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MP Williamson won't seek new term

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/07/2016

National MP Maurice Williamson won't be contesting next year's general election.

The member for Pakuranga on Tuesday announced he would be leaving parliament after three decades, 15 of which were spent as a minister.

"I thank the people of the Pakuranga electorate who have so generously supported me for the past 30 years," he said in a statement.

"I particularly appreciated their continued loyal support after the introduction of MMP in 1996, which enabled voters to support a political party but not necessarily that party's candidate."

Mr Williamson was the Minister for Customs, Statistics and Building and Construction until 2014.

His speech during the gay marriage debate in 2013, when he talked about "the big gay rainbow" he saw outside his window the morning before the legislation was passed, made international headlines.

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