National Member of Parliament, Georgina te Heuheu, yesterday announced her decision to retire from politics at the end of the current term.
"Now is a good time to go. The National Party is in good heart. It has strong leadership. The National Government has outlined a credible programme for New Zealand's future, and it's now time for family and friends.
"I came in under MMP at a time when the National Government had embarked on an ambitious programme to settle Treaty injustices and to work to lift Māori participation in the economy and society. I'm proud to have been part of this key policy direction as I strongly believe it has set the course for a strong and enduring future for all New Zealanders.
"I have had 15 great years as a Member of the National Party Caucus. I have served under three Prime Ministers. Jim Bolger was Prime Minister when I came in and I have had the privilege to serve twice in Cabinet, first under Jenny Shipley and now under John Key.
"During that time I have had the opportunity of contributing to some very challenging issues that go to the heart of who we are as New Zealanders, including promoting the reconciliation of the interests of Māori and their fellow New Zealanders.
"I've endeavoured to do this by promoting reasoned debate and hopefully, exercising a degree of calm, and quiet determination.
"I am very proud to have served in the current Cabinet in this term. John Key has a very keen sense of what it takes to build a dynamic, inclusive society and I'll be working hard up to the election to ensure he gets the chance to carry that leadership on for our country.
"I also hope New Zealanders give him a good mandate to pursue a vision for New Zealand that recognises that every New Zealander has an important role to play in building a strong nation.
"Politics is a brutal game at times. I have tried to focus on the issues rather than personalities. Politics can be all-encompassing and often you forget there are other things in life.
"I know there are other challenges out there, but for now I'm looking forward to going home and enjoying my family. I only hope they're looking forward to the same thing."