Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has unexpectedly decided to retire at the coming election. Her decision come a day after Judith Collins was elected as National's new party leader following the shock resignation of Todd Muller on Tuesday morning.
“I made the decision not to stand for leader or deputy on Monday and I offered my support to Judith before the caucus vote," Kaye said.
"While Judith made it clear to me that I would be part of her senior leadership team and education spokesperson, I am ready to retire. I believe Judith is absolutely the right leader for the party at this time and I will be supporting Judith and the party to win this election. New Zealand needs National."
“While I don’t think it was possible to predict the events that have occurred, what I have learned from breast cancer and other life events is you can’t always predict what is around the corner. I have huge respect and admiration for Todd and Michelle Muller and their family as they work through this difficult time. I hope that people continue to show compassion for Todd."
Kaye has served as MP for Auckland Central for nearly 12 years, held the position as deputy leader (briefly) and served as a cabinet minister in the governments of both Sir John Key and Sir Bill English as minister of education, ACC, food safety, Civil Defence and associate immigration.