Whangarei MP Phil Heatley,
who is being tipped to stand down at the next election, says he
has yet to make a decision.
Speculation has been swirling in Wellington that Mr Heatley
will be the next National Party MP to stand down at the next
election after Chris Tremain, Paul Hutchison, Cam Calder, and
Chris Auchinvole announced they would not seek re-election
Mr Heatley told the Northern Advocate yesterday he had
nothing to announce about his future.
"(My wife) Jenny and I will make a decision about our future
in due course," he said.
"But I will say I love being the MP for Whangarei."
Mr Heatley replaced John Banks as the National Party's MP for
Whangarei in 1999 and has been re-elected with healthy
majorities in the four general elections since.
If he was to stand down the Whangarei National Party branch
would hold a selection process to find a suitable
Mr Heatley became a Cabinet Minister in 2008 with the housing
and fisheries portfolios, but stood down from his ministerial
posts in 2010 before returning 34 days later after being
cleared of any intentional wrongdoing over the misuse of his
ministerial credit card.
He had signed an expense claim for a dinner when, in fact,
the $70 charge was for bottles of wine at a National Party
In January Mr Heatley was stripped of his Energy and
Resources and Housing ministerial portfolios in a Cabinet
- By Mike Dinsdale of
the Northern Advocate