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Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner QUITS to spend more time with his family

Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner QUITS to spend more time with his family

The Northern Territory’s chief minister Michael Gunner has announced he’s quitting politics as he wants to spend more time with his family after the birth of his second child. 

The state’s leader said his ‘head’ and ‘heart’ are no longer in the job after he and his wife Kristy O’Brien welcomed their second son, Nash Michael Huckleberry Gunner, on April 29. 

‘There is never a perfect time to step back, walk away, and give others a go. But for me and my family, this feels like the right time,’ he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. 

‘The birth our second child a few weeks ago confirmed something for me. My head and my heart are no longer in the job. They are at home.’

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner (pictured with his wife Kristy O’Brien and son Hudson ‘Huddy’ Thomas Gunner) has announced his resignation

Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison will serve as acting chief minister, with a new parliamentary Labor leader to be determined in coming days.

Ms Manison is strongly favoured to take the position.

Mr Gunner said it had been a ‘privilege’ to serve as chief minister and was one of ‘the honours of my life’.  

‘I was born here, I’ve worked and started a family here, I will die happy here,’ he said.

‘I love the Territory – because it’s a place of potential and possibility for all of us.

‘It doesn’t matter who you are – you can have a crack and make something of yourself. 

‘Thank you giving me a go.’ 

Mr Gunner said he had grappled with the decision for some weeks, but ‘welcoming little Nash into the world sealed the deal’.

The couple’s first son, Hudson, was born in 2020. 

Mr Gunner announced the arrival of the couple's second son in a post on Facebook (pictured)

Mr Gunner announced the arrival of the couple’s second son in a post on Facebook (pictured)

Last month, Mr Gunner shared news of his second child’s arrival in a gushing Facebook post.

‘Yesterday Kristy, Hudson and I were overjoyed to welcome Nash Michael Huckleberry Gunner to the family,’ he wrote.

‘Nash is a big, happy lad at 3.8kgs (or just over 8 pounds) and 48 cm, with very strong lungs and a healthy appetite.

‘Hudson has been very gentle and loving when holding his new brother.’

Mr Gunner, the first Northern Territory-born Chief Minister, grew up in public housing in Alice Springs and Tennant Creek. 

He was first elected to the NT parliament in 2008 and became opposition leader in 2015.

He led Labor to a landslide victory in 2016, becoming the first chief minister to be born in the Territory.

His government was returned easily in 2020, partly on the back of its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic which included tough travel restrictions and widespread vaccine mandates.

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