Shanks to leave politics

LEAVING: Katrina Shanks won't be in Parliament after the next general election.
LEAVING: Katrina Shanks won't be in Parliament after the next general election.

List MP Katrina Shanks is the latest National politician to announce their departure at next year's election.

Shanks said she wants to spend more time with her young family.

Her resignation will fuel speculation that National will field a strong candidate against United Future leader Peter Dunne in the Wellington electorate of Ohariu.

National has previously had a deal with Dunne to only campaign for the party vote, but relations soured when Dunne was forced to quit when accused of leaking a GCSB spying report to Fairfax. He also recently pulled support for National's Resource Management Act reforms.

Shanks was an accountant before entering politics. She missed out on entering Parliament in 2005, but came in on the list when former leader Don Brash resigned in 2007.

Shanks said it was " incredible privilege" to serve in Government.

"I have decided that now is the right time to leave my career in politics, and look to spend more time being closer to my young family. I look forward to taking up new challenges outside of Parliament," she said.

A flood of National MPs have announced their intention to resign next year including local government minister Chris Tremain, former ministers Phil Heatley and Kate Wilkinson, list MPs Chris Auchinvole and Cam Calder, and Hunua MP Paul Hutchison.

Also tipped to go are John Hayes, Lindsay Tisch, Shane Ardern and Eric Roy.

Finance Minister Bill English said last week he would not contest Clutha-Southland, but go onto the party list.