COMMENT:

Maggie Barry quitting her job in politics and wanting her actual life back is not an unusual story.

Politics is a job you can only do for so long before your life flashes before you - and you realise you need to actually, as Meghan Markle put it, thrive, not just survive.

Politics is brutal and time-consuming and it doesn't surprise me people eventually bail out of it. What does surprise me is the people who stay for so long: the lifers.
They must be made of different stuff to regular people.

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But anyway back to Barry. The only thing that surprised me about this was that she is yet another National MP to jump ship before the 2020 election.

Remember we've already had Amy Adams, Alistair Scott and Nathan Guy depart.

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Adams and Guy were obviously a bigger loss than Scott, but this is MP number four now to say sayonara to Simon Bridges and wander off for greener pastures.

Yes you could argue gaining Christopher Luxon is a big bonus for the National Party, but they won't want to be losing too many more senior noisemakers.

And you certainly don't want to lose any more women. A party with a reputation for being pale, male and stale, needs women.

And these women were both good strong advocates for their party, robust political figures and women with good cut through. They were good talkers, articulate, and looked like they wouldn't be pushed around.

I've had both Adams and Barry on my Newstalk ZB radio show over the past two years: they're both on-message, good speakers, and always called a spade a spade. They were the kind of women you'd want on your team if you were Simon Bridges.

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And speaking of Simon, he was asked at the time Adams, Scott and then Guy quit, if he was expecting to lose any more MPs. To be fair to him he did point out he didn't have a crystal ball, but he also said he didn't expect to lose anyone else. Ouch.

So is this it? Or are there more to come?

Since National lost in 2017, a total of 10 MPs have left Parliament.

Fresh blood - especially the likes of Luxon is good - but I personally don't think National can afford to shed any more women.