National's Jonathan Coleman to quit politics for new role as health company CEO

Source: 1News

National Party Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman is quitting politics to take up a role as the CEO of a health care company.

Mr Coleman, 51, said today he will step down and take on a new role as CEO of Acurity Health Group by April 30.

Acurity Health is a private health care company which owns and operates Bowen Hospital, Royston Hospital and Wakefield Hospital.

Mr Coleman was first elected in September of 2005 and is the current Health and Sport/Recreation spokesperson for National.

ONN 1 News at 6 promo image

He has formerly held minsiterial portfolios in Broadcasting, Defence, Finance, Health, Immigration, Sport and Recreation, State Services and Tourism.

In a statement, Mr Coleman said he was thankful for his time in parliament.

"It's been a huge privilege to serve as a Member of Parliament for the past 13 years, nine of them as a Cabinet Minister.

"I have greatly enjoyed my time as a Member of Parliament, and am proud of the work I've been involved in, both as a Minister and as the MP for Northcote.

"I especially wish to thank the people of the Northcote electorate for their support over those years.

"I also feel fortunate to have had a long and stimulating career as a Minister and to have worked closely with two great Prime Ministers in Sir John Key and Bill English.

"I was not looking to leave Parliament, but received an unsolicited approach from Acurity. It's a very exciting opportunity that utilises my skills and draws on my background both outside and inside Parliament.

"It is clear to me that it is the right time to embrace this unique offer as I look to a future beyond politics.

"It's also a great chance for the National Party to bring strong new talent into the team as the party builds towards the 2020 election in two and a half years.

"I wish to acknowledge and thank Simon Bridges and wish him and my caucus colleagues well on their path back to the Treasury benches."

National Party leader Simon Bridges congratulated Mr Coleman on his new role, and said he had been a valuable asset to the party.

"My colleagues and I wish Jonathan and his family the very best for this new phase of their lives," Mr Bridges said in a statement.

"The National Party will now focus on earning the right to continue to represent the people of Northcote".

A by-election will now be triggered in the Northcote electorate, and the runner up in the 2017 elections was Labour's Shanan Halbert.

Mr Coleman said there are people in National he thinks would do well there, but it's not his place to recommend anyone.

"That is a party issue and the reality is when you're a retiring member of parliament you've just got to stand back - you can't actually get actively involved and reach into the selection and engineer things," he said.