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Todd Muller said he hoped to give the National Party and local branches ample time to find their...
Todd Muller said he hoped to give the National Party and local branches ample time to find their next candidate. Photo: RNZ
Former National Party leader Todd Muller has decided to step down at the next election.

Muller has been a Member of Parliament for the Bay of Plenty for nine years.

In a statement this morning, he said he has decided to prioritise his health and family.

"This has been a difficult decision because being a Member of Parliament is a huge privilege, but it does come at a cost. I have decided that I need to prioritise my health and family and move onto the next chapter of my life."

Muller spearheaded a leadership coup within National in May last year, ousting Simon Bridges from the top job, only to last 53 days before resigning on July 14 in 2020, citing health reasons.

He later revealed he had become overwhelmed by anxiety and was unable to cope with the stress.

Muller said he hoped to give the National Party and local branches ample time to find their next candidate.

"The National Party needs to take the opportunity this term, to renew and refresh, with strong new candidates lining up for the next election.

"The highlight of my role is undoubtedly serving my local community. I particularly enjoy working with my various local communities from Papamoa to Omokoroa pushing hard for the amenities and infrastructure that our growing region deserves. I can assure them all I won't stop advocating for mental health facilities, after hours A&E and roads for my remaining time as their MP.

"At a national level I am very proud of the work I did with James Shaw in creating bi-partisan support for climate action and achieving cross party support for the Zero Carbon Act."

Muller said he was looking forward to working out his term with the National team.

In the meantime, he is on pre-approved leave for the next five weeks to care for his wife who is undergoing a significant medical procedure.

He will return to Parliament after the winter recess, he said.

Muller's Bay of Plenty seat is considered a safe electorate for National and so the party's candidacy is sure to be hotly contested.


Guess who will be getting a good exit package including free travel courtesy of the tax payer.....

My thoughts are with him and his wife. Sounds like they have a few issues.
However, I can't help reflect on the capacity of wannabe politicians who just don't have what it takes to do the job.
Many of the public see the the job as being an easy number, swanning around the country for free, enjoying the perks of bellamys, not really doing much more than attend committee meetings, listening to the sound of your own voice, and getting catered at ongoing parliamentary banquets. Then there's the lifetime perks if you serve more than 3 terms. However, Muller is proof that you need a special kind of strength to do this job, and he didn't have it. Winston doesn't have it either, he's brilliant in opposition but useless in govt. Nick Smith didn't have it, and there are numerous others all of whom were going to change the world but found they didn't have what it took to do the job once they got elected
The unfortunate thing is there's no way of telling who will be the champs and who will be the chumps until they get in.
We're lucky with the current PM, she is one of the champs, its a shame so many of her cabinet are chumps!

What can you do? Todd has been accused of 'communism' for working with James Shaw, by the irrational Right on FB.

And I'll bet if any of those doing the labeling were asked to define "communism" none could do so (without the use of an internet search engine). The word is used as an insult, without meaning, the same way those same people would use the word "Liberal" to insult someone who doesn't embrace their particular brand of conservatism.

Alarmingly, Catholic liberals may be refused mass in American churches.

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