Election 2023 - Michael Woodhouse out, multiple MPs plummet in National Party's new election list

National has announced its list of candidates for the upcoming election, calling it a "strong team" that's "heavy on new talent".

But it's a list without one prominent name - long-serving MP Michael Woodhouse, who requested to withdraw.

Woodhouse broke the news on Facebook just minutes before leader Christopher Luxon unveiled the list at a press conference on Saturday.

"Hi everyone, in a few minutes the National Party list for the 2023 election will be announced. My name won't be on it," Woodhouse wrote.

"It was clear from the ranking offered that I was not part of the leadership's thinking regarding Ministerial positions, so I feel the best thing to do is to stand aside and allow a fresher face into the caucus from the list.

"I do so somewhat sad about the process of my departure from political life but overwhelmingly grateful to have been able to serve the people in the Party I love for the past fifteen years. No bitterness, just fond memories and fantastic friendships made."

Speaking at National's standup on Saturday, Luxon said he had spoken to Woodhouse and the decision to withdraw was "ultimately his decision" - and made that very day.

"I think Michael has built a fantastic Parliamentary career and clearly he has done it all in his political career over 15 years. He has been a senior minister in the Key-English Governments holding really important portfolios, he's played a really important role in our team in Opposition," he said.

Luxon wouldn't be drawn if he wouldn't have offered him a ministerial position after the election.

Woodhouse is National's Shadow Leader of the House and also its spokesperson for economic development, SOEs, sport & recreation. He was removed from his role as finance spokesperson by Luxon in 2021.

He will still continue to campaign for a seat in Dunedin, however as it's considered a safe Labour seat he's unlikely to make it back in.

Meanwhile there have also been big falls for Stuart Smith, Scott Simpson, Joseph Mooney, Simon O'Connor, and Tim van de Molen.

They all hold relatively safe seats, so are expected to return. O'Connor faces a challenge from ACT's Brooke van Velden in Tamaki, likely making it a more fierce competition than usual. 

Smith and Simpson are both currently part of Luxon's top 20. 

On the way up however are several fresh faces - businesswoman and recent Harvard Kennedy School graduate Nancy Lu, farmer and exporter Suze Redmayne, Hawke's Bay advocate Katie Nimon and horticulture executive Catherine Wedd. They take out slots 20-23 in the list, which puts them ahead of current MPs Tama Potaka, Maureen Pugh and Harete Hipango.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll results had National on 36.6 percent - which would give it 47 seats.