Tolley to bow out at election

East Coast MP Anne Tolley did not fare well under new National Party leader Todd Muller's...
East Coast MP Anne Tolley did not fare well under new National Party leader Todd Muller's reshuffle. Photo: RNZ
A lengthy career in politics will end when National MP Anne Tolley retires from politics at September's general election.

Tolley was first elected in 1999 and has been the MP for East Coast since 2005.

She was a Minister in John Key's government with portfolios including education, corrections, police, social development, youth, children and local government.

More recently, she has been Deputy Speaker of the House and has been involved in several groups representing women parliamentarians.

Tania Tapsell will be National's new candidate in the East Coast electorate.

In December last year, Tolley announced she would give up her electorate seat to run as a list-only candidate at the 2020 election.

She was regarded as the biggest loser when Todd Muller took over leadership of the National Party last month, ending up with a low caucus ranking.

Tolley said today she is looking forward to doing things with her family that she has struggled to fit into a busy political schedule.

"I have had tremendous support from my family throughout my political career which has spanned 34 years. My husband has lived a political widower's life, too often taking second place to the needs of my job.

"So the time has come for me to put life with him and our family first."

Tolley said she is grateful for the support people in her electorate have given her while membership of the National Party has brought many "amazing opportunities".

She gave the keynote address at the United Nations Development Programme's Pacific women in power forum and also co-led a workshop in Turkey for women's political participation, to increase their representation in Turkish Parliament.

The election will be held on September 19.

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