Labour MP Mark Gosche to quit politics

Labour MP Mark Gosche announced today he was retiring from politics and would not stand at the next election.

The former cabinet minister has been in Parliament for 12 years and represents the Maungakiekie electorate.

Earlier this year he said he would not stand as an electorate candidate in this year's election, and Carol Beaumont has been chosen as Labour's candidate for the seat.

Mr Gosche said he was leaving Parliament so he could spend more time with his family and pursue other employment options.

"I had the opportunity to serve as Minister of Housing, Transport. Pacific Island Affairs, Corrections and Racing, and served on select committees including transport and industrial relations, finance and expenditure, government administration and officers of Parliament," he said.

"I have been proud to represent the people of Maungakiekie, and particularly pleased to be the first person of Pacific Island descent to be a member of Cabinet."

Mr Gosche has suffered personal tragedies during his time as an MP.

He resigned from the Cabinet in May 2003 to look after his seriously ill wife, who suffered a brain haemorrhage.

His son Christian died last December.

"I will look to new challenges in the future in work which will reflect my strong commitment to people and community," he said today.

- NZPA

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