Labour list MP Raymond Huo retiring at election

Raymond Huo.
Raymond Huo. Photo credit: RNZ

Labour list MP Raymond Huo will retire from politics at the upcoming election.

Huo was Labour's first Chinese-born MP, and was elected to Parliament in 2008.

In a statement, he said he had already submitted his nomination form for this election, but lockdown gave him time to consider his political career.

"For too long my family has been secondary and the recent lockdown provided an opportunity for me to reflect on my future.

"Over recent weeks I have spoken to friends, my team, supporters and the community about my intention to retire from Parliament and can now make that decision public", Huo said.

He said he had enjoyed his time in Parliament, especially chairing the Justice Select Committee this term.

Huo recused himself from that role in April last year while it dealt with business relating to an inquiry into foreign interference in New Zealand elections.

It followed criticism of the committee initially blocking China academic Anne-Marie Brady from giving a submission.

Brady has previously named Huo in her research as someone who "works closely with PRC representatives in New Zealand".

At the time, the Prime Minister said Huo was stepping aside as chair based on perception, rather than any actual conflict of interest.

Huo came to New Zealand from Beijing in 1994 and has had various career paths, including as a reporter for the New Zealand Herald and being a partner at Shieff Angland Lawyers.

He served two terms as a list MP between 2008-2014, sitting on various select committees, before returning to Parliament in 2017.

The list MP is an honorary adviser of the Asia New Zealand Foundation and an advisory board member of NZ China Council. He is also known as an author and has contributed as a regular Chinese media commentator on current affairs and legal issues.

Huo said he was proud to be leaving politics with a new Chinese candidate, Naisi Chen, gaining a strong list position in the party.

This follows an announcement by National MP Jiang Yang this month that he would also be retiring at the election.