National Party MP Steven Joyce has announced today that he will retire from Parliament.
“I have had a wonderful time in this place over the last nearly ten years including nine years as a Minister, and have been privileged to be able to make a real contribution to the development of our country,” Mr Joyce says.
“With the recent change of National Party leadership I have had the opportunity to consider again what I would like to do over the next several years.
“Simon has made a very positive proposal to me to stay and contribute as a senior member of the team on the front bench with a choice of portfolio.
“However I feel that it is time for him to get a new team around him to take National forward and win in 2020 and then govern again for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
This is a big blow for National. Steven wasn’t just a top performer in the House, but had been an integral part of National’s strategy and campaign team for well over a decade. They will miss him.
“I have led the National Party’s general election campaign five times as Campaign Chair and in four of those for John Key and Bill English, we achieved a Party Vote in excess of 44 per cent, the only time it has happened under MMP.
And the one time they didn’t get over 44% they went from 21% to 39%!
“My plan now is to return to commercial life and seek new challenges and also to focus on being a good Dad to Tommy and Amelia.
Suzanne will enjoy having Steven around more. And Steven will no doubt have a great career outside Parliament. He was barely out of his teens when he set up Energy FM and then grew it into Radioworks with 22 stations and 650 staff.
It will be interesting to see who replaces Joyce as Campaign Chair. It might not be an MP – in fact usually the campaign chair isn’t.