The Herald reports:
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced he will not stand in the 2017 election.
In a statement, McCully said he would not put his name on the National Party list for 2017 and would bow out of politics at that point, but would stay on in Foreign Affairs until then if that was Prime Minister Bill English’s wish.
“In light of the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, I want to be clear that I will not be a nominee for the National Party list. I have made the Prime Minister and other senior colleagues aware of this position,” McCully said.
This means four Ministers (and former PM John Key) are retiring in 2017 – McCully, Parata, Foss and Lotu-Iiga. Unless Bill English decides to keep them in their ministerial roles until the election, that means there may be five vacancies in the Ministry – which would be a very significant reshuffle and rejuvenation.
It is possible that a couple of them, might have replacements announces this week, but not have their successors take over until early in the New Year – McCully and Parata being the obvious ones.
“I want to ensure that New Zealand’s international relationships have a smooth transition from the Key Government to the English Government. How I might best contribute to that process is a matter for the Prime Minister.”
“We can look back on some significant foreign policy achievements, including New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, where I am currently attending my final meetings in New York prior to the conclusion of our term at the end of December.”
McCully has served eight years as Foreign Minister, making him one of the longest serving ones in the democratic world.