Adams Resigns

Shadow finance spokesperson Amy Adams has announced her retirement at the next election, citing the need to spend more time with her family, saying that she “wants her life back”.

Adams, who was the Justice Minister in the last government, was shadow attorney general and was awarded the Finance portfolio when Steven Joyce resigned. It has to be said that she struggled with this role, failing to really grasp the essentials of the portfolio, and was a poor shadow finance spokesperson as a result. 

However, it is more likely that Adams saw her leadership hopes dissipate over the last few months. Having put her name forward as leader of the National party, and then falling short to Simon Bridges, she probably has to face up to the fact that her career is now on a downward slide. 

I have to say that today I thought she looked very tired. Maybe the toll of political life is starting to become too much for her.

She told media her decision had nothing to do with whether or not she thought National could win the next election, but instead came as she reassessed whether she could give her all to the job going forwards.
“When I started my job my kids were and 8 and 10. Now my son is graduating university next year and my daughter is there too, and it just makes you think about the life you want to lead,” Adams said.

I do find this a bit strange. Once your children are at university, you are much freer than you were when they were at school. If they were younger, I could understand it. Clearly, she is not leaving ‘for family reasons’. I suspect, like Alistair Scott, ‘the private sector beckons’.

This is good news for National, which needs to move forward and regenerate, and bring on some of their younger MPs into more senior positions. It has been clear since the last election that Adams was no longer a star performer, and her decision today solves some problems for the party.

Paul Goldsmith takes over the finance role, Tim McIndoe is the new Shadow Attorney-General, and Chris Bishop takes over transport… some young guns stepping into more senior roles. At 48, Adams is not old exactly, but she does seem to have lost her enthusiasm… a death knell for any politician.

Adams became tearful at times when describing how much she had missed her family during her twelve years in Parliament and an earlier “frenetic” career in law.
“It’s been nearly 30 years at this pace, and I’m tired,” Adams said.
She said the decision was made several months ago and she had discussed it with Bridges soon after, who was supportive. Caucus had been told on Tuesday morning.
“I have every confidence in the National Party under Simon Bridges leadership and their prospects for the 2020 election.  My decision is purely about what is right for me and the life I want to lead going forward,” Adams said.
She said she genuinely felt like she could be the finance minister after the next election but still wanted to step down.


I don’t think so, Amy, and I mean no offence. Finance ministers need to have some real knowledge and speciality. Grant Robertson is not a good example, but then again, there is no one in the current government with any knowledge of economics or fiscal management. That doesn’t mean you would have been a good finance minister. It just means he is not a good one.

Amy Adams’s resignation means there are opportunities for some of the younger MPs to come up through the ranks, which is what National needs. It has nothing to do with the shadow of Christopher Luxon, as I heard on Newstalk ZB today. Luxon won’t make it into parliament until late next year at the earliest. A lot can happen in that time.

Thank you for your contribution, Amy Adams. And thank you for recognising it is time to move on. Too many politicians stay beyond their use-by date. Good on you for moving on before that.