MP Heatley tipped to stand down

23:56, Oct 30 2013
Phil Heatley
WHANGAREI MP: Phil Heatley.

Former minister Phil Heatley is tipped to be the next National MP to stand down at next year's election.

In the last few weeks Paul Hutchison, Cam Calder, Chris Tremain and Chris Auchinvole have all announced their retirement.

Whangarei MP Heatley was expected to make an announcement in the next few days. He would not confirm he was quitting this morning, but refused to say if he would contest the seat.

The exodus was linked to upcoming boundary changes and a desire for a fresh look for the party.

He replaced John Banks as an MP in Whangarei in 1999 and entered cabinet in 2008 as housing and fisheries minister.

However, he resigned his portfolios in February 2010 after Fairfax Media revealed he used his ministerial credit card to pay for a family trip and other personal transactions.

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He also charged $70 for two bottles of wine at a party function, claiming the expenditure was dinner.

A report cleared him of "deliberate'' wrong-doing and he was re-instated.

In National's second term he was appointed energy and resources minister, but dumped by Prime Minister John Key in a reshuffle earlier this year.

Other MPs expected to step down before the next election were Waimakiriri MP Kate Wilkinson and Invercargill's Eric Roy.

Stuff