It’s been a shoddy affair, and I don’t mean the ‘affair’ comment literally although we’ll wait and see what the relationship between Nick Smith and Bronwyn Pullar was all about, and another example of an MP abusing his position…denying it, then having to fall on his sword.
How often more do we need to see this before people of influence realise that it’ll catch up to them.
Nick Smith has him self admitted to more than one ‘error of judgement’ in this whole fiasco.
“I have tendered my resignation, I do so because I made not one error of judgment but two in dealing with a conflict of interest in respect of a friend.”
“It was an error of judgement firstly in doing the letter but more so on it being in ministerial letterhead.”
There was another incident in 2010 where then associate minister for ACC, Pansy Wong, declared a conflict of interest as she also knew Pullar so she referred the situation back to Dr. Smith. (imaging Pansy Wong doing the right thing for a change when it came to ethical questions)
“ACC prepared a formal response to that letter, I signed out that error back to that constituent without acknowledging that I too had a conflict of interest.”
“I did not in my view interfere in any way in the judgement calls that ACC made about that persons claim.”
“I do accept that the signing of those two letters is not up to the standard this Parliament can rightly expect of its ministers.”
Smith said that it was because he erred twice that he had to resign, one would assume that means if it was only one letter he would not have.
John Key promised to clean up our political scene and this example just shows nothing has improved in that house. Another MP makes a decision that the public cannot abide by, the leader then defends them and minimises the situation, the MP the steps aside.
When will this end?
I guess on thing seems pretty clear, Nick Smith lost the support of John Key earlier today so one assumes that he had been given the chance to do the ‘honourable’ thing before Key would have thrown him out of his portfolios anyways.
One last thing, I don’t think this soap opera is quite over, even though Nick Smith has stepped aside, I can assure you that the media world will still want to look into the private life of the ex-ACC Minister to see about this relationship he had with Pullar. Currently Smith has been left with a black eye, it’s highly probable he will end up with a bloody nose as well when we find out more about his ‘friendship’ there.