Former Whanganui MP Harete Hipango is set to return to Parliament on the National Party list.
Hipango said party leader Judith Collins called her late on Monday afternoon.
"She informed me of Nick's [Smith] retirement, and that I was to ready myself to be called back to duty," Hipango said.
"I don't know what's in store for me at the moment, other than that I'm returning.
"We'll wait and see. I should be briefed at some stage, and that will come from Judith and possibly [party deputy leader] Shane [Reti]."
Hipango said she hadn't been holding her breath about returning to Parliament since her defeat by Labour's Steph Lewis in last October's election.
Lewis claimed the Whanganui seat with a margin of 8191 votes.
"I'd been briefed by those who have been in the politics sphere for a lot longer than me that it was only a matter of time, and that it would happen," Hipango said.
"I certainly didn't have any expectations, and that's the uncertainty that comes with life, really."
Hipango said she had spent the past few months "in recovery mode".
"I didn't realise, and I think a lot of people can relate to this, that when you're constantly on the go it's not until you stop that you realise how fatigued you are.
"There's been a lot of reflecting, and a lot of spring cleaning that I hadn't got around to doing for the past four years.
"There's been the dusting off of cobwebs psychologically as well, one could say."
She had a better idea of what to expect compared with when she first entered Parliament in 2017, Hipango said.
"You never know what it's like until you're down there, but this time around I do know what it's like, I know the dynamics, and I do know it works.
"I'm readied and prepared better than I was before."
Running again for the Whanganui seat, or in the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate, were options Hipango said she hadn't fully explored as yet.
"Those are conversations to be had, not just on my return, but for the rest of the time that I'm there.
"Anything and everything is possible, but the short answer is 'I don't know'.
Hipango said she had maintained a collegial relationship with those still in Parliament.
"I'm only but one of a team.
"Not everyone needs to agree all the time, but it's about looking at the big picture and seeing what's achievable and in the interests of those we are there to serve."
There were now three Māori MPs in the Whanganui-Taranaki area, Hipango said, with Labour's Adrian Rurawhe and the Māori Party's Debbie Ngarewa-Packer being the others.
"It's quite unique.
"I used to work with Debbie back in the 80s and 90s, and then there's Adrian who is a relation.
"The three of us have that whakawhanaungatanga, those relationships, prior to entering politics."
Hipango said her approach as a list MP would be the same as when she held the Whanganui seat - focusing on solutions and resolutions, rather than being "entrenched in the problems".
"That's who I am though, and that's how I've been shaped professionally."
"It can be a bit difficult in the culture of Parliament, where it's so adversarial and oppositional."
Hipango was selected at the National candidate for Whanganui at the 2017 election after the retirement of long-serving National MP Chester Borrows.
She beat Lewis by 1706 votes to become the electorate's first Māori MP.
Hipango was promoted to number 21 on the National Party list after Collins was named leader last July.
At the time of the 2020 election, Hipango was National's spokeswoman for Māori Crown relations, Māori Tourism and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, as well as being the party's Shadow Attorney-General.
Before last October's election, Hipango came under fire for posting an image to her public Facebook page stating that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said "dairy farming is a world of the past" during the first TVNZ leaders' debate.
Hipango said rather than being a false quote, it was "a construction of key words aligned with Jacinda Ardern".