Nick Leggett putting family before politics - calls quits on running for National in the Mana seat

Nick Leggett didn't want criticisms that he was being "opportunistic" running for central government to stick.
MAARTEN HOLL/FAIRFAX NZ

Nick Leggett didn't want criticisms that he was being "opportunistic" running for central government to stick.

Former Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett has pulled out of the race to be the National Party candidate for Mana saying he didn't want to look like he was being "opportunistic".

Leggett lost his bid to be Wellington Mayor last year after the man he moved next door to in the Wellington suburb of Johnsonville, Justin Lester, won on the Labour ticket.

Shortly after the loss Leggett, who had fallen out with the Labour Party, announced he was signing up to National and having a crack at central government.

Former Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett with his wife Emily, step-daughter Madi Masaga-Pita and son Tane shortly after Leggett ...
ROBERT KITCHIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Former Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett with his wife Emily, step-daughter Madi Masaga-Pita and son Tane shortly after Leggett lost the Wellington mayoralty last year.

On Friday Leggett said he was a big believer in politicians being their best when "they've got real life experience" and he was going to spend time doing that as a business consultant.

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"I feel very strongly I've made the right decision and I think also there was that reaction that this looked a little opportunistic."

Leggett said he listened to people who commented negatively about him running for Wellington mayor and then leaping into plans to become an MP.

"What I've done in politics, I feel, has been about standing up for what you believe in and your principles and I wouldn't want to see that compromised."

Leggett said he'd spent the summer thinking about his life and was reminded of how important it was to do something outside of politics.

"The other thing is we've got an 8-month-old baby and having another campaign a year after the Wellington one, which was pretty intense, was less than attractive."

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"I knew when I stood for Wellington there was a good chance I wasn't going to be successful and then planning for Parliament after that, I was thinking this is my chance to go and do some things outside politics and I've reminded myself of that."

Having signed up as a full member of the National Party, Leggett says his reasons for changing his allegiance from Labour to National were as "strong as they were the day I announced them".

He's not ruling out running for National in the future.

"The door's always open - I wouldn't rule anything out - I feel very strongly I've made the right decision."

 - Stuff

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