John Key in shock resignation

by Maya Breen05 Dec 2016
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has announced his resignation at a press conference today.

Key informed his Cabinet of his decision this morning and said, "This is the hardest decision I've ever made".

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Bill English is expected to take over the Prime Minister's role while Steven Joyce is expected to step into the finance role.

The Herald reported that Key's wife had asked him to resign as Prime Minister.

"Being leader of both the party and the country has been an incredible experience," Key said. "Throughout these years I've given everything to this job, the job that I cherish and for the country I love.

"All of this has come as quite some sacrifice for the people who are dearest to me - my family. For my wife Bronagh, there have been many nights where she was alone, many occasions that were important to her that I simply couldn't attend.

"My daughter Stephie and my son Max have transitioned from teenagers to young adults while coping with an extraordinary level of intrusion and pressure because of their father’s job."

Key said his time as Prime Minister "has, for me, been the most remarkable, satisfying and exciting time of my life" but he doesn't have any plans on what he'll do next. "I'm a commercial guy - I'm not looking for any postings overseas.

"It'll be a slightly quieter life."

The National Party caucus will decide on a new party leader and Prime Minster on December 12.

Key has been the leader of the National party since 2006 and said, "I absolutely believe we can win the next election" but for him "this feels the right time to go".

"I have always believed that the test of a good Prime Minister is that he or she leaves the country in better shape than they found it. Over time, others will judge whether I have done that. 

"All I can say is that I gave it everything I had. I have left nothing in the tank."

According to Bloomberg, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters he had sent Key a short note reading: “Say it ain’t so bro.”

“New Zealand has never been better situated than it is today,” Turnbull told reporters. “That is due to the outstanding leadership that John has shown.”

ASB Bank chief economist Nick Tuffley, also commented: “There is now greater uncertainty over economic policy for the next parliamentary term, mainly through greater uncertainty over which parties will form government.

“Whether the probability of a change in government is increased or reduced will depend on the incoming prime minister.”

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