National MP Steven Joyce to quit politics

by RNZ / 06 March, 2018

Help us find and write the stories Kiwis need to read

Steven Joyce is leaving politics. Photo/RNZ.

RelatedArticlesModule - Joyce related

Steven Joyce calls it quits

Former finance minister Steven Joyce has announced he will quit politics.

He said he had reconsidered what he wants to do over the next several years and decided to return to the commercial sector and to focus on being "a good dad to Tommy and Amelia".

"Many of you will know I have two young children who see some of dad but maybe not as much as they should."

It comes three weeks after the National Party's previous leader Bill English announced his own resignation.

Mr Joyce unsuccessfully contested the National Party's leadership last month, losing out to Simon Bridges.

"I got significant support, I won't say how much but it was positive."

"I think if I was in a petulant mood, I'd probably go to the backbenchers, grow a beard and just sit there fuming for a while, and that's sort of the time-honoured way you do that sort of thing in this Parliament.

"But that's not really me." 

He said he absolutely had confidence in the new leader, Simon Bridges, and thought he would still be the leader in 2020.

He said Mr Bridges had been offered his choice of portfolio in the new National Party caucus.

"Simon has made a very positive proposal to me to stay and contribute as a senior member of the team on the front bench with a choice of portfolio.

He said Mr Bridges had not offered the finance portfolio, but that had not affected his decision.

"He didn't offer finance, that's alright, I'm not even sure that if I did have finance I'd necessarily stay the full two and a half years."

"This is more about my future, for me, and also if there's gonna be a change, better to be now."

"However I feel that it is time for him to get a new team around him to take National forward and win in 2020 and then govern again for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

"I have led the National Party's general election campaign five times as Campaign Chair and in four of those for John Key and Bill English, we achieved a Party Vote in excess of 44 percent, the only time it has happened under MMP."

"I have offered to assist in any way I can from outside parliament and will remain a staunch supporter of the party."

Steven Joyce

Mr Joyce unsuccessfully contested the National Party's leadership last month, losing out to Simon Bridges.

He said he was most proud of the Ultra Fast Broadband rollout, calling it "transformational", and his only regret was to do with Labour's decision to scrap changes to the tax bands.

"Particularly this issue, that is going to become more and more apparent, which is you've got people on the average wage: in three years time they're going to be on the top tax bracket."

He also said there was some work that needed to be done in education.

"Frankly I do think we need to learn to pay teachers what they're worth without going through massive convoluted formulas, because nobody else does that, it's unique to the New Zealand education system."

His next step would be back into the commercial sector, but it might be different to what he had done in the past.

"I've history in the radio business, I don't intend to go back there.

"New Zealand businesses these days are taking technology and exploiting it offshore ... I'd love to help some of those companies in some ways but it's just an open book at this moment."

Asked to sum up his Parliamentary career, Mr Joyce said, "maybe not in one word but I guess I'd like to say, 'I get on and get things done'. Cheers".

And with that, he was gone.

National leader pays tribute

In a statement, Mr Bridges thanked Mr Joyce for his service during his 15-year political career.

"As a minister, Steven has played a major role in helping create a stronger New Zealand, particularly in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis," Mr Bridges said.

He notes Mr Joyce's successes in rolling out Ultra-Fast Broadband, his work boosting research and development as Science and Innovation Minister, and his work on the Roads of National Significance programme as Transport Minister.

"Steven is a huge loss to Parliament and to the National Party and I want to thank him for his immense contribution to New Zealand, and his wife Suzanne and their children for sharing them with us. We wish him all the best."

Mr Bridges said former Prime Ministers Sir John Key and Bill English both turned to Mr Joyce for advice and "to get things done".

"That meant he was given some tough tasks but he consistently rose to those challenges. And I will also continue to use him as a sounding board as the National Party looks to 2020."

This was originally published on RNZ.

Latest

Relax at Ambler, a new contemporary cafe-bistro in Point Chev
92505 2018-06-18 09:49:29Z Auckland Eats

Relax at Ambler, a new contemporary cafe-bistro in…

by Kate Milliken

Julien Albe and Matthieu Gosset's new venture Ambler has been a long time coming.

Read more
'Stay safe': The problem with telling women how not to be attacked by a man
92495 2018-06-18 07:09:25Z Social issues

'Stay safe': The problem with telling women how no…

by Bianca Fileborn

The rape and murder of a young comedian in Melbourne this week sparked outrage - fuelled by police telling women to "stay safe".

Read more
Jacinda Ardern's challenging last full week as Prime Minister
92490 2018-06-18 06:10:16Z Politics

Jacinda Ardern's challenging last full week as Pri…

by Jane Patterson

If Jacinda Ardern was hoping for an easy slide into maternity leave, her main coalition partner wasn't helping her.

Read more
Why Melania Trump is the reluctant First Lady
92500 2018-06-18 00:00:00Z World

Why Melania Trump is the reluctant First Lady

by Joanne Black

Even before her recent “disappearance”, US First Lady Melania Trump’s commitment to the role was publicly doubted.

Read more
How to know if you have coeliac disease
92118 2018-06-18 00:00:00Z Health

How to know if you have coeliac disease

by The Listener

Coeliac NZ suggests you consider getting tested if you have some or all of the following symptoms of coeliac disease.

Read more
For coeliac disease sufferers, there's hope of treatment on the horizon
92091 2018-06-18 00:00:00Z Nutrition

For coeliac disease sufferers, there's hope of tre…

by Nicky Pellegrino

As many as 100,000 New Zealanders, many of them undiagnosed, are afflicted by coeliac disease.

Read more
As Jacinda Ardern takes her baby exit - the show goes on
92466 2018-06-17 00:00:00Z Politics

As Jacinda Ardern takes her baby exit - the show g…

by Graham Adams

The PM can happily go off on maternity leave knowing there is a cast of colourful and capable people to fill the gap — most notably Winston Peters.

Read more
The Spanish flu pandemic killed more than WWI. Are we prepared for the next?
92222 2018-06-17 00:00:00Z Health

The Spanish flu pandemic killed more than WWI. Are…

by Sally Blundell

This year marks a century since a flu pandemic killed 9000 NZers. Three more such plagues have swept the world since then – and another is inevitable.

Read more