National Party Leader Simon Bridges has thanked retiring MP Chris Finlayson for his immense contribution to New Zealand and the National Party, following his announcement today he will leave Parliament in January.

“Chris Finlayson has been one of Parliament’s smartest MPs, keenest legal minds and an incredibly successful Minister. He will be a big loss to the National Caucus.

“He helped forge a new era in Crown-Maori relations, negotiating more than 60 Treaty of Waitangi settlements over his nine years as Minister.

“Chris’s immense understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi, his ambition to ensure full and final settlements and use of legal innovations have helped set New Zealand up for a post-settlement future.

“During his career he also oversaw a rewrite of New Zealand’s security and intelligence legislation, reformed the arts sector and repealed the divisive Foreshore and Seabed Act, replacing it with the Marine and Coastal Area Act which restored the common law customary rights removed by the previous Government.

“Chris has been a great and often forthright colleague whose counsel was sought regularly by colleagues and by successive National Party Prime Ministers and Leaders, including myself.

“I am sorry to see him announce his resignation from Parliament but am sure he will go on to have a successful career post-politics.”

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