Michael Wood could return as minister 'if the Labour Party's successful at general election' - Peter Dunne

A former minister thinks ousted Michael Wood could return to Cabinet if Labour wins this year's election. 

Wood, the MP for Mt Roskill, resigned as a minister on Wednesday after fresh failures to disclose conflicts of interest emerged.

He was already on notice, having been stood down as Transport Minister for not selling off Auckland Airport shares after being asked multiple times to do so.

And it's also been revealed Wood had a total of 16 interactions with the Cabinet Office about the shares. 

Former United Future leader Peter Dunne told AM Early Wood will have to get to work regaining the trust of both his constituents and colleagues.

"I think everyone was stunned and flabbergasted," Dunne said of Wednesday's revelations. "I've had a funny feeling that there was more to the Wood story than just the Auckland Airport shares but then I thought, look, if there was, he would sort it all this out… The fact that he didn't and, two weeks later, he's effectively fired by the Prime Minister, I just think is astounding."

But Dunne said it was not necessarily the end of Wood's career as a minister.

"If the Labour Party's successful at the general election, he may well return to Cabinet but I don't think it would be immediate - I think it might be later in the term. If they go into Opposition, he's got three years to rehabilitate himself.

"He'd long been seen as a prospective leader of the Labour Party, I think that's taken a back seat now and he'll have to work back to gain the trust of his colleagues all over again and, also, some confidence in the wider electorate that his judgement is sound.

"Given the space of a couple of years of solid performance down the track, who knows? But, at the moment, I think it's best… to concentrate on retaining the Roskill seat at this election."

Dunne said even though the saga wasn't Chris Hipkins' making, it was still a "very bad look" for the Prime Minister.

"He's the unfortunate victim in all of this," Dunne said of Hipkins.

"It's just one more distraction he doesn't need, he's been Prime Minister five months - as he said yesterday. In that time, he's lost three ministers - he's had another go off to the Privileges Committee."

Dunne also criticised the Cabinet office over the saga, labelling it "passive" and "not effective as it could've been in this situation".

Newshub political editor Jenna Lynch told AM Wood's failure to sort out the situation was "absolutely mind-boggling".

"Chris Hipkins took over from Jacinda Ardern this year and promised us that he would get back to the issues - he would get back to 'bread and butter' issues… and you could tell the frustration on the Prime Minister's face yesterday.

"He acknowledged that this has gone too far - we're talking every single week about another Cabinet minister that is letting him down."

Right-leaning political commentator Trish Sherson believed the saga made Wood look arrogant and Hipkins look weak.

The behaviour represented a sackable offence, she told AM.

Hipkins, responding to questions on Wednesday, assured his primary consideration in the Wood saga was upholding ministers' standards.

"Michael Wood hasn't met those standards," he told reporters. "Michael Wood did not take the necessary steps to identify all of his shareholdings - or all of his shareholdings through the trust - to make sure that they were appropriately disclosed and that any conflicts of interest were appropriately managed."