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Foss to resign as minister, quit politics

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016

Craig Foss has become the second National MP to resign since the change in party leadership.

The Tukituki MP says the departure of long-time prime minister John Key and the departure of other party colleagues prompted him to consider his own future in politics.

"My mind kept drifting to home so I decided no-no, time for me to go," Mr Foss said on Wednesday, saying his decision wasn't a result of the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

"This decision is all about me, my family and where I'm at in life."

He has backed new Prime Minister Bill English as leader, while Mr English praised him for his efforts.

"Craig has been a very competent and successful minister. He came along and said he had decided to move on. We appreciate his efforts and wish him well," Mr English said.

Mr Foss, who is currently the Small Business, Statistics and Veterans' Affairs Minister, will relinquish his portfolios next week once Mr English announces his new cabinet and they are sworn in on Monday.

But he will remain in Parliament as long as necessary to avoid a by-election.

Life's too short for regrets, Mr Foss said, when asked if there was anything he wished he had done during his 11 years in politics.

But there wasn't enough time to talk about his highlights, he said.

He included financial markets reform, consumer law reform "going after those that prey on other people, intellectual property and small business changes, modernisation of Statistics New Zealand and others issues fly below the radar.

Mr Foss also represented New Zealand at the centenary commemorations of the Battle of Chunuk Bair in Gallipoli.

A former investment banker, Mr Foss is yet to consider what might come next.

"I'm going to do that on the beach with a bit of sand, a couple of beers. You've always got some ideas but kind of really important to learn to breathe again over the summer and just enjoy life as we're supposed to," he said.

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