You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

National's Lotu-Iiga announces resignation

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/12/2016

National MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga won't recontest his seat in next year's general election.

The National MP and Local Government Minister says he will leave politics for "a variety of reasons" at next year's election, including to spend more time with his wife and young children.

The shock resignation of John Key as prime minister was not a factor in his decision after almost a decade in national politics, he says.

Nor was any prospect he might be demoted in a new Bill English-led government.

He said being an MP had afforded him opportunities, but "I cannot in all good consciousness see myself doing this role for the next four years".

Mr Lotu-Iiga's political career included a stint as Corrections Minister during which allegations of fight clubs at Mt Eden prison led to private operator Serco losing their contract.

He was demoted shortly after but said on Tuesday he has no regrets over the matter.

"I handled it to the best of my abilities at the time and, you know, I live with that," he said.

"It is what it is. In the end the Serco situation worked itself out and we've moved on."

Mr Lotu-Iiga said while there were challenges and issues he enjoyed the job because he was serving New Zealanders.

A former lawyer, banker and management consultant, he expects there will be opportunities available to him upon his departure but has no immediate plans for life after politics.

"I'm intending to stay right until the end. That's important. I want to campaign and win Maungakiekie and want a fourth term National government," he said of his intentions to remain in parliament until the election.

But he will give up his Local Government, Ethnic Communities and Pacific Peoples' portfolios, as well as being Associate Health Minister when Mr English announces his new cabinet in the coming weeks.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon