Former National Party leader Todd Muller to retire at next election

Former National Party leader Todd Muller has announced that he will retire at the next election.

Muller said this morning he had decided to step down after nine years as the Member of Parliament for the Bay of Plenty.

“This has been a difficult decision because being a member of parliament is a huge privilege, but it does come at a cost,” Muller said.

“I have decided that I need to prioritise my health and family and move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Muller said by announcing today he hoped to give the National Party and local branches “ample time to find their next candidate”.

“The National Party needs to take the opportunity this term to renew and refresh, with strong new candidates lining up for the next election.

“The highlight of my role is undoubtedly serving my local community.

“At a national level I am very proud of the work I did with James Shaw in creating bi-partisan support for climate action and achieving cross party support for the Zero Carbon Act.

“I look forward to working out my term with the National team. In the meantime, I am on pre-approved leave for the next five weeks, to care for my wife who is undergoing a significant medical procedure. I will return to Parliament after the winter recess.”

Muller was first elected to Parliament in 2014 as the MP for Bay of Plenty, a seat he won again in 2017.

He was seen as a rising star and future leader of the party.

On May 22 last year, election year, Muller secured the position of leader of the National Party, ousting predecessor and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges in the process.

Just 53 days later, Muller made the shock announcement he was stepping down from the role for health reasons.

Since then he has opened up about his mental health battles, particularly with anxiety and panic attacks.

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