Craig Foss to quit at next election

The decision comes just a day after Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga revealed he would not contest next year's election either.

Statistics and Small Business Minister Craig Foss has announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2017.

The Tukituki MP’s decision comes just a day after Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga revealed he would not contest next year’s election either just two days after Bill English was sworn in as Prime Minister.

Mr Foss entered Parliament in 2005 after winning the lower North Island seat of Tukituki, after standing and losing the election in 2002.

In a Facebook post, Mr Foss says recent events have led him to reflect on his role as a minister and Member of Parliament.

“I have thought about this for quite a while and, having now made my decision, I know it is the right one for me and my family.”

He conveyed his support for Bill English and Paula Bennett.

“In order to ensure a smooth transition, it is my intention to step down as a minister when the new cabinet is sworn in. I will continue in my role as MP for Tukituki to avoid a by-election.”

Speaking to media this week, Mr English said he will unveil the new cabinet before Christmas.

NBR political editor Rob Hosking has mused there will be several ministers who will be feeling nervous.

Heading that list – in terms of seniority – is Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, who has been in Parliament since 1987 and who has, in any case, been unwell in the last year. 

He says, there is much speculation over the future of Land information and Womens’ Affairs Minister Louise Upston too.

At the time he announced his decision not to stand at the next election, Mr Foss was running a distant third in NBR's poll on the cabinet minister most deserving of being demoted. 

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