21 July 2024

Two National MPs, incl. David Bennett announce retirement

National Party’s list MPs, David Bennett and Ian McKelvie have decided to retire and not to stand in the 2023 general election.

Bennett – who is a house-hold name in Hamilton having been the longest serving MP from the city, has decided to “embark on a new stage of life”.

David Bennett has represented Hamilton East from 2005 to 2020. He is currently the party’s spokesperson for Economic & Regional Development. In the previous National government, David held ministerial portfolios including Food Safety, Veterans Affairs, Racing and Associate Transport.

McKelvie who has also decided to stand down, has represented Rangitīkei in Parliament since 2011, is the party’s spokesperson for seniors, fishing and racing.

David Bennett (L) & Ian McKelvie are standing down at next election

Announcing his intention to stand down this morning, David Bennett has expressed his keenness to spend “more time with family” after having seen the success of some of his dream projects for the city.

“I have loved representing the people of Hamilton since 2005…I came in with a focus of delivering infrastructure so Hamilton can take advantage of its geographical proximity in the golden triangle of growth of population, economy and industry for New Zealand,” Bennett says.

He felt pride where the city has reached today.

“Backing up this infrastructure with new schools, hospital rebuilds, and the first fibre network has meant Hamilton has really come of age in the almost two decades I’ve spent advocating for the city and its people. Hamilton is a fantastic place to live and do business, with a diverse range of community members. I’m proud to step down at a time when the area is in an exciting space and full of potential.

“It was an honour to serve as a Minister in the last National Government, as well as perform various select committee roles during my time in Parliament, including promoting changes to DIRA to enable open exit but limited entry to Fonterra.

“It is now time for me to embark on a new stage of life and I am looking forward to spending more time with family and in the farming sector.


National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has thanked David Bennett and Ian McKelvie for their dedicated service to their electorates, to the National Party and to New Zealand.

“Both David and Ian have been absolute stalwarts for their local communities, and have worked incredibly hard to give their constituents a voice in Wellington.”

Luxon commended the contribution of these two MPs over the years and their “commitment and service to the people of New Zealand.”

“(David Bennett) has been a vocal supporter of the region, both within Caucus and externally. He was one of the key proponents of National’s commitment to build the Waikato Expressway – now a vital piece of infrastructure for the region,” Christopher Luxon said in a statement.

Being a true Nationalist, David Bennett has expressed full faith in the leadership of Christopher Luxon.

“I am pleased to be part of the current National team, and I know Christopher Luxon will lead a great National Government. I will continue to advocate for vital infrastructure and the people of Hamilton until the next election.”


  1. His decision is likely to indirectly help Labour strengthen their hold. Unfortunate for Hamiltonians.

  2. Maybe a wise decision – time for a new challenger to step in to wrest city back to National fold

  3. David has been a very humble candidate. We will miss him. His decision is shocking to us but we honour his decision and family commitments

  4. Bennett has had his time, we need New blood in the Nat Party. I don’t particularly think he can take us to where we need in the National party

Comments are welcome

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