Key to leave Parliament in April

Mr Key will give his valedictory speech on March 22.

Former prime minister and now backbench MP John Key will be leaving Parliament for the last time next month.

Mr Key will give his valedictory speech on March 22 and his resignation from Parliament will take effect from April 14.

His departure will be less than six months before the general election in September, so a by-election in his Helensville seat will be avoided.

When Mr Key resigned in December, he said he would only stay in Parliament long enough to not trigger a by-election, which cost roughly $1 million.

“It has been an absolute honour to serve in Parliament since 2002, as MP for Helensville, National Party leader and prime minister,” Mr Key says.

He says he has enormous faith in the leadership team of Bill English and Paula Bennett to provide the stability and continuity New Zealand needs to build on that strength, while continuing to support those in need.

It is not clear what Mr Key will do next but he has talked about taking on directorships.

Also leaving Parliament soon is Mr Key’s 2014 election rival, former Labour Party leader David Cunliffe.

Mr Cunliffe will give his valedictory speech on April 11, with his resignation effective from April 23.

Mr Cunliffe was the MP for Titirangi from 1999-2002 and has been the MP for New Lynn since.

He led Labour to a defeat against National last election with the party winning 25%, gaining just five list seats.

“I leave knowing that the Labour Party I care about is in good heart, well-led by Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern, and with an able team of colleagues ready to make that difference for New Zealand in government,” he says.

Mr Cunliffe is joining consulting firm Stakeholder Strategies in Auckland where he will be part of the leadership team.

MPs who are stepping down at the next election:


  • East Coast Bays MP and Foreign Minister, Murray McCully
  • Whanganui MP Chester Borrows
  • Helensville MP John Key and former prime minister
  • Tukituki MP Craig Foss
  • Maungakiekie MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
  • NRangitata MP Jo Goodhew
  • Waikato MP Lindsay Tisch
  • Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson
  • List MP and Education Minister Hekia Parata
  • List MP Jono Naylor
  • List MP Paul Foster-Bell


  • New Lynn MP David Cunliffe
  • List MP Clayton Cosgrove
  • Mt Albert MP David Shearer (already left Parliament, replaced by Jacinda Ardern)
  • Rongotai MP Annette King

Green Party:

  • List MP Catherine Delahunty
  • List MP Steffan Browning

New Zealand First:

  • List MP Barbara Stewart
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