. . . Auchinvole said yesterday he intended to resign. “One could say leaning towards retirement. You never have enough, but I am 68 now, I’d be 70 shortly after the next election. It is my intention to retire from party politics.”
He said he had a “number of really good opportunities in the commercial world” to pursue.
The Scottish-born MP entered Parliament, as a list MP, in 2005 “along with half the caucus”.
In 2008 he won the West Coast-Tasman seat from Labour MP Damien O’Connor, who regained it in 2011. . .
I’ve enjoyed the interaction I’ve had with Chris who did a lot of work behind the scenes to help the families of the Pyke River mine victims.
He’s the second National MP to announce his retirement from parliament this week. Napier MP, and Minister, Chris Tremain won’t be seeking re-election either.
. . . Prime Minister John Key indicated he anticipated “one or two” more would follow suit, but declined to say who. . .
One of the few silver linings to the dark cloud of National’s 2002 election defeat was that it cleared out a lot of longer serving MPs. That allowed a big influx of fresh blood in 2005 and there was a good intake of new MPs in 2008 too.
National had a couple of mid-term resignations which brought two fresh faces into the house before 2011, eight new MPs at the election and two more new ones since then.
This has given National the mix of experience and freshness which a caucus, and government, need.
Good MPs know when to go and it’s better to go on their own terms than lose a selection challenge – although challenges have brought in some excellent MPs including John Key, Bill English and Judith Collins.
A few more announcements of end-of-term retirements, in plenty of time for the party and prospective candidates to prepare for selection would be healthy.
It would also reinforce the difference between National and Labour which hasn’t had nearly as much fresh talent and is still saddled with too many MPs who haven’t accepted they’re near or past their best-by dates.
This could be a positive reflection on the potential employability of former National MPs in contrast to those in Labour who might not be as attractive to would-be employers.
But being unemployable outside parliament is not a good reason for clinging on to a seat.