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Kedgley sprints to the 2011 finish line

Green MP Sue Kedgley confirmed today that she will not stand at the next election, but promised a sprint to the finish line as she continues to campaign for food safety, animal welfare and aged care.

"There's lots of unfinished business, so my foot will be firmly on the accelerator between now and the election," Ms Kedgley said.

"My Animal Welfare amendment bill will be debated in Parliament shortly, our report on the state of the aged care will be released next month, and I will be releasing a member's bill calling for a Supermarket Code of Conduct."

Ms Kedgley announced her decision today as the Green Party's Wellington Central electorate is in the process of selecting its candidate for 2011.

The four-term MP said she was pleased she had been able to put food, animal welfare and natural health issues on the political agenda.

"When I came into Parliament, MPs treated these issues with derision, so I am pleased that they are now taken seriously, and are firmly on the political agenda.

"But even after a decade of campaigning and huge public support, and a 37,000-signature petition to Parliament, consumers are still denied their right to know where food comes from, and hundreds of thousands of pigs and hens spend most of their lives in cages, in distressingly cruel conditions.

"The lack of progress on issues which are strongly supported by ordinary New Zealanders, is testimony to the undue influence that powerful special interests and lobbyists have over our Parliament, and how unwilling National and Labour are to get offside with them."

Ms Kedgley said she was pleased her Flexible Working Hours bill had become law; that she had played an active part in saving the Overlander train service and trolley buses in Wellington, in raising awareness of food and animal welfare issues, and in helping to stop the growing of GE crops in New Zealand.

Other achievements include securing funding for an Organics Advisory Service, a national Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance system, and an Integrated Healthcare Unit within the Ministry of Health; chairing Parliament's Health select committee , initiating select committee inquiries into ambulance services, obesity and type 2 diabetes, and the regulation of natural health products, and helping defeat legislation that would have regulated natural health products through a draconian Australian regime in which New Zealanders had little say.

Ms Kedgley said she would continue to pursue her interests when she left Parliament and was delighted that other Green MPs would continue to work on issues she had championed.

"Kevin Hague is equally passionate about animal welfare, for example, and Gareth Hughes has an active interest in food issues."

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