I have taken time over the weekend to reflect on my experience over the last several weeks as Leader of the Opposition.
It has become clear to me that I am not the best person to be Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand National Party at this critical time for New Zealand.
It is more important than ever that the New Zealand National Party has a leader who is comfortable in the role.
The role has taken a heavy toll on me personally, and on my family, and this has become untenable from a health perspective.
For that reason I will be stepping down as Leader effective immediately.
I intend to take some time out of the spotlight to spend with family and restore my energy before reconnecting with my community.
I look forward to continuing to serve as a loyal member of the National Party team and Member of Parliament for Bay of Plenty.
I will not be making any further comment.
Please respect the privacy of my family and me.