National's highest-ranked Māori MP Shane Reti not ruling out leadership bid

By Jessica Tyson

National's highest-ranked Māori MP, Shane Reti, hasn’t ruled out becoming the new leader of the National Party.

Dr Reti, ranked 17 on the party list, was approached by reporters today on his arrival to Wellington airport ahead of tonight's caucus meeting.

He was asked whether he would consider taking on the National leadership role. He didn’t discount it and said: “All of these decisions will be made later tonight.”

Dr Reti, of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine and Ngāti Kura, is the National spokesperson for tertiary education, skills and employment, Treaty of Waitangi negotiations as well as the associate spokesperson for health.

In his first career, Dr Reti he practiced family medicine and dermatology in Whangārei for 16 years before being elected as the Member of Parliament for Whangārei in the 2014 general election.  

He is currently a member of the health select committee and deputy chair of the foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee.

He’s also co-chair of the NZ/US Parliamentary Group, is on the executive of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Disarmament and is the parliamentary facilitator for Arthritis New Zealand.