5 Nov 2019

Maggie Barry to retire from politics in 2020

2:34 pm on 5 November 2019

North Shore MP Maggie Barry is set to retire from politics in 2020.

National MP Maggie Barry sat on the justice committee

Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

The former Morning Report and Maggie's Garden Show presenter has held the North Shore seat for three terms.

Ms Barry said it was an honour to have served the region and to be part of the National Party but it wasn't easy to make the decision to leave.

"After an extraordinary 10 years in politics, the time is now right for my husband Grant Kerr and I to spend more time overseas with our London-based family and share some adventures - we have a bucket list as long as your arm," Ms Barry said in a statement.

She reaffirmed her confidence in Simon Bridge's leadership of the National Party, and his bid to become prime minister in the upcoming elections.

"I will be campaigning hard alongside my colleagues to ensure that happens. National is the best team in politics and it has been my privilege to be part of that team since 2011."

Mr Bridges in a statement said Ms Barry had been a valuable colleague and was a passionate Minister for Conservation.

In 2014, Ms Barry became a Cabinet minister with the conservation, seniors, and arts, culture and heritage portfolios under then-prime minister John Key.

In her statement, she remarked on her efforts to raise awareness of elderly abuse as well as helping save threatened plant and bird species through conservation initiatives.

"I came into Parliament with the ambition of being a voice for the most vulnerable," Ms Barry said.

"I was able to raise awareness with the wider public about conservation solutions because at heart I believe that saving the world starts in your own backyard."

She said one of her highlights was being responsible for the World War I commemorations.

"It truly was an honour unveiling the New Zealand plaques at many of the French and Belgium Western Front battlefields and reading the ode at the Menin Gate."

Ms Barry said she would continue her staunch opposition to the End of Life Choice Bill, even though she planned to leave politics next year.

If the End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading next week and went through to referendum, she would keep raising awareness of the risks, she said.

The former broadcaster said every now and again something came along in politics where a stand had to be taken - and for her that was euthanasia.

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