Foster-Bell to retire from politics

Former Key adviser and Fonterra executive Nicola Willis expected to run for selection as National's candidate in the Wellington Central seat.

National list MP Paul Foster-Bell will not contest the Wellington Central seat and will stand down from Parliament at the general election.

Mr Foster-Bell says a contest for a list spot will only “distract our fantastic local team from the wider goal.”

“It is critical for New Zealand’s future that National remains in government, to build on the successes of the past few years, with a clear and strong plan to keep delivering results.”

His announcement follows reports that former senior Fonterra executive and former senior adviser to John Key, Nicola Willis is seeking National’s nomination for the Wellington central seat.

Mr Foster-Bell first entered Parliament in 2013, replacing Jackie Blue.

The former diplomat has copped flack for his spending as well as the high turnover in his Wellington office over the past three years.

At the last election, Mr Foster-Bell lost the Wellington central seat to Labour’s Grant Robertson, who won by more than 8000 votes.

“Serving as a Member of Parliament has been a distinct honour, but now is the right time for me to pursue other opportunities,” Mr Foster-Bell says.

“I will be working hard to ensure National remains in government and will be backing our Wellington Central candidate. This is a great city and it deserves an effective MP in a government that gets results,” he says.

Mr Foster-Bell joins an increasing list of National MPs who will be retiring from politics at this election.

These include Hekia Parata, Murray McCully, Craig Foss, Jo Goodhew and John Key to name a few.

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