David Cunliffe not standing in next election

(Simon Wong / Newshub.)
(Simon Wong / Newshub.)

Former Labour Party leader David Cunliffe won't be seeking re-election at the 2017 general election.

David Cunliffe has been the MP for New Lynn for around 17 years having been elected to the seat in 1999.

He will pursue a new management consulting career at Auckland-based company Stakeholder Strategies.

Party leader Andrew Little is wishing Mr Cunliffe well for the future.

"He is joining a leading strategy and organisation consulting firm that provides advice on commercial, economic and environmental issues," he says.

Mr Cunliffe was a cabinet minister in the fifth Labour Government but always held leadership ambitions which would prove to be his biggest challenges.

David Cunliffe not standing in next election

His first unsuccessful bid for the leadership role came in 2011 with running mate Nanaia Mahuta.

It was second time lucky though as he beat rivals Shane Jones and Grant Robertson for the top job in 2013 under a new leadership selection process which involved party members and affiliated unions.

But a crushing result at the 2014 General Election saw members within the Labour Party caucus move quickly to oust him.

It was nothing new for Cunliffe who had long been the centre of the "ABC" campaign from caucus members - "Anyone But Cunliffe". 

Following the appointment of Mr Little as leader, the assault continued on Mr Cunliffe who was dropped several places down the party list in a reshuffle and excluded from the shadow cabinet.

"Mr Cunliffe intends to step down at some point next year to start his new role, and has expressed a desire to avoid triggering a by-election," Mr Little said.