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Jonathan Coleman stepping down from politics

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 22 March 2018, 12:06p.m.

National's Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman has quit politics.

Coleman announced today that he is stepping down from politics to take up a new role in the private sector as CEO of Acurity Health Group.

"It's been a huge privilege to serve as a Member of Parliament for the past 13 years, nine of them as a Cabinet Minister. I have greatly enjoyed my time as a Member of Parliament, and am proud of the work I've been involved in, both as a Minister and as the MP for Northcote," he said.

"I especially wish to thank the people of the Northcote electorate for their support over those years."

Coleman said: "I was not looking to leave Parliament, but received an unsolicited approach from Acurity. It's a very exciting opportunity that utilises my skills and draws on my background both outside and inside Parliament.

"It is clear to me that it is the right time to embrace this unique offer as I look to a future beyond politics.

"It's also a great chance for the National Party to bring strong new talent into the team as the party builds towards the 2020 election in two and a half years.

"I wish to acknowledge and thank Simon Bridges and wish him and my caucus colleagues well on their path back to the Treasury benches," Coleman said.

National Party leader Simon Bridges thanked Coleman for his many years of dedication and service to the National Party and New Zealand, and wishes him and his family all the best for the future.

"Jonathan has had a long and distinguished career in politics, including 13 years as MP for Northcote and nine as a minister.

"He has been a diligent and committed colleague who has handled a range of challenging portfolios with a focus on getting results.

"As Immigration Minister he focused policy on importing skills and capital while fundamentally reconfiguring the immigration network.

"As State Services Minister he oversaw legislation that implemented the biggest changes to public service operation in a generation.

"During his time as Defence Minister, New Zealand's defence relationship with the U.S. continued to grow closer and Dr Coleman oversaw the withdrawal of New Zealand troops from three major deployments - Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.

"At the same time, he drove the reconfiguration of NZDF to support New Zealand's future foreign policy intentions.

"As Associate Finance Minister he was involved in the delivery of three very successful Budgets.

"And finally as Health Minister, Dr Coleman initiated and drove the New Zealand Health Strategy - the blueprint for the future of New Zealand health services - while delivering a continued increase in access to clinical services across the board."

ON AIR: Larry Williams Drive

4p.m. - 7p.m.