Home > The Body Politic > Nick Smith

Nick Smith

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I take no satisfaction from Nick Smith’s resignation.  Dear Leader will simply appoint another National MP to take Smith’s portfolios. Nothing has changed.

In the scheme of things, his letter to ACC on behalf of former National Party activist and friend, Bronwyn Pullar, appears to be one of those gaffes that all politicians of species Homo Sapiens are capable of.

What I find unjust is that Dr Smith fell on his own sword – whilst John Key  got away with something even more questionable, last year, when on 4 October, John Key made this statement in the Debating Chamber,

When Standard & Poor’s were giving a meeting in New Zealand about a month ago, what they did say was there was about a 30% chance we would be downgraded – that’s what happens when you’re on negative outlook. They did go on to say though, if there was a change of government, that downgrade would be much more likely.”

That statement was the beginning of a political furore that, for the first time, attacked Key’s credibility.

Less than a week later, on 10 October, Standard & Poors issued a firm rejection of John Key’s assertion that Standard & Poors stated “if there was a change of government, that downgrade would be much more likely“. In fact, S&P was quite adamant,

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Key’s staff eventually released the so-called “email” that Key claimed had been sent to him by a friend (un-named), which made the S&P claim. The email was (supposedly)  sent on 6 September 2011 at 11:24 am,

Hi John

I was part of a session with a range of economists yesterday morning – every year they do this session – with economists from Aus plus all the main NZ banks, and this year two from Standard and Poors, including the guy who obviously has a lot to do with the NZ grading.

Anyway, the S&P guys were very complimentary about how the NZ Govt is managing fiscally and their trust that what you say will happen happens, and your unwavering commitment to getting NZ’s balance sheet sorted for the long term.

But there was a key one-liner that I thought you could well use. S&P said that there was a 1/3 chance that NZ would get downgraded and a 2/3 change it would not, and the inference was clear that it would be the other way around if Labour were in power. They discussed the impact on interest rates if NZ got downgraded and how that would quickly impact on the home owner mortgage market, so net net there is a much higher risk to NZers that they will face higher interest rates under a Labour Government.

Don’t know how you use it but they were quite serious.

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So, who was telling the truth?

In an effort to uncover the truth, Key fronted to a media conference,

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To this day, the identity of the mysterious  author of that “email” has never been disclosed and we have no clue as to the veracity of who-said-what.

Perhaps the wrong person resigned.

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= fs =

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  1. 21 March 2012 at 5:20 pm

    He should have been sacked a long time ago:

    http://cleanairkapiti.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/piss-weak-minister-nick-smith-should-resign-over-delays-in-clean-air-enforcement/

    Just how many Kiwis died unnecessarily because of air pollution whilst he was Environment Minister?

  2. 21 March 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Point taken, Matt.

    I’d still prefer to see the whole lot resign, and an early election called….

  3. S
    21 March 2012 at 8:45 pm

    well said frank… but when we re-elect, we need an option “Vote No Confidence” in the system. No one in “power” is serving the people… that’s happening at grass-roots… so they all need to go. We’ve got to accept a reset and redesign our governmental system… a proactive revolution, if you like.

  4. mandy
    23 March 2012 at 10:21 pm

    ACC needs to take a look at how it handles peoples privacy. Aint the first time I can attest to that.

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