Stuart Nash retires from politics at election

Former minister Stuart Nash will not contest his Napier seat in the October election and will instead leave parliament and politics.

Nash was fired from the cabinet last Tuesday after it was revealed that he had leaked confidential cabinet information to two donors.

He made the announcement in a Facebook post Monday afternoon, saying that after speaking to his family, he had “decided to retire from politics in this year’s election”.

“Nearly six years in Cabinet, nine years as MP for Napier and twelve years in Parliament since 2008 have provided me with the most amazing opportunities to make a real difference to our country and my Napier electorate. But now it’s time for someone else with passion and drive to step forward,” Nash said.

“There are many highs – and some obvious lows – and I’ve made some lifelong friends from both sides of the House and from top to bottom in this beautiful country.

“I have had the privilege of serving in the Ardern cabinet during its darkest days, managing crisis after crisis after crisis as I continued an ambitious and progressive agenda of continued economic and social improvement and transformation. While the work is very rewarding has been rewarding, and stimulating both intellectually and professionally, it has also been incredibly taxing on relationships with family and friends. Now is the time to address this balance,” he said.

Nash said it had been “an absolute privilege and pleasure to represent the people of the Napier electorate in Parliament for the past nine years.

“Advocating the issues that matter to good, hard-working Kiwis is something I will miss, but I will continue to do it for the people of Napier until I leave, as there is still a lot to do regarding the recovery of the Cyclone Gabrielle and helping the next Labor candidate retain Napier’s seat,” he said.

Nash had been dogged by scandal during his last days in parliament and had been detained for multiple violations of the cabinet manual.

Last week, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins asked the cabinet secretary to review communications between Stuart Nash and his donors.