The veteran MP announced he will retire at the election.
The 53-year-old former Maori Affairs Minister made the announcement via Twitter this morning, saying: “Well, I’m on my way to caucus to inform my colleagues of the @NZNationalParty that I intend to retire at the upcoming General Election.”
Henare was first elected to Parliament in 1993 elections for New Zealand First in the former Northern Maori electorate.
He is currently chair of the Maori Affairs select committee and a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee.
I knew Tau when he was the NZ First Maori Affairs Minister. Not too many Ministers would be sitting in their office with some of their staff having a sing-along with a guitar. Tau was actually an effective Minister, and I’ve always been a bit disappointed he never got a chance to be a Minister again.
“I could have put my name in to be nominated but at the end of the day [15 years] is a good haul for a fella like me.
15 years is a good spell. Some in other parties seem to think 33 years isn’t enough! I’ll miss not having Tau around – lots of fun, and he was also a key MP in getting votes for Louisa Wall’s marriage bill from the Nats.
He would be the 15th National MP to retire at or before the election, with the most high profile among those resignations being Health Minister Tony Ryall.
Hopefully lots of new faces in caucus after the election. So far the quality of candidates selected has been good, but many more to go.
Matthew Beveridge has a collection of tweets from colleagues across the House wishing Tau well.