Judith Collins thanks Dr Nick Smith for his service

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins thanks Dr Nick Smith for his 30 years of service to New Zealand following his decision to retire today.

“Nick has been a dedicated MP to Nelson, and the wider New Zealand public, for three decades. I would like to acknowledge his career and to wish him all the best for the future.

“Nick became a Minister in 1996 and has held 14 portfolios since then including Conservation, Environment and Building and Housing.

“He was a hardworking and extremely competent Minister in the Fourth and Fifth National Governments.

“Nick was one of the founding members of National’s BlueGreens group and has worked hard to develop our pragmatic and sensible approach to environmental issues. He created 17 marine reserves during his period as Minister and was the lead advocate for the Kahurangi National Park.

“His relentless advocacy for the Nelson region has been tireless, including recently as he stood up against the amalgamation of NMIT and the closure of Nikau House.

“As there is an ongoing investigation into an employment dispute, it would be inappropriate to comment further on that matter.”