Wellington, February 13, 2018
National Party Leader Bill English has today announced he will resign as Leader of the National Party and leave Parliament.
He said that his resignation as Leader will take effect on February 27, 2018 and that he intends to deliver his Valedictory Speech on March 1, 2018.
The following is a statement issued by him a few minutes ago.
It has been an enormous privilege to serve New Zealanders since being elected to Parliament in 1990. Over 27 years, I have been privileged to work alongside so many people to improve our country. I am proud of the innovative work done as a Health Minister in the 1990s, and then as Finance Minister through the Global Financial Crisis, helping to stabilise and grow the economy and to rebuild Christchurch
Developing Social Investment
In recent years, I enjoyed the development of Social Investment and new ways of the Crown working with Mori to make a real difference, and I was honoured to lead New Zealand as Prime Minister.
Nationals two-day Caucus meeting last week confirmed to me that our team has the talent, the ideas and the energy to return to government in 2020.
It is important that Nationals new Leader has the time and the best possible opportunity to achieve that.
So, I believe now is the right time to step aside and to embark on new personal and professional opportunities.
Gratitude to People
I have served with some outstanding politicians and I want to thank my Parliamentary colleagues and the National Party for the trust and support they have given me.
I am also indebted to the people and communities of Clutha-Southland – and before that Wallace – who sent me to Parliament and kept me grounded for so many years.
To our supporters, thank you for keeping your faith in us through nine years in Government, and through the change of government.
I know that our MPs will continue to represent your ambition for New Zealand.
Most importantly, I would like to thank my family. Mary and our children, Luke, Thomas, Maria, Rory, Bart and Xavier.
For all our time together, we have lived with demands of public service.
Your strength and tolerance has enabled my career. You have been my inspiration and pride and I now look forward to a new life together.
Editors Note: Bill English has been a friend and columnist of Indian Newslink since 2001 and we wish him good health and continued prosperity in the years to come. We will miss him in national politics.