Manukau East Labour MP Ross Robertson has announced he will retire from Parliament at the next election.

He said today he will stand for the Otara/Papatoetoe local board election this year but will remain in Parliament until the end of his three year term.

Mr Robertson has been in Parliament for 26 years.

"It is time to have a new MP for Manukau East. I think I can be more effective in local Government,'' he said.


"It is not possible to be on a local board and be an MP, so I will retire from Parliament.

"We need effective local representation to protect our neighbourhoods.''

Mr Robertson said local issues had become more important to him than national politics, but that he had loved being an MP for Papatoetoe.

"I have raised my family here and my grandchildren now go to school here.

"The people of Manukau East have been good to me and have given me one of the biggest majorities in Parliament. For the last 12 years, successive parliaments have elected me to be one of the Speakers."

Mr Robertson will donate any money he makes from being on the local board to a local school until the next election.