National MP quits early

22:30, Dec 09 2013
LEAVING EARLY: Katrina Shanks.
LEAVING EARLY: Katrina Shanks.

National MP Katrina Shanks has brought forward her retirement from politics to become chief executive of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand.

She will be replaced by Whanganui-based list MP Joanne Hayes, who stood for National in Dunedin South at the last election, losing to Labour's Clare Curran.

Shanks, who had announced that she would retire at the next election, said she would now not return to Parliament next year.

REPLACEMENT: Whanganui-based list MP Joanne Hayes.
SWORN IN: Joanne Hayes, a former chairwoman of the National Party's Palmerston North Branch, is officially a new MP for the party.

"I wish the National Party all the best in the 2014 election and consider it to have been a privilege to have served as a member of Parliament in a John Key-led Government," she said.

She said she was looking forward to spending more time with her family.

National Party president Peter Goodfellow said Shanks had made "a real contribution to New Zealand and National over the past eight years".

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"As a list MP, she has worked hard to provide an effective voice inside the National caucus for constituents in Ohariu and the Hutt Valley and been a strong advocate for Kiwi families," he said.

Hayes, who is of Ngati Porou, Ati Haunui A Paparangi and Rangitane ki Wairarapa descent and is director of community relations at UCOL Whanganui, would take Shanks' place in Parliament, he said.

"Joanne brings a wealth of experience in Maori business, health and education, which will be a real asset to Parliament and our caucus," he said.

Several National MPs have announced they will retire at the next election, including Napier MP Chris Tremain, Hunua's Paul Hutchison, Waimakariri's Kate Wilkinson, list MPs Chris Auchinvole and Cam Calder, and Whangarei's Phil Heatley.

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