“…Jim Anderton liked to say that one bad day in Government was better than a thousand good days in Opposition.
But Wednesday was an especially bad day for National. Barely four months into its new term, the governing party has lost its first minister – and a senior one to boot.
A wheel has come off the National juggernaut.
It is still full speed ahead with the party’s reform agenda.
But National has suffered its biggest psychological hit since Key became leader more than five years ago.
The sheer speed of Smith’s demise was a shock for the party.
On Monday afternoon, as the Local Government Minister, he stood alongside Key on the podium at the Prime Minister’s weekly press conference to launch National’s eight-point plan to curtail local body rates rises.
Less than 48 hours later Smith, who had also held the Environment and Climate Change Issues portfolios -
- was no longer the minister of anything…”
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