Three ministers and three MPs from the Labour Party have announced they’ll be quitting politics at next year’s election.
They are ministers Poto Williams, Aupito William Sio and David Clark and MPs Jamie Strange, Marja Lubeck and Paul Eagle.
In a statement, prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed all six would stay in parliament until the 2023 election and said their decision to retire came ahead of a scheduled cabinet reshuffle in the new year. “MPs have made these decisions in good time to allow succession planning for both cabinet and caucus,” said Ardern.
“I’ve had conversations with each MP and Minister. They’ve each made their own call based on their personal circumstances – which I both understand and respect.”
The prime minister paid tribute to the departing group, singling out Sio’s work in the Pacific and involvement with the Dawn Raids apology, Clark’s work on supermarket reforms, and Williams’ efforts in gun law reforms.
“Marja, Paul and Jamie have been such passionate advocates for their communities and are valued members of our team,” she added.
Ardern first signalled that a “handful” of retirements would be announced during her end of year interviews with the press gallery last week. She has denied that the decision for MPs to quit was linked to Labour’s declining poll results. In an interview with Stuff, Jamie Strange said he was “better suited for government than opposition” though claimed this was not a prediction for the next election.