As some of you may know by now, I will not be seeking re-election at this year’s 2020 general elections.

This means that this term will be my last as a List MP based in Tauranga. I did not make this decision lightly, serving you as your local representative in Parliament has produced some of the best experiences of my life.

But after serious consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to pursue other passions in my life and spend a lot more time with my family.

This decision was ultimately accepted by Mr Peters, who understood my desire for a career change and wished me and my family all the best for the future.

Having been part of the New Zealand First caucus for the past six years has given me the opportunity to push for commonsense reforms in Parliament.

During my time as an NZ First MP, I was delighted to see common sense measures being applied to the Employment Relations Act and the Zero Carbon Bill, as well as stopping the Capital Gains Tax and the Three Strikes Legislation being removed.

Implementing these changes were crucial to ensuring our small and medium businesses can cope and that our farming sector can carry on with their productions unimpeded.

This is the balance that NZ First, as a party, brings to the coalition. It is also the reason why, although I will not be running with the Party this election, I still implore you to support them to ensure that there is a moderating voice that brings balance to the Government’s decision-making.

My departure from the party’s list will also allow fresh talent to come in. You can be certain that there will be a very talented NZ First candidate for Tauranga this election.

You also have my assurance that this candidate will be of a high-calibre and will be as passionate about our local community as I am.

For me, I will have to bid farewell to my fellow Tauranga locals as your local List MP for NZ First. But of course, even after my stint in Parliament I will continue to advocate for our sunny region to the best of my ability.

The time I spent serving you as your local MP has been an honour and a privilege.

Thank you.

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP