Good God I’m stunned.
Cabinet Minister Simon Power is retiring from politics in November to return to the private sector.
The high-flying National MP is the minister of justice, commerce, State-owned enterprises and the associate finance minister. He is also the minister responsible for the Law Commission and Deputy Leader of the House.
His name has frequently featured in future leader predictions but today he announced he was leaving Parliament.
Mr Power, MP for Rangitikei, said he was looking forward to continuing to contribute to New Zealand’s growth, but in the private sector.
Simon was a guaranteed front-bencher for the next two terms of Government, if National was re-elected. Good on him for deciding to get out while on top, but he will leave a big gap in Cabinet. His workload was massive and he oversaw many major reforms.
On a personal level, I’ve always found Simon very approachable and good to talk to. I recall first meeting him as a candidate and being hugely impressed.
In Government I’ve agreed with many of his decisions, and disagreed with a few – that is the nature of politics. But always found him very willing to engage.
Simon has the respect of many Opposition MPs for his willingness to consult and compromise. His chairing of the Privileges Committee hearing into Winston was superb and we saw Simon at his best.