Retiring Labour MP partly blames National MP for his decision

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jul 2020, 3:33PM
Labour list MP Raymond Huo has announced his retirement from politics at the upcoming election.. Photo / Greg Bowker
Labour list MP Raymond Huo has announced his retirement from politics at the upcoming election.. Photo / Greg Bowker

Retiring Labour MP partly blames National MP for his decision

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jul 2020, 3:33PM

Labour list MP Raymond Huo has announced his retirement from politics at the upcoming election, putting some of the blame on senior National MP Nick Smith.

"Each time I saw Nick Smith's face, it's a reminder that it's about time for me to retire from politics," he told the Herald.

In a Labour Party statement this afternoon, Huo said he was leaving to spend more time with his family.

"I had submitted my nomination form for this election within Labour's internal timeframe but the subsequent lockdown enabled me to spend more time with my family and reflect on my political career.

But he further elaborated when speaking to the Herald, saying run-ins with Smith on that committee played a part in his decision to retire.

Huo was elected to Parliament in 2008 and was recently the chair of the Justice Committee.

In March, Smith took his concerns about China-expert Anne-Marie Brady being barred from presenting her views on foreign interference in elections to the media.

Huo said this was a procedural decision and Brady had not submitted her application to present to the committee in time.

But, at the time Smith said Hou was "blocking New Zealand's leading academic on the issue of foreign interference in one's democracy".

Speaking to the Herald today, Hou said Smith had leaked internal voting of the committee to the media.

"My identity as a 'Chinese-born' member of Parliament was brought into the picture."
He was highly critical of Smith's behaviour during this period.

Hou said that he gave "100 per cent" as an MP.

Huo joins a growing list of MPs retiring at the election – many of which are National MPs.

In the Labour statement, he said: "For too long my family has been secondary and the recent lockdown provided an opportunity for me to reflect on my future."

"I am proud to have been Labour's first Chinese-born MP."

He said that over recent weeks, he has spoken to his friends, his team, supporters and the community about his intention to retire from Parliament.

"One of the highlights of my parliamentary career was working on the establishment of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week which has been running since 2014.