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"This afternoon I met with my electorate committee in Gore to inform them of my decision,'' he said in a statement.
"Representing one of New Zealand's largest electorates has required considerable travel and time away from my family, particularly since becoming a minister. I have therefore decided that it is a good time to strike a better balance between my family and government commitments.''
Mr English won the seat when it was called Wallace in 1990 and has held it since.
"I will continue to take a strong interest in issues affecting Southland and Otago and I'm confident the National Party will provide strong representation for the area into the future,'' Mr English said.
- By Adam Bennett of the NZ Herald