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Jenny Shipley Announces Retirement

Wednesday 30 January

Jenny Shipley
MP for Rakaia

Jenny Shipley announced today that she will not be seeking re-election at the coming election and is looking ahead with confidence to the future.

"I came into politics determined to make a difference and improve the prospects for the New Zealand people. I leave feeling that I have achieved my goal. A next generation of National MPs must now face the challenge of achieving theirs on behalf of our country and I intend to give them my full support," Mrs Shipley said.

"When asked, I often said I expected to be a parliamentarian for between 9 and 15 years. When I stand down I will have completed 15 years, 11 consecutive years of which have been as either Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition or in a senior ministerial role.

"I have had some remarkable experiences and responsibilities, met many extraordinary New Zealanders and relished the opportunity to be an agent for change. "I was honoured to be PM and to lead the NZ National Party through what were demanding political and economic times. I'm proud that I was able to maintain political stability during the first MMP Parliament, guide NZ through a time of international uncertainty due to the Asian economic crisis and back to strong economic growth of over 4% pa, and strengthen New Zealand's relationship with our trading partners.

"All this has been possible because I have been privileged to represent the people of Rakaia who for me are the heartbeat of this country and its economy. I feel humble that they have rewarded me with remarkable support, taking my electorate from a marginal seat in 1987 to the safest National seat in NZ in 1999.

"The hardest part about my decision to retire is that it signals an end to what has been a very special relationship. The unwavering support from my electorate people, even when I have carried difficult national portfolio responsibilities, is one of the demonstrations of loyalty and commitment that I will never forget. I have endeavoured to live up to their expectations through performance to the best of my ability.

"I am looking forward to, and intend to enjoy, my final nine months in politics, serving my electorate and holding the Government to account. Beyond that I relish the opportunity to explore new career options and to enjoy much more time with Burton, my family and friends," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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