Sam Lotu-liga steps away from politics
Parliamentary duties kept National’s Sam Lotu-liga away from his young family for 170 days last year.
Which is why the MP for Maungakiekie has decided to step away from politics before next year’s general election.
Lotu-Iiga said he made the decision to retire earlier this month after 10 years in politics, both on a local and national level, and was planning to announce it before John Key’s shock resignation. He said the job had been ‘‘immensely challenging’’ and it’s one that is ‘‘taxing on families and your personal relationships’’.
‘‘I came to the final conclusion that I couldn’t commit to another four years,’’ he said.
Lotu-liga said he would be exploring new opportunities once he steps down but was first looking forward to being with his wife Jules and children Hope, 6, and Luka, 10 months old.
He said his family was very happy with his decision and he looked forward to changing nappies and being a dad.
The former Corrections Minister faced criticism following allegations of fight clubs at Mt Eden prison which led to Corrections taking over from private prison operator, Serco. The fallout was widely believed to be behind his demotion from his role as Corrections Minister last year. Following a reshuffle, Lotu-Iiga picked up Local Government, Associate Health, Ethnic Communities and Pacific Peoples Ministerial portfolios.
The Onehunga resident said he was grateful to serve the people of Maungakiekie and had received a lot of support since he announced he was stepping down.
‘‘I’m not going to miss it because I’m still going to be part of the community.’’
He said a highlight of his time
Lotu-liga said he was looking forward to getting back some of his privacy.
‘‘One of the big costs of public service is you lose a lot of your privacy,’’ he said. ‘‘I’d be stopped at school fairs, supermarkets and walking down the road with my family.’’
National MP Sam Lotu-liga, his wife Jules and children Hope, 6, and Luka, 10 months old.