Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:
There are signs some MPs are looking at an exit in the next term by standing as list-only candidates. That has become a stepping stone to retirement, allowing an MP to leave during the term without the resultant hassle and cost of a by-election.
Annette King is understood to be one of those, opening up her very safe Labour Rongotai seat. One obvious replacement in Rongotai is Andrew Little, at present a list MP. But another possibility is Helen Kelly, the head of the Council of Trade Unions, who has been rather coy about her intentions in 2014. A dead-cert ticket to Parliament will be hard to resist.
Labour badly needs more professional unionists in Parliament, as they are appallingy under-represented.
As well as King, Shane Jones opted against running in Tamaki Makaurau again. That is possibly because of the likelihood he would actually win it in 2014 given Pita Sharples’ retirement and Jones’ own rising star. Sticking to the list gives him the flexibility to leave rather than sit through another term in Opposition.
I hadn’t seen this reported before. This is good news for the Maori Party who are more likely to retain it if Jones is not standing.