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Nick Smith's chequered political career

Published: 6:12PM Wednesday March 21, 2012 Source: ONE News

Nick Smith's resignation from Cabinet today follows a bumpy political career for the 47-year-old.

Smith's political career started as an 18-year-old when he ran for the Rangiora Borough Council while still at school.

From there he moved onto national politics.

Smith reached his highest National Party ranking when he was deputy leader to Don Brash in 2003. He was in the job for less than three weeks, resigning before his party pushed him out over perceived irrational behaviour.

Most of his deputy leadership was spent at home, on "stress leave", and the job was handed over to Gerry Brownlee.

The next year did not get easier for Smith, and within four months the senior MP was considering quitting again after being convicted for contempt of court over public comments in a custody case.

The qualified engineer has been the MP in the Nelson area electorate since 1990, run senior cabinet portfolios in two National governments and been a part of Parliament's "brat pack", which included Bill English, Tony Ryall and former MP Roger Sowry.

In John Key's Government, the family man has been at the helm of change, shaking up ACC, Introducing the Emissions Trading Scheme and announcing a clampdown on councils' spending just two days ago.

He has survived three scrapes with resignation, but now the man used to bouncing back is on the backbench.

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