Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced he will not contest the East Coast Bays seat at next year's election.

Mr McCully said he would retire from Parliament when his time as Foreign Minister ended.

"Quite when that will be, and whether I seek election as a List Member of Parliament in 2017, are decisions for the Prime Minister in the first instance.

"At the end of this term I will have served as the local Member of Parliament for 30 years. This is the right time for me to announce my intentions and clear the way for an orderly succession process."


Mr McCully informed his East Coast Bays electorate AGM of his decision last night. He has been MP for East Coast Bays since 1987.

He said his stepping down was not related to his medical leave late last year.

"It is a real privilege to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs. But it is an office that does not always sit easily with the role of a constituency MP."

Mr McCully regained his ministerial warrant in January after two-and-a-half months off work including a spell in North Shore Hospital's intensive care unit and contracting a superbug.

He had private surgery in November to remove a tumour from his pancreas, which turned out to be benign. He was rushed to North Shore hospital in an ambulance a week later when he contracted an infection and was admitted to the ICU. He then contracted the potentially deadly MRSA superbug.

Further infections about a week later were administered under a third general anesthetic.

Mr McCully has had a punishing travel schedule in the past few years, particularly campaigning successfully for a seat on the Security Council.

Murray McCully

• Has been an MP since 1987.

• A lawyer, he served in cabinet in the Bolger-Shipley administrations, and in the Key Government.

• He has attracted his share of controversy and survived some political scrapes, most recently the row over the Saudi sheep deal.

• In the 2015 New Year honours he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to foreign policy.