Former National Party leader Todd Muller has announced he will retire at the next election.
He will step down after nine years as the Member of Parliament for the Bay of Plenty.
“This has been a difficult decision because being a Member of Parliament is a huge privilege,” says Todd, “but it does come at a cost.
“I have decided that I need to prioritise my health and family and move onto the next chapter of my life.”
Muller stepped down as leader of the opposition after just 53 days in July 2020, and later spoke out about the toll it had taken on his mental health.
He says he is hopeful his announcement, well in advance of the next election, will “give the National Party and my local branches ample time to find their next candidate” and that the National Party takes time to “renew and refresh, with strong new candidates lining up for the next election”.
Speaking of his retirement, Muller gave specific reference to his work in the Bay of Plenty.
“The highlight of my role is undoubtedly serving my local community,” he says.
“I particularly enjoy working with my various local communities from Papamoa to Omokoroa, pushing hard for the amenities and infrastructure that our growing region deserves.
“I can assure them all I won’t stop advocating for mental health facilities, after hours A&E and roads for my remaining time as their MP.”
On a national level, Muller states he is proud of his work with Green Party leader James Shaw in creating bi-partisan support for climate action and achieving cross-party support for the Zero Carbon Act.
“I look forward to working out my term with the National team,” he says.
“In the meantime, I am on pre-approved leave for the next five weeks, to care for my wife who is undergoing a significant medical procedure.
“I will return to Parliament after the winter recess.”
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