Cosgrove to stand down

Remember Clayton Cosgrove? He used to be MP for Waimakariri, first winning the seat in 1999, and became a Labour minister in the Clark government.

Cosgrove is only 46 but seems to be past his best by date as an MP.

This is what he looked like whenever this party website photo was taken:

0-mp-profile

This was him giving his latest speech in Parliament on 4 April 2016:

Cosgrove20160405

He lost Waimakariri in 2011 and stood again in 2014, virtually hiding the fact that he was standing as a Labour candidate and implying he was still MP for the electorate, but failed again.

But he is still an MP thanks to his high enough ranking on the Labour list. But he has hardly been seen or heard of for the last few years, since the 2014 election in particular.

He has seemed like the MP when you don’t want to be an MP.

And he has just announced that he doesn’t want to continue to be an MP and will stand down before or by next year’s election.

Stuff: Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove will not seek re-election in 2017

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove is to stand down at – or before – the next election.

The list MP – who had held the Waimakariri seat for four terms – said it was not a decision he made lightly. He had discussed it with his leader Andrew Little,”who understands this is about new challenges and opportunities for me”.

Cosgrove, 46, said he was elected when he was 30 and now was the right time to take the next step in his career.

“Before entering politics I held senior executive positions in business both in New Zealand and Australia, and so I feel extremely fortunate to have gained so much experience in both the private and public sector,” he said.

This is good news of sorts for Labour, who badly need dead wood out and replaced by dynamic new MPs.

Cosgrove is going voluntarily. It’s now up to Labour to come up with a suitable replacement.

Cosgrove is currently ranked 18 in Labour’s lineup.

On the Labour website: Latest from Clayton Cosgrove

That’s not very prolific.