The news Annette King is quitting politics has been greeted by disappointment from the Rongotai electorate.

King is stepping down as deputy leader of Labour and leaving politics entirely after the next election.

It comes only days after she denied any plans to leave the deputy role, calling the questions "ageist", and accusing journalists of having a vendetta against her.

She has been the MP for Rongotai since 1996, previously serving two terms as the MP for Horowhenua, and one term for Miramar.


The Herald decided to hit the streets in Kilbirnie to find out how her electorate was feeling.

Many were disappointed to lose her, pointing out how well she knew the community.

Elaine Chang said it was a sad change, as King had been a "very good" electorate MP.

"I think everybody in these suburbs liked her.

"But I suppose she thinks it's time to move on. We all have to think about retirement at some time."

Several others pointed out how active King had been in the electorate.

Shane Savage said her help had changed his life.

"She helped me out with my reading and all of that. Made a big difference.

"Bit disappointed she's going, but she's been going for a long time, and done great.

"She's looked after everyone around here."

Many of the people spoken to were Labour voters, and hoped that the change was a necessary sacrifice in order to boost the party's popularity.

Tom Ly said King's departure was sad, but he was most focused on "getting National out".

"I've been here for 20 years now, and I'm seeing one city dominating, while the rest of the country slows down.

"So hopefully a new deputy means Labour could do things better.

"Jacinda Ardern won Mt Albert, so maybe we need someone younger.

"It might get the country moving a bit."

Jacinda Ardern is looking likely to take over as Labour's deputy leader.

Leader Andrew Little will nominate her for the role when caucus meets next Tuesday.

So far, no other Labour MPs have put their hands up for the role.

She's widely viewed as a candidate with good public profile who can help the party.

But Rongotai voters weren't so sure.

The majority of those spoken to said they didn't know who Ardern was, including local Patrick Bowden.

"Jacinda Ardern, I haven't heard of them.

"Is it a man? Oh, a women.

"No, I don't know about her. I only really vote when I feel like it."

Rick Stacey had heard of Ardern, but wasn't so sure about her taking King's former role as deputy.

"I don't think she'll be as good as Annette. They're big shoes to fill.

"I'd prefer David Parker for deputy, he has a lot of policy experience and is calm."

It wasn't all bad news for Ardern.

Out of the Rongotai voters who had heard of her, most gave cautious support.

Maureen Bandenbeld hoped Ardern would boost the party.

"She's quite mature for her age and has good ideas.

"Hard to say if she's ready for deputy, but politics isn't my scene really."

The new Labour deputy will be chosen by caucus on Tuesday, March 7.