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Hon Dr Nick Smith was born and educated in North Canterbury in a bridge construction family. He subsequently completed a first-class honours degree in civil engineering and a PhD in landslides at Canterbury University. Nick was politically active from a young age and influenced by a year as an AFS scholar to Delaware, USA. He became a district councillor while studying and has held many offices in Young Nationals and in the senior National Party prior to being selected as the National candidate for Tasman in 1989. He won the Tasman seat in 1990 and 1993, and following the introduction of MMP, Nelson in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 despite both having a long previous history as Labour areas. In 2014, he secured exactly 20,000 votes, increased his majority to 7,605 and National secured its highest ever party vote in Nelson of 16,904 votes. Nick has held 12 Ministerial portfolios in the Bolger, Shipley and Key Cabinets, covering Conservation, Building and Construction, Housing, Education, Immigration, Corrections, Social Welfare, Treaty Negotiations, Environment, ACC, Climate Change and Local Government. His greatest passion has been improving New Zealand’s management of the environment and natural resources. In 1998, he founded the Bluegreens as a group within National that wish to advance policies that support economic prosperity and a clean, green New Zealand. National achievements in which Nick has played a significant role include the creation of the Kahurangi and Rakiura National Parks, 17 Marine Reserves, the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the establishment of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, and the Environment Protection Authority. Nick’s recreational interests include kayaking, tramping, tennis, golf, and he plays the left wing in the Parliamentary Rugby team. He completed the Coast to Coast and kayaked the Cook Strait with friend and colleague Rt Hon Bill English.

Latest news by Hon Dr Nick Smith

Progress on Pt England housing development

Legislation enabling a housing development at Point England and progress on Ngāti Paoa’s historical Treaty settlement has passed its second reading by 62-43, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick...

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Bill to tackle meth, damage, unlawful tenancies

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No. 2) introduced to Parliament today will provide better protections and clarity for tenants and landlords, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says....

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New Housing Accord to boost homes in Tasman

A new Tasman Housing Accord aimed at boosting the district’s housing supply has been signed today by Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Mayor Richard Kempthorne. “Tasman...

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Contact Hon Dr Nick Smith


1 Molesworth St
Wellington, Wellington 6011
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04 817 6805
544 Waimea Rd
Nelson, Nelson 7011
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03 547 2314