Senior National Party MP for Northcote Jonathan Coleman is defending his decision to leave Parliament within six months of the general election, forcing a by-election in his Auckland seat.
Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King
The former Health Minister has announced he’s stepping down to take up a role as chief executive of the private hospital owner, Acurity Health Group.
His departure means there will be a by-election in his Auckland seat.
He is the third senior National Party MP to quit in recent months. His announcement follows the recent departures of Bill English and Steven Joyce.
“I was not looking to leave Parliament, but received an unsolicited approach from Acurity,” Dr Coleman said.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity that utilises my skills and draws on my background both outside and inside Parliament.”
He made no apology for vacating his seat so early in the parliamentary term.
“Actually it’s worse for a party the later a by-election is in the cycle, the closer it is to the…