National MP Wayne Mapp to retire

04:03, Dec 15 2010
Wayne Mapp
US Defence Secretary Robert M Gates, second right, hosts an honour cordon to welcome New Zealand's Minister of Defence Dr. Wayne Mapp, centre, to the Pentagon.
Wayne Mapp with wife.
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp with his wife Denese Henare relaxing in their Bayswater Home in Auckland.
Wayne Mapp with Jerry Materparae.
Chief of the Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, left, and Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp after the funeral for war veteran John Masters.
John Key and Wayne Mapp
The launching of the Defence White Paper 2010: Lieutenant-General Jeremiah Mateparae, Prime Minister John Key and Defence Minister Wayne Mapp.
Wayne Mapp in front of C-130.
Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp addresses an audience with the new fitout of the C-130 in background.
Wayne Mapp in cockpit.
Squadron leader Peter Saunders, left, shows Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp, right, the new fitout of the C-130.
Wayne Mapp in 2002.
National MP Wayne Mapp speaking at a public meeting on the leaky building crisis in 2002.

Defence Minister Dr Wayne Mapp has announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2011.

His North Shore seat has been held by National since 1949.

Mapp was first elected to the seat in 1996 and joined the Cabinet in 2008 following John Key's election as Prime Minister.

He also held the portfolio for Science and Innovation.

Dr Mapp said the the death of six military personnel, including three on board a military helicopter that crashed near Wellington and a Kiwi soldier serving in Afghanistan in the British Army, had made it a difficult year.

However, he was pleased with the release of a Defence White Paper designed to meet New Zealand's security needs for the next 20 years.

Dr Mapp said he was 59 and it was time to go.

He expected a hot contest to pick the new North Shore candidate.

"It's a wonderful opportunity," he said.

Dr Mapp, who is married to top lawyer Denese Henare, hadn't made a decision about his future outside Parliament.

Before entering politics he was an associate professor in commercial law at Auckland University and served as a captain in the Royal New Zealand Territorial Army.