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Finance Minister English to stand as list candidate next year

Friday 1st November 2013

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Finance Minister Bill English will step down from his electorate seat at next year's election, standing only as a list candidate.

The 23-year veteran politician will cede his electorate duties to better balance his roles as Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister with his family, he said in a statement. English told his electorate committee of his decision today, thanking his supporters and electorate team for their help over the years.

"Representing one of New Zealand's largest electorates has required considerable travel and time away from my family, particularly since becoming a minister," English said. "I have therefore decided that it is a good time to strike a better balance between my family and government commitments."

English has held the Clutha-Southland seat since 1990 when he, Nick Smith, Roger Sowry and Tony Ryall entered Parliament as the so-called Brat Pack of 30-something National MPs, and has increased his majority in the last three elections to about 16,000 in 2011.

His decision comes amid moves to rejuvenate the National Party's line-up ahead of the 2014 general election, with former Cabinet Minister Phil Heatley today announcing his departure next year.

National Party list MPs Cam Calder and Chris Auchinvole, Hunua MP Paul Hutchison and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain have also said they won't stand next year.

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