Heatley Goes, Whangarei Up for Selection

Phil Heatley has jacked it in after five terms as an MP. Phil is a good bloke but didn’t quite make the grade so got the arse from cabinet last year.

Five-term National MP Phil Heatley will retire from politics next year, he has confirmed.

The former fisheries, housing and energy minister will not contest the Whangarei electorate at the election.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of being an MP and a Cabinet Minister. It has been an honour to serve the people of Whangarei, the place of my birth, since 1999,” he said.

It was a privilege to serve in Cabinet for five years from 2008, he said. The 46-year-old was dumped, along with conservation minister Kate Wilkinson, in a reshuffle earlier this year.

Heatley said he was proud of driving legislative reforms for marine farming and passing the Crown Minerals Act.  

He took Whangarei from marginal seat status to a majority of 1934 votes in his first election in 1999, which grew to reach a majority of 12,447 in 2011.

Whangarei is a lovely blue seat that will attract all sorts of candidates. The early whispers are that Simon Bridge’s Westie brother Mark is seriously considering becoming a carpet bagger instead of taking one for the team and running in Te Atatu. Then there is fundy school teacher Mark Tan who missed out on the Northland selection and may have a crack again, and long time National stalwart Grant McCullum.

Of the three Grant is the most promising if he can over come “to the manner born” persona and a missus who wears the trousers and forced his withdrawal from Northland last time.

There is no dominant political figure in Whangerei so this selection will be brutal and all the party faithful will love the blood and guts….including me.


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  • thor42

    Good on him for standing down. Another opportunity for the Nats to get some young blood into the team.
    Gawd…. you look at Labour with their *ancient* lineup. Goff, King, Mallard, Moroney, Fenton and a few others. All of them should have been put out to pasture a decade ago or more.

  • nellie

    And Clutha-Southland I see..

  • Toryboy

    Hutchinson, Calder, Heatley – it has been the week of the drop outs

  • Pete

    We need a strong candidate up here so it will be interesting to see, we also need the SH1 upgrade and a proper rail link to Northport/Whangarei.

    • RightOfGenghis

      while we’re on a roll we need the port of auckland to give up the struggle and shift to marsden point with a decent rail link built to a transit hub in Mangere. Remove freight terminals and container wharves completely and rebuild the auckland waterfront from scratch as the ultimate destination for cruise ships. A win win all round I reckon…

  • Bad__Cat

    I was never impressed by silent invisible Phil. I might just join up to have a say on his replacement.

    • RightOfGenghis

      Likewise. A harmless fish but basically a waste of a soft seat…

  • RightOfGenghis

    Uncle Warren dipped on the mayoralty so maybe he should put his hand up…