National Party Leader Simon Bridges has thanked retiring MP Jonathan Coleman for his many years of dedication and service to the National Party and New Zealand, and wishes him and his family all the best for the future.
“Jonathan has had a long and distinguished career in politics, including 13 years as MP for Northcote and nine as a Minister.
“He has been a diligent and committed colleague who has handled a range of challenging portfolios with a focus on getting results.
“As Immigration Minister he focussed policy on importing skills and capital while fundamentally reconfiguring the immigration network.
“As State Services Minister he oversaw legislation that implemented the biggest changes to public service operation in a generation.
“During his time as Defence Minister, New Zealand’s defence relationship with the U.S. continued to grow closer and Dr Coleman oversaw the withdrawal of New Zealand troops from three major deployments - Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.
“At the same time he drove the reconfiguration of NZDF to support New Zealand’s future foreign policy intentions.
“As Associate Finance Minister he was involved in the delivery of three very successful Budgets.
“And finally as Health Minister, Dr Coleman initiated and drove the New Zealand Health Strategy - the blueprint for the future of New Zealand health services - while delivering a continued increase in access to clinical services across the board.
“My colleagues and I wish Jonathan and his family the very best for this new phase of their lives.
“The National Party will now focus on earning the right to continue to represent the people of Northcote.
“I am confident that the new National Party candidate will show they have a real understanding of that community’s aspirations and a commitment to working with local people to achieve them.
“They will be backed by a strong and focused National Party committed to representing the interests of all New Zealanders. We will continue to develop new plans and policies to build on New Zealand’s strong recent progress and take us positively into the 2020s,” Mr Bridges says.
Dr Coleman’s resignation date will be determined in the next few days.