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Labour to elect new deputy leader

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017
Jacinda Ardern © Getty Images Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern is tipped to become the next deputy leader of the Labour party after Annette King's decision to retire. 

Ms King made the announcement on Wednesday "after some reflection".

She will stand down as deputy leader next week and will retire at this year's election.

"I have been considering my position for some time and after discussing the matter with colleagues I feel now is the right time to pass the baton," she said.

Ms King is backing Ms Ardern as her replacement after she was nominated by Labour leader Andrew Little within minutes of the retirement being made public.

Annette King © Mediaworks Annette King

"While I wanted (Ms King) to stay in that role, I accept her reasons for wanting to retire," Mr Little said. "Caucus next Tuesday will vote for a new deputy leader. I will be nominating Jacinda Ardern for that position."

It's been a big week for Ms Ardern who won Saturday's by-election to become the next MP for the Auckland seat of Mt Albert.

Ms King has been a Labour Party member for more than 30 years and has held the Rongotai electorate for 24 years.

As a government minister she has held portfolios including health, police, justice, transport, state services and immigration. Most recently she has been Labour's health spokeswoman.

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