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Coleman's departure gives National an opportunity

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Friday, 23 March 2018, 9:28AM
Jonathan Coleman's resignation from Parliament will trigger a by-election. (Photo / Getty)

The resignation of Jonathan Coleman is being seen as another chance for National to reinvigorate itself.

The former Health Minister threw in the towel yesterday, following others from the John Key era.

Political commentator Bryce Edwards told Mike Hosking a lot of people will be critical of the former Health Minister for not seeing out his term.

Unlike Bill English and Steven Joyce, he holds an electorate, so there'll be a by-election in Northcote.

"They have a chance to inject some really great new talent and I am sure they will be looking very hard to make sure they get someone amazing."

READ MORE: Coleman - If I'm going to leave politics, now is the time to do it

He says it would be a shock if National lost the seat, which Coleman has held since 2006.

 

His resignation has seen mixed reaction come out of parliament.

Winston Peters says Coleman has recognised a lost cause and got out while he can.

The New Zealand First leader says he always thought Dr Coleman had quite a few brains, and he's exhibited some of them in choosing now to take his former Health Minister credentials private.

"He's made a very wise decision in this context.

"He was the Minister, there wasn't any money for public or private, but now with a change of Government, there is going to be considerably more money for both public and private, and I suppose he can take personal advantage of it."

National MP Nick Smith says while he wouldn't do it, he doesn't begrudge him for resigning just six months into this term.

Smith has been staunch in his view that electorate MPs owe it to their constituents, not to resign before the end of their term.

"That's more a reflection of my own personal circumstances rather than having any criticism on a colleague like Jonathan Coleman, who has decided to take up a great opportunity in the private sector."

Meanwhile, Northcote Town Centre's Gary Holmes says whoever replaces him has a hard act to follow.

"He's always been a very loyal MP, always attending the big events we've had in the town centre. It is a very close knit community."

Holmes says the area's about to undergo significant change and development.

"Residents and businesses in the area are a little unsure about what that's going to look like. Having an MP that is accessible will be important."

LISTEN TO BRYCE EDWARDS TALK WITH MIKE HOSKING ABOVE