Peter Dunne to stand down

United Future leader Peter Dunne has announced he will not be seeking re-election for Parliament.

"The current political environment is extremely volatile and unpredictable. Volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter," Mr Dunne said in a statement.

It comes after a TVNZ-Colmar Brunton poll revealed Mr Dunne was sitting at just 34 percent support for the Ōhāriu electorate, 14 points behind Labour candidate and former Police Association head Greg O'Connor. The poll saw National candidate Brett Hudson at 14 percent.

He's throwing his support behind Mr Hudson.

Mr Dunne was first elected to the Ōhāriu seat in 1984 as a Labour candidate. 

"While I am naturally extremely disappointed after 33 years of service at this apparent change of feeling, I recognise and understand it, and respect absolutely the electorate's prerogative to feel that way," Mr Dunne said.

Peter Dunne represented Labour from 1984 to 1994, and a number of minor parties since. He has served as a Cabinet minister, as well as the Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health.

Mr Dunne currently holds the Internal Affairs, Associate Health, and Associate Conservation portfolios.

"Ōhāriu has been a very large part of my life. I have lived continuously in the area for more than 40 years. Jennifer and I raised our family in Ōhāriu. It is our home.

"Working for the community and its people over the last 33 years has, at all times, been an absolute delight. I will miss hugely that direct engagement with so many aspects of the life of our community, and I will never forget the huge honour Ōhāriu gave me by electing me, first as a young 30-year-old, and then for the next 10 elections after that.

"But good things cannot last forever. Now it is time for me to put all that behind me, take the election hoardings down, say goodbye to Parliament without bitterness or regret, and get on with life.

"Finally, my thanks and best wishes for the future go to Brett Hudson MP, National's List MP based in Ōhāriu, for the support he has shown me throughout this year."

Bill English gives thanks

Prime Minister Bill English gave thanks to Mr Dunne for "his contribution to strong and stable government" over the past nine years.

"Mr Dunne rang me earlier today to advise me of his decision to retire at this election," Mr English says.

"I respect his decision. Now we have a clear choice in Ōhāriu between National's Brett Hudson and the Labour candidate.

"Brett is an energetic and capable MP who has already made a considerable contribution to Government and has built strong links with voters in the Ohariu electorate.

"In the last three elections National has won the party vote in Ohariu by a significant margin. We will now fight hard to win the seat as well as maximising our party vote in the electorate," Mr English says.