Rt Hon Wyatt Creech
National MP and Deputy Leader Rt Hon Wyatt Creech today announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2002 and is therefore stepping down as National's Deputy Leader.
Mr Creech said last year that he would be considering his political future over the summer holidays and would make an announcement in the New Year.
"I phoned Jenny Shipley a few days ago and informed her of my decision.
"I spent a lot of time considering my future and consulting my family who are 100% behind my decision.
"My decision not to stand at the next election led to my decision to resign as Deputy Leader. I want to give the party time to organise itself for 2002 with a new team for the new century.
"I felt it was important that I make my decision now so the National caucus has time to reorganise and the new deputy has time to settle in before the 2002 election.
"My decision was a difficult one. I have enjoyed my thirteen years in Parliament as a National MP and as a Cabinet Minister and then Deputy Prime Minister but it is time to move on.
"Over the next two years I will be applying my experience and skills to helping National position itself for re-election in 2002. After the election I am looking forward to getting out and facing new challenges," Mr Creech said.