Gosche bows out as MP

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

MARK GOSCHE is look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a private life.

The MP for Maun­gakiekie is re­tir­ing af­ter four terms in par­lia­ment to spend more time with fam­ily.

“I’m ac­tu­ally quite look­ing for­ward to a rea­son­ably nor­mal sort of ex­is­tence, where you’re not a pub­lic fig­ure and can have a week­end or a night off,” he says.

“I’ve been in pub­lic life for a long time and I’m de­sirous of not be­ing in pub­lic life at the mo­ment.”

Ear­lier this year Mr Gosche an­nounced he wouldn’t re-stand for the Maun­gakiekie seat, but re­mained on the Labour list.

Last week he with­drew as a list can­di­date, say­ing it was time to pur­sue other op­tions.

Mr Gosche says work­ing in Auck­land will al­low him to fo­cus on fam­ily and car­ing for his wife, who was dis­abled af­ter a brain hae­m­or­rhage six years ago.

The cou­ple’s adult son also died sud­denly last year.

“It’s not the sort of thing you ex­pect when you start your po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, that you’re go­ing to get struck with per­sonal tragedies, but that’s the re­al­ity of life,” he says.

“I’ve had a good 12 years in par­lia­ment and done some re­ward­ing things.”

Mr Gosche was first elected as a list can­di­date in 1996, and won the Maun­gakiekie seat from Na­tional MP Belinda Ver­non in 1999.

He has served as min­is­ter of Hous­ing, Trans­port, Pa­cific Is­land Af­fairs, Cor­rec­tions and Rac­ing, and was the first per­son of Pa­cific Is­land de­scent to be a mem­ber of cabi­net.

Mr Gosche says he has no firm plans on his fu­ture ca­reer.

“I’ve been com­mit­ted to be- ing an MP and had my name on the list so I haven’t started to ar­range my thoughts around what I’d do next.”

But he says he’ll re­main in­volved in pol­i­tics, and will give his sup­port to Labour’s new Maun­gakiekie can­di­date, union sec­re­tary Carol Beau­mont.

Prime min­is­ter

He­len Clark says Mr Gosche’s de­ci­sion to re­tire for fam­ily rea­sons is un­der­stand­able.

“Mark Gosche has been a tremen­dous lo­cal Labour MP and made a very good con­tri­bu­tion as a min­is­ter in cabi­net.

“I wish him all the best for life be­yond par­lia­ment,” Miss Clark says.

Photo: FIONA GOODALL

New start: Maun­gakiekie MP Mark Gosche is re­tir­ing from pol­i­tics to fo­cus on fam­ily.

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