National’s renewal continues as Tau Henare says E noho r?

Tau Henare has announced his ?retirement from politics.

And Stuff reports:

Henare was first elected to Parliament in 1993 elections for New Zealand First in the former Northern Maori electorate.

He is currently chair of the Maori Affairs select committee and a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee.

This morning, Henare did not deny suggestions his hand was forced by the likelihood of him receiving a low list ranking going into the September election.

He told RadioLive he expected his list ranking in a National Party reshuffle would be “more than 100”.

Henare said it was his own decision and he was happy about it.

“Most probably, it doesn’t really matter. To me the decisions been made and I’m very very comfortable and relaxed about it,” he said.?

“I could have put my name in to be nominated but at the end of the day [15 years] is a good haul for a fella like me.

Prime Minister John Key said this morning Henare informed him of his decision about two weeks ago.

He said he thought Henare had had a long career and possibly felt he “run his race”.

“He let me know two weeks ago, and said he wasn’t going to stand in Te Atatu and he was going to step down at the end of this parliamentary term,” Key told Firstline.

“So I think he’s had 15 years with National and he’s had a long time in Parliament, and I just sort of think he felt he’d run his race really.

“We had sort of potentially anticipated that might be the case, he’d indicated to me at the end of 2011 he sort of felt this might be his last term so I wasn’t terribly surprised.”

Going into caucus this morning Key said: “he’s a colourful character; we’ve enjoyed having him in caucus but it makes sense for him at this time to step down.”

He would be the 15th National MP to retire at or before the election, with the most high profile among those resignations being Health Minister Tony Ryall.

National goes into this election with a lot of new faces, there is no way Labour can accuse them of being a old, tired government. On the other hand that charge can easily belevels against them as their old guard resolutely sticks it out with the exception of Ross Robertson.