Judith Collins has returned to Cabinet in a surprise reshuffle - she will take on Corrections and Police portfolios.
Ms Collins joined Paul Henry to discuss the move.
She says she never considered throwing in the towel.
"I knew I hadn't done what I was accused of doing. I knew if I gave in to that, then that would be my legacy."
She says the only way to turn around public perception is to stay in the game.
"On various occasions the Prime Minister had said that if there was an opportunity, he would like to bring me back."
Ms Collins resigned from the Justice portfolio during last year's election when emails stolen from blogger Cameron Slater implicated her in a campaign to undermine the position of former Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feeley.
Ms Collins shrugged off suggestions that she wants to be the Prime Minister, instead saying she wants to be the best cabinet minister and MP for Papakura she can be.
"If you keep working, I've always believed that if you're telling the truth you will get there."
She will be sworn in as a minister on December 14.
Watch the video for the full interview with Judith Collins.