Henare calls it quits
National list MP Tau Henare has joined the exodus of those leaving Parliament in the September election.
He has tweeted this morning:
Well, I'm on my way to caucus to inform my colleagues of the @NZNationalParty that I intend to retire at the upcoming General Election.— West Side Tory (@tauhenare) April 7, 2014
He becomes the 13th National MP to resign in recent months.
Mr Henare, 53, was first elected to Parliament as a New Zealand First MP in 1993 as the member for Northern Maori.
He was the party’s deputy leader and briefly led a breakwaway party, Mauri Pacific, in 1998 after he and other NZ First Maori MPs decided to stay in Prime Minister Jenny Shipley’s coalition government.
Mr Henare was the minister for Maori Affairs from 1996-99 in the National-led government.
He was not elected in the election that put Labour in power and also failed to win election again in 2002 as a lowly-ranked National list candidate.
He was successful in 2005 as 29th on the National list and has been re-elected in two subsequent elections.
His career has been marked by controversy and a confrontational approach to his political opponents.
He says after five terms and 15 years, it is time to quit.