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But wait….there’s more.

No, there’s not three but five current National MPs putting themselves forward as Minister of Science and Innovation after Wayne Mapp retires in November.

Perhaps the magic word’s innovation, plus the fact that the hard yards have been done as far as reform of the sector is concerned.

Whatever, it’s great news for the sector that some high quality people are putting their names forward for the portfolio after the election and that it is a sought after position.

From a political career point of view, the Minister of S&I has a fair bit going for it when you think about it.

It’s a good news portfolio, the national profile is excellent – economic growth and all that beyond the Number 8 wire stuff.

And, which is always good from a Ministerial POV, any bad news is insulated from leading the portfolio. Any changes, redundancies and the like can be sheeted back to the CRI or university – its comparatively hands off compared to health or social welfare as examples.

All in all, excellent.

I’d still like to see John Key in the role. It would certainly give him a chance from a posterity viewpoint to put a stamp on his Prime Ministership.

In much the same way that David Lange ‘captured’ education, and Helen Clark made herself the minister of arts and culture, Key has the opportunity to be seen as driving the economy-expanding part of our country.

Of course Key’s a pretty busy fellow, and would need an excellent second-in-command in the portfolio.

Looks like he’d have no shortage of people willing to put their hands up.