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Hekia Parata is quitting politics

Wednesday 19 Oct 2016 11:35 a.m.

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After nearly a decade in the game, Hekia Parata is quitting politics - she won't be standing at the general election next year.

The Minister of Education advised Prime Minister John Key of her decision earlier this year.

"It is a privilege to be part of the John Key-led Government," she said in a statement on Wednesday.

"However this is the right decision for me and my family, and it is the right time to make my intentions known."

Hekia Parata announces her plans to quit (Newshub.)

Ms Parata entered Parliament in 2008, and has been Minister of Education since 2011. She says it's been a challenging job.

"It's not the one you could ever hope to be the most popular in, but it's the most rewarding. But that goes with this portfolio - people feel passionate about it, and so they should."

She says Minister of Education was her "dream job", and thinks she's done it with "200 percent" energy and passion.

But next year, it will be time to move on.

"We have an immensely talented caucus, we have opportunities for other people to show their skills and their vision for New Zealand."

Hekia Parata announces her plans to quit (Newshub.)

Ms Parata says she has no intention of taking up a diplomatic posting, and was vague about whether her new job was education-related.

"I have no plans beyond serving as Education Minister as long as the Prime Minister wishes me to. There are still a number of deliverables in the education work plan in the meantime and my focus and energy will be unwavering.

"It is an honour to work each day in this portfolio. It's true that it involves a number of difficult decisions but I have been committed to making the right decision for our children and young people.

"I am also keen to see a fresh candidate nominated in the marvellous seat of Mana and to provide voters with a strong contest at the next election."

Newshub.

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