Phil Heatley retiring from politics

Whangarei MP Phil Heatley is retiring from politics at the next election.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of being an MP and a Cabinet Minister. It has been an honour to serve the people of Whangarei, the place of my birth, since 1999. And I was very privileged to serve in Cabinet under Prime Minister John Key for four years,” says Mr Heatley.

Mr Heatley was Minister of Housing from 2008 to early 2013, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture from 2008 to 2011, and Minister of Energy and Resources from 2011 to early 2013.

“My greatest satisfaction has been getting good outcomes for local constituents, and being part of a National team that is building a stronger economy and improving the public services families rely on.

“I am particularly proud of the legislative reforms I drove for marine farming. Growth in this industry is important for New Zealand. It was critical to better manage competing demand for coastal space and to deliver on the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Settlement for iwi. 

“As Housing Minister, updating the rental rules of the 1986 Residential Tenancies legislation and extending them to boarding houses was very rewarding, as was modernising the 1972 Unit Titles legislation that regulates the way apartment blocks are managed. It was also essential to begin social housing reforms to better involve community providers, and introduce ‘reviewable tenancies’ to Housing NZ, a policy that set aside the decades-long notion of a state house-for-life. And I was very pleased to develop a policy that will now see every state house insulated by the end of the year.

“In energy and resources I have enjoyed working with practitioners, Councils, and iwi. Last year I introduced reforms to the Crown Minerals Act to promote, and not simply manage, the exploration of oil, gas, and minerals. The reforms are now in law. I am delighted the new annual ‘block offer’ process I introduced for awarding oil and gas exploration permits is continuing. 

“It has been fantastic working with the people of Whangarei and her satellite towns. That will be my focus until the Election. I thank Whangarei residents for their support and for co-opting me onto so many fascinating projects.”

Mr Heatley took Whangarei from marginal seat status to a majority of 1934 votes in his first election in 1999, which grew to reach a majority of 12,447 in 2011. 

“National’s Whangarei electorate committee will be selecting a new candidate. I look forward to supporting that person in the campaign, and working hard to ensure a John Key-led Government is re-elected in 2014.

“As an MP and Cabinet Minister I’ve achieved much locally and nationally. At 46, it’s now time to move on to fresh challenges and opportunities in the private sector.”

Among Phil’s strengths is his interest in and rapport with people.

That is one of the reasons he’s been such an effective and popular electorate MP.

Four National MPs have already announced they won’t be seeking re-election next year which is good for on-going renewal of the caucus.

None from Labour have yet.

That’s an indication that National MPs understand there is life beyond politics and shows they are more employable in the real world than some from other parties.

#gigatownoamaru appreciates employable people.

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