Pete Hodgson will retire from politics at the next election
after 21 years as MP for Dunedin North. photo by Gerard
Pete Hodgson, one of Dunedin's longest-serving MPs
announced yesterday he will retire from politics at the next
His announcement opens the way for what will be a vigorous
selection process in one of New Zealand's safest Labour-held
seats - Dunedin North.
Mr Hodgson, who turns 60 on June 13, told the Otago Daily
Times that it was time for him to move on while he was still
young enough to contemplate a post-political life.
"I have mixed feelings. I love my job but it is important to
me to leave politics on my own terms.
"It has been a hell of a ride so far. Representing the
electorate and the city is a privilege, pure and simple."
Mr Hodgson gave the news to his Labour electorate committee
at a meeting last night.
He had made his intentions clear after the last election,
which Labour lost, when he asked leader Phil Goff to take him
off the front bench.
However, he said it would not have been proper to announce
his decision at the time because he had just been "solidly
re-elected" by the voters of Dunedin North.
Asked if he thought he would be offered board appointments by
Prime Minister John Key, Mr Hodgson said "No way". Mr Hodgson
has this week led Labour's investigation into the blind
trusts which hold assets belonging to Mr Key.
Nominations for Dunedin North will open on July 1 and close
on September 1, in line with other electorates around New
The New Zealand Labour Party Council will then decide when
the selection for the seat will take place, but it is likely
to be this year.
One thing is certain. The next MP for Dunedin North already
lives in the electorate.
Mr Hodgson has one of the best-organised electorate
committees in New Zealand and there will be several
candidates from the committee putting their names forward.