ACT Parliamentary leader John Boscawen, the party's number two behind leader Don Brash who is outside of Parliament, has announced he will not be standing on the party's list at the November 26 election.
Boscawen said he would still stand in the Tamaki electorate in an effort to boost ACT's Party vote, but expected to retire from politics following the election.
That means ACT is currently without a number two or three on its party list. It is believed to have left the third spot vacant for former president Catherine Isaac, who is married to Business Roundtable's Roger Kerr, who is fighting skin cancer.
See the release from the ACT Party:
ACT Parliamentary Leader John Boscawen today announced that he has decided not to seek re-election on the ACT Party list and expects to retire from Parliament following the November 26 election.
“I feel incredibly privileged to have been a Member of Parliament over the past three years, serving on a number of Select Committees, holding the positions of Minister of Consumer Affairs and Associate Minister of Commerce and most recently, becoming the third Parliamentary Leader of the ACT Party,” Mr Boscawen said.
“I was also proud to have been in Parliament to vote for the repeal of Labour’s Electoral Finance Act, having previously organised public protests against it.
“It was an incredibly hard decision not to seek re-election because I believe it is vital for the future of New Zealand that ACT is successful on election day. However, being a Member of Parliament can be extremely demanding and time-consuming, and I haven’t been able to give my family as much time as they deserve.
“After much consideration, I’ve decided that my family must come first. However, I will continue to stand as ACT’s candidate in the Tamaki electorate to do everything I can to help ACT win as many party votes as possible.”
ACT Party Leader Don Brash said he was extremely sorry Mr Boscawen was stepping down from the ACT Party list but said he totally understood his colleague’s reasons.
“John is a person who is not willing to give less than 100 per cent of his time to the job, and he now feels he needs to devote the same level of commitment to his family,” Dr Brash said.
“John is known as one of the hardest working MPs in Parliament. He has earned the respect of politicians from across the political spectrum for his work ethic, his integrity and his absolute commitment to his role as an MP.
“I know John has been tremendously proud to serve his country, so I know he has not taken this decision lightly.
“He has done an extraordinary job over the past three years, advancing ACT’s principles and pursuing his portfolio responsibilities with a level of passion and commitment that is quite exceptional.
“I’m very pleased that John is going to be campaigning with us up until the election. That will be a huge asset, and I know he will continue to be a great supporter of ACT in the future.”
Mr Boscawen said he wanted to thank all of his caucus colleagues for the support they have given him in Parliament, especially since he became Parliamentary Leader.
“In particular, I would like to acknowledge Sir Roger Douglas, who so strongly encouraged me to stand for ACT in the first place, and Rodney Hide, who has given me invaluable support and assistance throughout my parliamentary career.
“I wish Don Brash, John Banks, and the rest of the ACT team every success in the election and I intend to work hard to help them achieve that success by campaigning for the Party vote in Tamaki. I plan to remain very active in the Party beyond the election,” Mr Boscawen said.
The ACT Party board will meet next Saturday to make a decision on how this will affect other list rankings.