National's pre-election clear-out continues as Sarah Dowie, David Carter and Nicky Wagner say they won't stand

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

National MPs Sarah Dowie, David Carter and Nicky Wagner are leaving Parliament at the upcoming election. 

All three announced their retirement from politics today. 

Mr Carter was Speaker of the House from 2013 to 2017, having stepped in to politics 26-years-ago in 1994.  

"Now it’s time to let a new generation of talented and ambitious colleagues have their turn," he said. 

Mr Carter took a swipe at Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, saying he "endured three robust court battles with Winston Peters" and called him "untrustworthy and difficult" to work with. 

"I am in full support of Simon Bridges’ decision to have nothing to do with New Zealand First and its leadership after the election."

Mrs Wagner was an MP from 2005, representing Christchurch Central from 2011 to 2017. 

"After 15 years, I have decided it’s time for me to step aside and support a new candidate to win Christchurch Central," she said. 

"Christchurch is my home, I have lived here my whole life, raised a family in the central city and started several businesses, and I look forward to playing a role in its future that involves business and enterprise."

Ms Dowie has been in Parliament from 2014 for the Invercargill electorate. 

"What has become clear is that my children are at a pivotal age and I wish to be 100 per cent present to share in their successes," Ms Dowie said. 

"While this was a difficult decision to make, I feel this is the right decision for me and my family."

Last year, Ms Dowie was cleared after a police investigation over a text message sent to then-National MP Jami-Lee Ross.

Police launched an investigation after a text message was sent last year by Ms Dowie saying Mr Ross "deserved to die".

Mr Ross was at the time was a senior member of the National Party but infamously fell out with Mr Bridges and is now an independent MP.

The trio follow fellow National Party MPs Maggie Barry, Nathan Guy, Amy Adams and Alastair Scott who are also departing at this year's election. 

National Party leader Simon Bridges praised the outgoing MPs, calling Mr Carter "one of the most competent and fair Speaker’s we’ve had at Parliament, Nicky was a hardworking Minister who fought for our most vulnerable and Sarah has been a valuable and passionate advocate for conservation in Government and Opposition". 

He announced a reshuffle for his caucus, distributing the MPs' portfolios. 

"Paul Goldsmith will take over the State Owned Enterprises portfolio, Todd McClay will become our Small Business spokesperson, while Jacqui Dean takes on Conservation.

"Gerry Brownlee picks up Greater Christchurch Regeneration – following on from the work he did as Minister, Alfred Ngaro will take on the Disability Issues portfolio, and Anne Tolley will become our spokesperson for Veterans. Jonathan Young will become our spokesperson for Arts Culture and Heritage and Tim Macindoe will take over the Seniors portfolio."