National MPs Nicky Wagner and David Carter retiring after election, Sarah Dowie will not contest Invercargill

Three National MPs have announced plans to stand down after the September election, including Sarah Dowie who says she will not try to defend her Invercargill seat.

Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner says she will not be contesting her seat either and plans to retire after the election, as will National list MP David Carter.

Dowie, Wagner and Carter join a string of other National MPs who have announced plans to leave Parliament after the election, including Amy Adams, Maggie Barry and Alistair Scott

"Serving the people of Invercargill and wider Southland as their Member of Parliament is one of my proudest achievements. Despite being re-selected as the candidate, I have made the decision not to contest the seat," Dowie said.

The National Party's conservation spokesperson said she would like to spend more time with her children, and admitted leaving Parliament was a difficult decision for her to make.

"I am most proud of my children, Christabel and Hunter. I went to Parliament when Christabel was four and Hunter was two years old," Dowie said.

"What has become clear is that my children are at a pivotal age and I wish to be 100 per cent present to share in their successes... While this was a difficult decision to make, I feel this is the right decision for me and my family."

Wagner, who will have served 15 years in Parliament by the next election, said she plans to work with the new candidate for Christchurch Central to ensure the electorate returns to National.

"I believe National will win the next election because of the talented, hard-working group of MPs and party volunteers, under the strong and focused leadership of Simon Bridges," the 66-year-old said. 

"The past 14 years, 17 including my time as a candidate in 2002 and a Regional Councillor from 2003 to 2007, would not have been possible without the support of my family."

Carter, 67, said he told former Prime Minister Bill English and National leader Simon Bridges immediately after the last election, that this would be his last term.

An MP for National for 26 years, Carter has been the Minister for Agriculture, Primary Industries and Speaker of the House during his time in politics.

"It's been an absolute privilege to be a member of the National caucus for the past 26 years, but now it's time to let a new generation of talented and ambitious colleagues have their turn."

National leader Simon Bridges has thanked Wagner, Carter and Dowie for their service to the National Party and has announced a small reshuffle. 

"As with other outgoing MPs, their portfolios will be distributed to MPs who are planning to stay next term," Bridges said. 

  • Paul Goldsmith takes on State Owned Enterprises
  • Todd McClay takes on Small Business
  • Jacqui Dean takes on Conservation
  • Gerry Brownlee takes on Greater Christchurch Regeneration
  • Alfred Ngaro takes on Disability Issues
  • Anne Tolley takes n Veterans 
  • Jonathan Young takes on Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Tim Macindoe takes on Seniors