher

  55. Kotahi Tane Huna 55

    Fortran “Now having read the letter – mountain out of molehill. Silly to put on Ministerial letterhead, but not a hanging offence”

    TSmithfield: ” Key and Smith have had the smarts to front-foot this. Next they will stonewall. It will be forgotten within the week.”

    Mark: “Moral support to a friend perhaps.. a friend who may well apparently have suffered a brain injury?” “Move on. ”

    Inventory2: “His “crime” is to have sent it on ministerial letterhead; hardly a hanging offence ”

    Just a small sample for your enjoyment and edification on this fine day 🙂

  56. bad12 56

    If all it took to rid the country of Smith as a minister of the Crown was a veiled hint about the RT Hon. Ministers sex life from Nationals nemisis W.Peters on the floor of the Parliament yesterday then we would tend to suggest that Peters has struck the proverbial nail firmly upon its head,

    If what Peters alluded to is indeed ”fact” then Smith should in fact be the subject of Police investigation because we have now a picture in our minds of a Minister of ACC subject to receiving favors of a sexual nature from a friend while as that Minister of ACC He is attempting to intervene on behalf of that ”friend” to influence the out-come of that ”friends” ACC claim,

    Peters should flay both Smith and the Prime Minister in the Parliament until such time as a Police investigation takes place…

  57. Johnny 57

    His crime was confuse his ministerial role with that of friendship with a National Party colleague in need of assistance regarding his actual portfolio, which is a hanging offence.

    He is now swinging, in the being hung use of the phrase as opposed to the chasing after Sandra Goudie and others alternative use of the phrase.

  58. Bob R 58

    ***I know Nick Smith has a problem with his fidelity I can name at least three women he was shagging when married to his first wife. Nelson is a small place. Mr Smith is not a very nice person, It is time for him to go***

    @ manfromnelson

    Jeez, in that case Bill Clinton would never have held office anywhere!

  59. Treetop 59

    My analysis is that Smith has sustained a work injury, (a head injury) and I think that he should go and put in a form with ACC for the difference in earnings between a minister and a back bencher.

    See how far he gets with his rehabilitation and a pity that he cannot sue his employer, so he is at the mercy of ACC. Now that Smith’s workload is less, I hope he can find time to comtemplate how vicious ACC became under his watch.

    Just so that I do not come across as a heartless bitch, I would buy him a cup of coffee and be a listening ear, as he is human after all, he feel on his sword.

  60. Bob 60

    @ TT,

    Leave the racial abuse out please.

  61. Tanz 61

    John Key furious over this or just embarrassed?

    • Puddleglum 61.1

      Relaxed …

      His whole stratagem in the face of political damage and his own mismanagement is repeatedly to feign indifference. I guess the aim is to make all criticisms of his management look like storms in teacups. Behind whatever words he uses I think that’s what he would like people to pick up from his manner.
      But it’s starting to wear just that little bit too thin, even for some of those previously impressed by his insouciance.

      And he appears to have only that single tactic – served him well in the financial world, apparently, but politics is a much more public affair and you need to be more than a one-trick pony.

  62. tsmithfield 62

    For all those alleging that there was an improper sexual relationship involved, you should note that Winston Peters has backed completely away from any suggestion that it involved Nick Smith. So, from the point of view of fairness and natural justice, I think any such allegations should cease, unless there is actual evidence to back it up.


    21 March 2012

    Does NZ Prime Minister John Key have a serious ‘conflict of interest’ as a shareholder in the Bank of America which has a substantial shareholding in Bathurst Resources Ltd?

    The Prime Minister’s office has just confirmed that John Key will be attending the Wellington office opening of Australian miner Bathurst Resources.

    Is it appropriate that NZ Prime Minister John Key will be seen to ‘endorse the miner’s move when Bathurst’s controversial plans for a West Coast opencast mine on conservation land on the Denniston Plateau had been appealed against to the Environment Court, and the Conservation Department was still considering whether to grant access and a concession for the activity’.

    Is this not a major ‘conflict of interest’ if Prime Minister John Key stands to personally profit from opencast coal mining on conservation land, because of his personal shareholding in the Bank of America, which, in turn is a significant shareholder in Bathurst Resources Ltd?

    Whose interests are being served by NZ Prime Minister John Key?

    His own?

    As of 24 February 2012, the Bank of America was a substantial holder of shares in Bathurst Resources Ltd:

    “Class of Securities (4) – Ordinary

    Present Notice “Person’s Votes 72,302,308 Voting Power (5) 10.44%

    NZ Prime Minister John Key is a shareholder in the Bank Of America.



    Green protest over attendance of PM
    Last updated 05:00 21/03/2012

    Green groups will today protest against Prime Minister John Key’s attendance at the Wellington office opening of Australian miner Bathurst Resources.

    Perth-based Bathurst has all of its mines and permits in New Zealand and has stated its intention to move its headquarters to Wellington.

    The invitation to its Willeston St office opening says: “The opening of this office is a further step in our long-term commitment to New Zealand.”

    Bathurst has advised people attending tonight’s event that Key “will be officiating”, which Key’s office would not confirm to The Press.

    Conservation group Forest & Bird is outraged that Key would be seen to endorse the miner’s move when Bathurst’s controversial plans for a West Coast opencast mine on conservation land on the Denniston Plateau had been appealed against to the Environment Court, and the Conservation Department was still considering whether to grant access and a concession for the activity.

    “This is very clearly where the Government sits on mining in our protected national areas,” Forest & Bird conservation advocate Nicola Toki said.

    She said that given the public protests last year against plans to allow mining on highly protected schedule four conservation land, and the Government’s subsequent U-turn, most New Zealanders would have thought the debate was over and had been won.

    “For the prime minister to turn up and officiate at an event where an Australian company is signalling it intends to destroy a huge piece of public conservation land, is a bit on the nose,” she said. “I consider that his political antennae are not operating at full capacity.”

    Groups attending the protest are expected to include WWF, Greenpeace, ECO and Coal Action Network Aotearoa, many of which have concerns about the climate-change implications of further mining. …..”

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

  64. Jester 64

    Don’t know what all the fuss is about. Not as if he did something really twisted like getting a teenager drunk then trying to molest him whilst he was passed out.

    • Carol 64.1

      Unlike Hughes, the allegations against Smith are clearly proven. Innocent til proven guilty is still relevant here…


      Police said this afternoon that they had decided to take no further action after deciding the complaint against Hughes did not reach the evidential threshold required to bring charges.

      In a statement Hughes said he had been falsely accused of a serious crime he did not commit and it had been “one of the most challenging experiences in my life”.

      And the Hughes case was a personal matter, not one of abusing his power and Ministerial warrant as Smith clearly did, which is a very serious matter.

      • Jester 64.1.1

        Thank Carol but I didn’t suggest that swiss ball Darren did anything illegal. Stop being so fucking hypocritical. Hughes didn’t abuse his power…yeah good luck with that. And stupefying is not a serious matter? Remind me never to come to your place for pre dinner drinks.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          One of the best things about Dr. Smith’s corruption and disgrace is listening to all the Tory boys and their cry-baby whining.

        • Carol

          And you have proof of your allegations against Hughes?

          Don’t worry Jester, I don’t recall ever inviting you to mine for drinks or any other reason, nor do I have any intention of so doing… please do stay away.

          Meanwhile, of course many people have committed more serious crimes and /or ethical wrong doings than Smith…. but it doesn’t mean Smith didn’t do wrong and shouldn’t have resigned. Pointing to other people’s wrong doings is really just a diversion.

          • Jester

            I certainly agree, Smith deserved to go. It would be pathetically hypocritical if I expected National to not uphold the standards that I expect from other parties.

  65. Georgecom 65

    News footage of Nick Smiths political career showed him in the prescence of other National MPs.

    One was Bill English – double dipping on a large scale
    One was John Banks – enough said
    John ‘Hone’ Carter
    Richard Worth
    Don Brash – caught in a major lie 2005

    And John Key. That list doesn’t bode well for Key.

    • Jester 65.1

      All that and the NZ public still preferred them over other options available.

      How’s that going by the way?

      • fender 65.1.1

        Yes Jester well spotted, the way the NZ public were fooled by this bunch of crooks was a disgrace.

        • Jester

          So you suggest the election result was because the public was gullible and had nothing to do with Labour being off message?

          You seem to be echoing old Labour and not the New New Labour vision that David S is creating there Fender.

          • fender

            Havn’t seen or heard anywhere that D. Shearer endorsed the misinformation campaign that Nact employed.

          • muzza

            You surely know that the biggest vote was those who didn’t, and the aspirational types who are really just vain and self centered still managed to vote for National, and with the dirty politics such as Epsom, the right managed a very narrow win…

            Aspirational fools still believe that politics is not professional wrestling, and believe they too will benefit from their heros being at the wheel of the big house….

            Hows that working out for you fan boy?

            • Jester

              Biggest just doesn’t cut the mustard boy. So it works just dandy for me.

              And will do for at least for another 3 years 🙂

    • burt 65.2

      Yeah… people seem to like a govt that holds their ministers accountable rather than telling us to “move on”. How weird is that !

      I really expected to hear Key say that Smith was only guilty of trying to help people… but I guess he’s not up on something like 26 fraud charges so no need to pretend he did nothing wrong…..

      • Draco T Bastard 65.2.1

        If this government was holding its ministers to account half of them would have been fired.

  66. good to see winston peters understands what real opposition leaders do and is continuing to milk this for all its worth. the real trick now with smith in the short term will be to make holding on to his electoral electoral seat untenable. 
    and there’s still plenty of mileage for ongoing damage to key.

  67. Colonial Viper 67

    Well Winston just makes things up as he goes along, doesn’t he

    Nice one Key.

    Key also tries to position himself as “the employer” of Nick Smith hence had a need to give Nick Smith time and due process as an employee.

    Which is bullshit of course, Key is not Nick Smith’s employer and never has been.

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