The retirement of Lockwood Smith from politics has allowed former MP Aaron Gilmore to return to Parliament.
Gilmore was an MP between 2008 and 2011. Although not a household name, Gilmore made a huge impact during his time in Parliament.
Most notably, Gilmore masterminded New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup victory, as well as National’s successful re-election in 2011.
The Christchurch-based list MP dropped out of politics after the 2011 election.
Gilmore’s return will be a relief to a government starting to show signs of tiredness, and beginning to struggle in the polls.
Some National Party insiders have claimed that Lockwood Smith was pressured by John Key to resign, in order to get the charismatic Gilmore back into Parliament.
Since leaving Parliament Gilmore has been involved in a number of projects, including heading Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House.
Gilmore left Romney’s campaign team a few weeks before the November 2012 presidential election, citing the need to return to CERN to take charge of the next round of experiments.
A modest man, Gilmore has denied rumours that the Doctor Who television series is based loosely on his travels and exploits.
Gilmore said he was delighted to be back in Parliament.
“I’m a passionate man, and I’m passionate about making a difference. That’s why when Barack asked me to help track down Osama bin Laden I was happy to help,” Mr Gilmore said.
“I enjoyed my previous time in Parliament, but when the 2011 election came around I realised I was needed elsewhere,” said Mr Gilmore.
“I didn’t really feel like I had another term in me when the election came around, because there was still work to be done in Afghanistan.
“So I organised to be dropped well down the party list.
“John Key tried to talk me out of it, but I had to explain that my SAS duties were much more important than being deputy Prime Minister.”
Gilmore refused to discuss in any detail his military duties, but hinted that his tour of Afghanistan ended suddenly after a falling out with Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata.
“All I’ll say is that Willie knows who the real hero was on that day,” said Mr Gilmore. “I’m pleased to see that he’s done the right thing now and left the military, but there’s still a piece of business left unfinished.
“If Willie wants to visit Wellington and deliver up a shiny piece of metal, he’ll be able to find me easily enough. The Parliament Building, Wellington, most weekdays.”