Newly elected Labour Tukituki MP Anna Lorck has resigned from the Hawke's Bay District Health Board to focus on her new role in Parliament.
Lorck, who won the electorate by 772 votes from National's Lawrence Yule this month, handed her resignation to the minister of health late last week after being elected to the Hawke's Bay DHB in 2019.
She said the decision to step down from the board is primarily to give 100 per cent commitment to her new role.
"The year has given me a real insight into the needs and the challenges facing our community and enabled me the opportunity to develop strong working relationships with fellow board members, staff and management," she said.
"That year will forever shape me as a local MP in this new role and seeing it from the inside will enable me to be a better MP in the area of health on a local level."
Lorck said while no longer a member of the HBDHB, health will remain her focus.
"Going forward, I want to see the completion of theatre eight as soon as possible, as well as the approval of the interventional cardiology business case and the cancer services centre progressed," she said.
"I'd like to see those prioritised and moved at pace, and I'll be advocating very strongly on those three areas."
The MP said the approval of the interventional cardiology business case would enable people to have life-saving heart procedures done in Hawke's Bay, instead of travelling outside the region.
Away from health, Lorck said housing, water security and capitalising on the region's response to Covid-19 are her top priorities.
"Hawke's Bay is in a good position to build on their response to Covid-19 within their primary sector industries, exporting and trade," she said.
"It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. I recently finished my second caucus meeting, but now my priorities are to focus on being a truly local MP."
A HBDHB spokeswoman said board members are paid an annual fee of $23,171 per annum.
"The chair and deputy chair receive a higher fee for the extra workload they are required to undertake," she said.
The current MP salary sits at $147,565.
After two failed attempts to win Tukituki for Labour, Lorck received 16,427 of the 36,414 votes cast in the 2020 election. Yule received 15,655.
Lorck is also the first Central Hawke's Bay College student to become an MP.
Labour also dominated the party vote - 47.1 per cent - in the traditionally blue electorate.