Prime Minister John Key steps down

In a shock announcement Prime Minister John Key says he's resigning.

Key says he will support Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English if he puts his name forward to be National Party leader.

He says there is no way he could have served out a full fourth term, and he didn't want to mislead the public. 

The New Zealand dollar dropped about 20 basis points on the news.

"A good leader knows when to go and this is the time to go," Key says.

"I'm not a career politician. I came to do a job. I don't need to be in front of the camera."

Key says he feels he's going out on top with the National Party well funded, with membership high and polling 50%.

Key will step down on December 12, when a new leader will be selected. English says he'll decide on Tuesday whether to seek the job.

Here's Key's full statement

Just a few days ago I marked the anniversary of my eighth year as Prime Minister and my tenth as leader of the National Party. 

Such an occasion seems a fitting time to not only take stock of the past 10 years, but to look forward. 

Being leader of both the party and the country has been an incredible experience. 

Along with my Cabinet and caucus colleagues, we steered the country through the global financial crisis which was arguably the worst recession since the Great Depression. 

We have stood with Christchurch in the wake of the earthquakes - the greatest natural disaster to hit our country since 1931, and we have mourned the victims of the Pike River Mine disaster; one of the saddest days our small nation has endured in recent times. 

During my time as Prime Minister the Government has positioned New Zealand so that our economy could harness the opportunities offered by a burgeoning Asia and a more connected world. 

Reforms have been far reaching, including substantial changes to our tax, welfare, planning and labour laws, not to mention the successful partial sell-down of state companies, the considerable overhaul of our Justice, Security and Corrections agencies and, of course, trade liberalisation. 

Ten years since I first became leader of the National Party, I believe we can look back on advanced race relations and real momentum in the Treaty settlement programme. 

We also have a more confident, outward-looking and multi-cultural New Zealand that competes and succeeds on the world stage.

Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love. All of this has come at quite some sacrifice for the people who are dearest to me - my family. 

For my wife Bronagh, there have been many nights and weekends spent alone, many occasions that were important to her that I simply could not 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. 

I thank them for their tolerance. Bronagh and I are immensely proud of them. My family has also had remarkable opportunities and experiences as we have met people and visited places from one end of our country to the other. 

We have celebrated alongside fellow Kiwis in their happiest times, and wept with them in their saddest. 

Simply put, it has, for me, been the most remarkable, satisfying and exciting time of my life. 

But despite the amazing career I have had in politics, I have never seen myself as a career politician. I have certainly never wanted my success in politics to be measured by how long I spent in Parliament. 

The National Party is in great shape. Bill English has told me that in all his years here, ours is the most cohesive Cabinet he has seen. And I personally am humbled and gratified that after eight years as Prime Minister, my personal support from the public remains high. 

I absolutely believe we can win the next election. 

But I do not believe that, if you asked me if I was committed to serving out a fourth term, that I could look the public in the eye and say yes. 

And more than anything else in my time here, I have tried to be straight and true with New Zealanders. 

I also believe that leadership change, for the right reasons and handled well, is good for a political party. 

For all these reasons, I today told my Cabinet and caucus colleagues of my decision to step down as Leader of the National Party and as Prime Minister. 

It is my expectation that on Monday 12 December National MPs will hold a special caucus meeting to select a new leader and later that day I will tender my resignation to the Governor-General. 

This has been the hardest decision I have ever made and I do not know what I will do next. 

But for me this feels the right time to go. 

It gives the Cabinet and caucus plenty of time to settle in with a new leader before heading into the next election with a proud record of strong economic management, a commitment to the most vulnerable in our society and lots of ideas to keep lifting New Zealanders up in the world. 

It would be easy to say I have made this decision solely to rediscover the personal and family life I once had, and that is a factor, but it is one among many. 

Over the years I have observed many leaders who, in a similar position, fail to take this step. 

I can understand why. It is a hard job to leave. 

But, for me and the National Party, this is a good time to go. Party membership is high and the party is well-funded. The caucus is talented and eager to serve, and one of the achievements of which I am proud is having built with my colleagues a Cabinet team that is capable, committed and cohesive. 

That is a great legacy for National’s next leader. 

Just as I grasped the challenge of leadership so will a new leader. 

Inevitably they will bring their own personality, emphasis and priorities to the role. 

This is part of the process that allows a long-serving government to keep delivering. 

For my part I am confident the caucus has a number of individuals who would make a fine future PM. 

It is inevitable I will be asked who I will vote for at the caucus meeting on December 12. 

Whoever the caucus elects will have my unwavering support, but if Bill English puts his name forward then I will vote for him. 

For 10 years now Bill and I have worked as a team. I have witnessed first-hand his leadership style, his capacity for work, his grasp of the economy, his commitment to change and, most of all, his decency as a husband, as a father, as a friend, a colleague and as a politician. 

Bill has, I believe, grown a great deal since he was last Party leader. Fifteen years on he has more experience and the party and political cycles are quite different. 

I believe that National, under Bill’s leadership, would win the election in 2017. This is not the time to thank all of those who have made the past 10 years possible for me. 

But nor can I stand here without acknowledging Bronagh, Stephie and Max who have sacrificed a lot for me to have been able to do what the job demands. 

No person in this role can succeed without the support of an enormous number of talented and dedicated individuals.  

I thank my deputy Bill English, the Cabinet and caucus for their loyalty and energy and, of course, my wonderful staff, so well led by Wayne Eagleson, who have done more than I ever could have hoped or expected. 

I also wish to thank and acknowledge our support partners ACT, United Future and the Maori Party without whom the strong and stable Government we have delivered would not have been possible. 

I have no doubt my successor will look to build upon these relationships. 

Last but not least, I wish to put on record my everlasting gratitude to the people of Helensville for electing me, and to the New Zealand public for their support, faith and encouragement. It has been my privilege to serve you all. 

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. 

Finally, while I intend to stay in Parliament long enough to avoid the cost and inconvenience a by-election would cause the good people of Helensville, I will at an appropriate time prior to the next election step down as an MP. 

On that day, I shall walk from these buildings for the last time, a richer person for the experience and privilege of being here, and hoping and believing that New Zealand has been well served by the Government I led.

And here's a statement from English

John Key’s intelligence, optimism and integrity as Leader of the National Party and Prime Minister of New Zealand means he will be judged by history as one of New Zealand’s greatest leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says.

“On behalf of the National Party, the Government and New Zealand I thank John for his years of dedicated and outstanding service to our country. 

“Through good times and bad, his strong leadership has been steadfast and this is a more confident, successful and self-assured country because of his contribution. He has truly made a difference. 

“I thank Bronagh, Stephie and Max for the sacrifice they’ve made to enable John to be an extremely successful and effective leader. We are deeply appreciative. 

“While the gap he leaves is huge we understand and respect his decision to step down from a job from which there is no respite. We wish John and his family every success with their life out of the public eye. 

“Under John Key’s leadership the Government has worked alongside New Zealanders to ensure our country is one of the most desirable places to live, work and raise a family in the world.” 

The National Caucus will consider the implications of the Prime Minister’s decision and how to ensure New Zealand stays on course to continue building a strong economy, increasing opportunities for our families and businesses, rewarding enterprise and effort, while protecting the most vulnerable. 

“It is a tribute to the Prime Minister’s outstanding leadership that he will leave behind a united team with plenty of talent to take New Zealand forward and build on his legacy,” Mr English says.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little tweeted: "John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. I wish him and his family the best for the future."

Key's predecessor as PM, Helen Clark, tweeted: "Wishing @johnkeypm & his family all the best for the future. He has advocated tirelessly for NZ internationally these past 8 years."

And Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull tweeted: "John Key has been an extraordinary & inspiring world leader, role model and great friend. His resignation is a great loss for NZ & the world."

Winston Peters puts the boot in

NZ First leader Winston Peters was not as gracious as Little and Clark.

"Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today that he is to stand down cannot be credible, or for any reasons he has given, says Peters.

“The fact is that the economy is not in the healthy state that the Prime Minister has for so long claimed, and there are other issues which have caused this decision as well. The New Zealand public should have been informed of this a long time ago. Clearly the Prime Minister does not believe the superficial polls any longer. Contrary to certain perceptions the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister are unable to muddy the waters anymore.”

And here's a statement from Little

Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government. 

“John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to stand down. 

“I can empathise with his reasons. Politics requires much sacrifice. We may all be politicians, but not all our lives are politics.

“The Prime Minister has served New Zealand through times of considerable global instability, and will leave politics proud of his achievements. I wish him and his family the best for the future. 

“Labour is ready and willing to contest the 2017 general election. We will present a credible choice for people and look forward to the opportunity to contest the election on our values and vision for New Zealand.”

The Greens

The Green Party wishes to extend its best wishes to the Prime Minister, following his resignation today. 

“On behalf of Metiria, the Green Party MPs and the Party, I would like to thank John Key for his eight years of service as Prime Minister,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw. 

“No matter your political allegiance, you have to respect someone who chooses to make the personal sacrifices required to be our country’s Prime Minister. 

“I would like to pass along our best wishes to him for whatever his future holds, and to his wife, Bronagh, and children Stephie and Max as well, who I’m sure have made many sacrifices of their own. 

“Being the leader of a major political party, and indeed the country, is not an easy job; Mr Key should be applauded for his commitment to public service and to New Zealand,” said Mr Shaw.

ACT's David Seymour

“The ACT Party congratulates John Key on eight years as Prime Minister, and the noble way he has bowed out,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Under John’s leadership, the Government has steadfastly maintained New Zealand’s policy settings. As a result, we remain at the top of almost every international league table for good policy settings. In the long term, all Prime Ministers are judged for the policies they leave behind, and John will be judged well. 

“It is a reality of MMP that ACT has played a vital role helping John to become and remain Prime Minister. He thanked me for that this morning. I’d like to thank him on behalf of ACT and its previous leaders for the constructive way we’ve worked together over the past eight years. 

“We also extend our warmest regards to Bronagh as the Keys get their lives back after a decade of service to the country.”

And the Maori Party

The Māori Party will always be grateful to John Key for making a space at the table of his Government for a kaupapa Māori Party. 

“It has been under the leadership of John Key that the Māori Party has been able to secure gains for Maori and advance kaupapa Māori over the past eight years,” said Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.  

“We may not have agreed on everything but we’ve always maintained a respectful relationship with the Prime Minister and he with us,” said Mr Flavell. 

“We’ve had some tough talks on many issues but at the end of the day, respect for each other prevailed and that’s why he has always seen us as a party that governments can work with,” said Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox. 

“We’re all about whānau in the Māori Party, so we understand and support Mr Key’s call to return to his family and be with them more.”

Both co-leaders were confident that the new Prime Minister would continue the mana-enhancing relationship between the National Party and the Māori Party. 

“It’s up to the National Party to decide who will lead them now. The Māori Party will work with anyone to advance kaupapa Māori.”

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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135 Comments

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17

Well well. Done enough, he says. Pray tell me , what has he done.

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10

Played to his strength and created Corporate New Zealand. Often wondered if it was all a little bit small for him and became a bit tiresome. This government has distanced itself from the people of New Zealand and favoured the corporate world at the expense of those people.Perhaps the repercussions of that might be becoming apparent through Brexit and Trump. At the beginning Key was a bit novel and certainly refreshing after the dour and sour Clark, Cullen lot. But eventually he ended up in an ivory tower and this is his only way down, methinks.

Took on Treasury.
Lost the battle.

yes well in hindsight now his comments were very poorly judged and can be seen as coming from someone who was a bit exhausted

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16

Made a mess of things. Speculative, short term thinking always catches up with you. Let's hope that's the end of decision-making by pollsters - and we'll get an election about policy as opposed to popularity.

Democracy by its very definition is about Popularity.

Policies are always actively promoted in the electioneering, but never followed up on.

He must have seen the Auckland property market on the verge of collapse, and jumped before the blame gets squarely laid on him!

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27

Spidey senses tingling. Must be some horrendous scandal about to erupt.

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11

Agreed. This one is very concerning. Actually, it's downright alarming.

Poor Bill English. He always seems to be left to clean up.

There must be more to it , but he is looking stressed and tired

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10

id say hes either couldnt keep his mitts off another ponytail ... or he knows the whole things gonna blow.

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20

Rats leaving a sinking ship?

That was one out of the blue.

He must have been talking with Renzi in Italy. They must have done it within minutes of each other.

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18

John Key intended to be a 4 term PM and was on track to achieve this.
Why resign now? What has changed? Answers are needed.

We know that there are strong indications that the property market is finally collapsing.
We know that the country will be seriously financially impaired by earthquakes we apparently failed to adequately prepare for.
We know that we have a large number of buildings that were constructed with non-compliant materials.
We know that a number of new buildings have failed in Wellington in relation to the Kaikoura quakes.
We know that we have a variety of immigration scandals.

Which, if any, of these factors precipitated the early exit of PM John Key?
He loves his job and very much wanted that 4th term.

This is very strange.

Now to see how the polls change. The Brand Key hole is going to take some filling.

Yes, which is amazing given it was hollow

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16

John obviously saw my comment about the property market turning. Like I said hold on to your ankles.

Indeed, it is going to be an interesting election next year!

Yes it's all about YOU OnwardsUpwards

Have a sense of humour!

On Paul Henry this morning John Key seemed somewhat subdued ..........

Whats the legacy?
Where is the succession planning?

We didn't like the whale oil or the ditcom stuff, the off shore trust business was shitte. And poor control of JC and mega mortgage lending leaves us scratching.

The steady nerve fronting the earthquake (first) was good. Mgt after seems poor. Seems China see past him too.

He had a go, came across as a Trump like salesman, seeming AB testing policy in the same sentence.
Lucky facts don't matter.
And finally we can end a post.
JK - as the children text.

P.S. probably not the guy to engage with Trump, after saying all those nasty things.
Done by the Donald?

December is a good time to exit the PM role. It gives the next PM a chance to build up momentum heading into the next election. I don't expect a scandal etc as the timing is appropriate for not wanting to serve another term as PM.

Actually the last PM who orchestrated an orderly exit was Holyoake and short lived as it might have been Marshall was immediately in as the replacement.. Never sure if Lang jumped or was pushed, probably both. The rest, except for the unelectable Palmer, just lost elections more or less. This doesn't appear to be an orderly exit it's as sudden and unexpected as Lange's. Personal and family reasons most likely.

Have to say I am a bit scared now. Key might not have been great, but he did pretty well all things considered.

Looking at the Nats now, they are in Labour Territory. A bunch of no-hopers that you really don't want to be in charge of the asylum.

So where does that leave us at the next election?

Bill English can slot right in. National has always been about policy whereas Labour has floundered through several leaders in the hope the right person would lift their sad polling figures.

Consistent policies requiring accountability and rewarding hard work will hold National in good stead come the next election.

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10

Policy? They haven't really shown any guts with regards to policy. In fact I would go so far to say they have been wishy-washy with most of it.

My guess would be most of the past "National" party votes were actually "Key for PM" votes. They have now evaporated.

National were a unified team behind one man (not a policy). I can't see the same unity behind English, and even less so with Brownlee, Joye, Collins, etc... They don't seem to have the same Teflon coating.

An attempt to defy Enoch Powell's law?

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20

Gareth Morgan can claim his first political scalp ; he has managed to do what no Labour leader could , and TOP the Jolly Kid ...

... and a good thing too .... as much as Key is a splendidily nice smiley wavey sort of chap ... absolutely useless on actual policy ...

He accepted all of Micky Cullens dumb-a*se policies , such as WFF , and interest-free student loans ...

... and he shut down debate on the retirement age ... " non-negotiable " ...

Plus , he did nothing to halt the rise of NZ's housing price bubble ...

... these were the wildeness years ... the smiley-wavey steady-as-she-goes do nothing to rock the boat zombification of the NZ populance ...

Gummy, how do we make this the Gigg for you.

Too much Gummy is never enough.
We cry.

... my dear Henry ... I am hoping that the departure of the Jolly Kid will finally put some spice into NZ politics ... a re-awakening of the political debate ... because , it's all been rather dreary hasn't it ... when anything Key doesn't want discussed gets swept under the carpet ...

But if you're willing to thrust me forward ... with the delectable dominatrix Mzzzz Paula Benefit as my understudy ... I'm sure I'd agree to run this beautiful country ( girt-by-sea ) for you ...

... a pleasure to touch bases with you , once again ... care for an ambassadorship ? ... Tahiti is free , if you want it ....

Couldn't agree more - and the Gareth pun is cute. BTW, their first policy announcement is due out next week (on Wednesday, I think).

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21

So far have heard three completely separate conspiracy theories, one of which was that the shadowy forces who put him in place to get the TPPA over the line are going to take him out behind the woodshed.

But really, I'd suspect that all the cracks and sellotape on the fake economy are getting too obvious, and he's going to waltz out whistling a jaunty tune and dump the mess on somebody else. Kind of like David Cameron did.

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14

"all the cracks and sellotape on the fake economy are getting too obvious.."

Its a great summary

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12

I have been saying for a few months now that if he had any sense he would quit now while he was ahead.
I have always thought of him as a bit of a dancer without a great deal of substantive policy (certainly none that will do average NZ any long term good)
I suspect that his shallow, short term policies are about to catch up with him and he can see it coming. I wonder if this is consistent with his behaviour in previous appointments.
I pity whoever ends picking up the mess after him.
I wish that the homeless people had been brave enough to camp, sleep in their cars etc outside his mansion while he was still the leader. Still there will be a new leader so they can still do it there.

I'm no fan of his, and i think its good he's going , but I wouldn't read anything into it other than he's had enough , and its the right time to go. Though i did find it strange He didn't seem to be at the by election party on Saturday Night.

At least someone from the left has some sense.

Everyone else treats every political event as some kind of Shakespearean drama - there must be a sub-plot or underlying Machiavellian motive at play.

It's so pathetic and really encapsulates why the left currently has no traction.

The guy has been PM for 8 years - is it any wonder that he is sick of it?

Didn't realise there were so many Labour supporters on this site!

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12

Not really Labour supporters, rather anti ... everything and everyone, a lot of whingers who no doubt would do a much better job that anyone at everything

True and there is plenty of irony in your point. What is also ironic is that there might be plenty more Labour supporters voicing their opinion here if that party had conducted an effective and incisive parliamentary opposition.. Under the Westminster adversarial system, we all depend on that. As such Key's government has had way too much latitude, way too much. A Muldoon or Lange would have held their feet to the fire long ago.

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21

Dont confuse those of us who do not support mass immigration, property spruiking and environment smashing as Labour supporters. More former Nat supporters who can see what damage has been done.

Exactly. Did you see this on the Selwyn River - that's what 7 years of a Nat government hack running the show does to the environment;

http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/86992441/road-or-river-barren-selwyn-...

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14

yeah...the key legacy. Destroy the real value we have, to be replaced by immigration induced growth. An utter failure of a PM. But some can't see it, primarily due to their inflated rental portfolios i'd suspect.

It's the old "If you ain't with us you must be agin us" mentality that pervades political discussions from dogmatic personality types.

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10

Whaaat ??? That is terrible news for NZ, but the many whingers of this site will rejoyce... for a year or two, and they will wonder in 2019 why NZ is doing so much worse

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10

The reason we will be in terrible shape 2019 will be because of eight years of doing nothing post GFC. Literally NOTHING to prepare for the guaranteed (energy) mess thats coming.
Ironic you cant see that.

The only whinging I'm hearing is coming from you.

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18

... our two major industries involve bovine animals pooping across our land and polluting all our fresh waterways ... and tourists freely pooping in our parks and roadsides ...

Houses cost 10 times the average wage ... amongst the most expensive in the world ... and foreigners can pour unlimited quantities of their money into our country for a tax free bite of our property market ... pricing the citizen of this sweet little land out of their own homes and farms ...

... our prisons are full to overflowing ....

The legacy of Helen Clark ... handed to John Key ... where's the leader who will take the baton from him , and tackle the hard stuff , rather than just hoping it'll fix itself ?

No whingers here at all just great indication of what sensible people are thinking.

No whingers here at all just great indication of what sensible people are thinking.

No whingers here at all just great indication of what sensible people are thinking.

No whingers here at all just great indication of what sensible people are thinking.

No whingers here at all just great indication of what sensible people are thinking.

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13

I'd like to say a big thank you to John Key, the best PM NZ has ever seen, ever. He held back the tide of smug, PC liberalism for 9 long years and has made this country a better place for working and tax paying citizens.

Well said Happy1213

Thats a big call, where does that leave Seddon and Savage ? And maybe Norm Kirk.

The end result of Smug PC liberalism is mass immigration, so he wasn't holding any tide back.
Better place for working citizens? You have to be kidding, never has work been so worthless due to house price inflation. He was good for property speculators, not working and tax paying citizens.

Tenants in our own land, comes to mind.

Paula please - Bill is a great finance minister but not leadership material. She has the presence, popularity and personality to win another term for the party with the policies this country needs to continue to succeed.

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10

JK has given NZ a huge amount of credibility globally. Prime Ministers from business are a far better proposition than journeyman politicians.

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13

Not in my experience. He was considered a joke in the UK, if indeed he was considered at all. Pony tail pulling and not at all statesmanlike. It was a real shock to me when I moved to NZ and noticed all the NZ media hyped up his international prominence. But obviously, NZ media would want to portray their PM as having international swagger wouldn't they?

To be fair, the UK are fast fading into an international backwater themselves - they still consider themselves the centre of the universe and people, like you evidently, humour them to that effect.

The UK has been wallowing economically because it attached itself at the hip to the EEC (you may recall, at significant expense to NZ) whilst ignoring / patronising the world's developing economies.

Meanwhile, we have diversified our economic exposure globally by pioneering free trade including fostering a relationship with the world's most influential developing nation (China). Much of this was done under JK's watch and mostly NZ acting independently.

Contrast that to the UK who are having conniptions at the thought of negotiating trade independently in a post-Brexit world. Lo-and-behold, after shafting us in the '70s they now want to be our best economic mates.

So whilst you and the UK may be disparaging toward JK, at least he and his government have been active on the trade front, unlike the absolute clusterf**k on both sides of the House of Commons. Who cares if the UK think we are a joke? On one side of the House they have Boris Johnson and Theresa May and on the other side they have Jeremy Corbyn! We may be a joke to them but they have become a bona fide three ring circus.

As an aside, it's fantastic to hear another Johnny-come-lately has arrived in NZ and within 5min is an expert on how we should run our country. Jeez, we haven't had enough like you in recent years....

Talking to a few of my Asian connections he's not really been taken seriously at all in China and Japan, apart from being seen as way to get a foot in the NZ door.

Your "Asian connections"? Ah right, like the Chinese Politburo and Shinzo Abe?

Yeah, OK. Thanks for the credible inside word mate.

Yeah, for most appearances on the David Letterman and John Oliver shows;.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTYkSuqY1ZY

Until he was broadcast worldwide as The Ponytail Puller
Great comedy on John Oliver up here & made the Indian papers too

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12

Sorry to say to the nay sayers that habitate this site, all about politics you see, I doubt there is a scandal.
I reckon JK resigning is to do with the next election where National will probably have to work with NZ First. It is so Peters does not have to deal with JK. Don't expect that LAB/GRE will be happy about JK resigning. It all but gaurentees a NZT/NZF govt in 2017.

Sad to be losing the best PM we have had in decades. NZ is in much better shape than when he took over.

my thoughts too this is because of lack of partners, (national have gobbled up there support) and WP and JK was never going to happen

In that case, Winston Peter may be King finally or will rule by remote control

Tip of the iceberg

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12

What a pack of knockers!!!
Any of you keyboard warriors looking forward to a Winston Trump led government??(Peters was particularly ungracious, as ever, on the radio today)
You'll have plenty to moan about.
None of you would have the guts to take on a fraction of the responsibility that Key has had, nor the ability.
Ask not for whom the troll trolls; it trolls for thee!!

With Wild Bill English back in charge of the Wellington Wendy House , and as our finance minister too , we can ask not for whom the Bill tolls ... the Bill tolls from thee ...

A better assesment of John Key would be to take his IQ and then ask what could we expect from it
Sadly the results dont equal our first expectations at all
Policy direction has been aimless more keeping the status quo
Retirement age has been kept in the dark leaving this important matter for the next guy/gal
Immigration has been at a higher rate per capita than the UK.
The ability of foreigners to speculate on NZ housing tax free for years before it took a public outcry for Key to even wish to recognise it existed
I ccould write a whole lot more about export failures
How NZ still in 2016 relies heavily on its Dairy industry and most of that industry is still bulk milk powder not branded prepackaged products
Then there is his statemanship & that went overboard around the planet when he was shown to have a ponytail pulling fetish. Fine for a dad not so much Prime Minister of a country caught on numerous videos

I think it will be a health issue and hope it doesnt affect my financial health as now there is a green light for. pension tinkering

I wish him luck and thank him for all his years of service.

We may not agree with all his policies however, we can all agree he gave it his all.

Hope it was not Mt Roskill that tipped him over ?
Still sad to see him go suddenly, though he has one more year on the job.

Funny you should mention Mt Roskill, SK. Was just thinking about that: really, I don't think this crop of NATS wanted to win (their candidate could not win an egg and spoon race). They are comfortable now in an MMP environment where they can just concentrate on fiddling and sounding important. If they formed a real government they'd have real work to do.

As someone who lives in the Mt Roskill electorate, John Key was very visible around our neighbourhood over the past couple of weeks visiting schools, supermarkets etc. We also received two phone calls from National on Saturday reminding us to vote. So they gave me the impression they wanted to win.

Well GV, I give way to yr more informed opinion. But, I still think their candidate a dud.

So did the electorate as it turned out!

Might have shaken him a bit, but you dont get to be a rich trader without knowing when to leave the table. In my mind he has turned a blind eye to many wrongs, and leaves the country no better off than when he took office. Im opening a good cider, thank you John for your service to your country.

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Very very low comments from Winston Peters

Winston Peters is long term career politician and an irrelevant hypocrite of the highest order

I agree with Winston's sentiment but I agree with those who thought it was pretty poor form.

Interesting changes in the West..UK, US, Aussie, NZ, may be Italy and France soon ?
China and Russia must be happy, aye. Go Putin ?

On the face of it he has done a Nico Rosberg. Out at the top to spend time with the family.

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With John Key off does this mean LINZ will be able to fix the survey and release the foreign buyer information now ?

It has only known about the issue for a year or two now.

May be the correct data will be out soon and................

Will John Key sell his NZ real estate (and other local holdings)?
Now that he has resigned, he can sell it all up without any of that pesky scrutiny.

Q. Has the new leader, presumably BE aka 'Double Dipton' been given a poisoned chalice.

I wonder if the Treasury forecasted this...

He resigned on being advised that Richie McCaw was now available to lead NZ.

You mean he fell for that old one?

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Love him or hate him he's been a great politician - great in the chamber and personable in the media - National is going to look fairly ordinary without him.

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oh there it is...the giant property bubble he created in NZ will burst either before or during the next term

And he'll be able to shrug and say "Wasn't me"

What do you want to be remembered for?”
“Going back to that main point I think it was Muldoon who famously said “I want to leave the country in no worse condition than I found it”.
“Isn’t that a low ambition?”
“Yes I want to leave the country in better condition than I found it and if theres something (I genuinely beleive) It would be lifting our confidence to a certain degree about how we see our selves in the world and what we think we are capable of achieving. Now I think individually there is masses of ambition that sits out there there but can we actually take that and convert that to take the opportunity .
And I always thought what was happening in the opposition of politics (of course they would oppose National, that’s their job actually apart from everything else) but it was a bit negative about out place in the world. So we played a bit about whether people coming here was a good or bad thing whether people should invest here was a good or bad thing, or whether we have a trade agreement with parts of Asia was a good or bad thing, but actually in my mind, the reason that I want to say yes to those things is because they are the opportunities that reflect our opportunities to both get wealthier (which is all about what you can do with that money) and then ultimately the oppurtunities for Kiwis. I’d like New Zealanders to feel (after my time as Prime Minister) they have become more confident outward looking nation more multicultural.

http://www.tv3.co.nz/CAMPBELL-LIVE-Monday-September-22-2014/tabid/3692/a...

2.1
Total national construction value has experienced sustained growth averaging 7% per year since 2011, and is expected to grow at this rate to 2017
The national value of all building and construction continues to rise, with a sustained rate of growth
not seen in the last 40 years. These forecasts indicate a 2017 peak that represents 20% ($6.2b) more
value than at the end of 2015. This peak is 28% higher than the previous peak in 2007 and 59%
higher than the low of 2010, averaging 7% growth per year since 2011http://www.mbie.govt.nz/publications-research/research/construction-sect...

Population Ponzi

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Consider the collapsing home ownership rates for 30-40 year old’s living in Auckland, and the horrific consequences that will have.

Consider the dramatic increase in child poverty, and poverty in general.

Consider that a lot of this could be avoided or mitigated by more careful policy settings. Like redirecting the tidal wave of Chinese money away from residential housing.

To say that John Key’s performance falls well short of Muldoon’s aspiration is an understatement!

Corrin Dann
Let's move on to immigration. Kerry McDonald wrote on his website and I quote “a high rate of immigration is a national disaster he says it is lowering the living standards of New Zealanders with seroius economic social and environmental consequences “ Now this isn't Winston peters saying this it is a respected economist and businessman. He's worried about immigration, not because he's but because he's worried about the numbers.

John Key
“We'll o.k. I don't think the evidence bears that out. To start off if you look at the average wages in NZ they are up .
....................
Corrin Dann
you don't want to get immigration down , to fall though, do you. I just got to say something. I saw you in a speech after the budget and you were in a big room of business people, now some of those were the biggest business minds of the country and you stood up and said: “don't worry about treasuries figure the estimation that it will go back to 12000, you were confident the figure was going to be a lot higher than that.

JK
I just think it is likely to be higher than that

Corrin Dann
But it's like telling them you wanted immigration to be up. You were telling them “ don't worry the demand will be there, the economies going to stay there, that's what's keeping New Zealand affloat
http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/pm-s-reaction-aussie-election-results-vid...

This sort of thing must be a close call?

Was out when I heard the news. Cldnt wait to get home to log in to Interest just to read the comments here. Amusement for the rest of the day coming up. I reckon the main reason for the resignation is that The Donald has offered him the premiership of Hawaii!

It is customary in these events to say well of a public figure but Trump has changed the scenery.
Take away the boom in dairy in his early years, the fortunate rebuild of Christchurch, the run away housing market and the scam in international students and he is just another Arthur Daley. His selling of the Energy companies was criminal.
Three terms is about it for anyone, perhaps it should be law much the same way the USA restricts to 2 terms. He looks tired, perhaps Mt Roskill was the final straw but the winds of change have been circling for a long time and his spin was possibly starting to wear thin with MSM - witness the two reports in todays Herald, one on the student scam and the other on the housing market finally turning

With the country bloated with debt and interest rates on the way up so it can bear no more, banksters pockets stuffed, TPP dead - so the Wall Street minders call him home. Helen Clark will miss him tho - faithfully, he has carried on the New Age conversion.

My thoughts on why Key has stepped down, not necessarily all or any particular one of the following or in any particular order of preference
Ill health - not necessarily his
The rockstar economy about to OD
Superannuation
Pike River
I really cannot imagine he just woke up one morning and did a Forest Gump

Yes i agree - he wants to avoid nasty realities around Pike River & Superann . Top leadership.

Whether you are a supporter or not I think we should all take John Key at his word. He's done a lot, he's tired, it's good for him and his family, and it's good time for the party, and it's prospects.

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After the last 8 years, only a fool would take John Key at his word for anything.

Miserable lot at interest.co aren't we, judging by this commentary stream. Andrew Little showed the way today. He gave John Key due regards and compliments. And reserved the political combat for tomorrow. Class.

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The next PM will bring us to reality ( not unlike Trump). We will realise the mess we are really in, while JK sips cocktails in Hawaii.

I find this highly unlikely. I fully expect our next PMs (plural, whoever they may be over the course of several elections into the future) will continue, heads in sand, the status quo as much as they are able. This is, after all, what politicians of all stripes and colours have done for NZ for the last few decades, so why would we expect anything to change now?

My thinking. It is nearly Christmas, no time, like the present....and the Bill.

Yes Minister.. from me to you with love and best wishes. ...love Dear John XX.

PS...I must love you and leave you. .must dash.....had my fun, traveling the World....reality is not what it was.......too many... sleepless nights of late...XX

Been offered another job.....you can keep mine....I need one I can bank on.

Oh...and you can keep the Bill....put it all on the expenses....no one will notice...XX. JK.

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Great news that he has finally gone. He has managed to wreck NZ allowing a housing bubble and loose immigration to cause damage for decades to come. At the same time he failed to keep any of his promises to those affected by the Chch EQ and Pike River.

He probably can see the writing on the wall with a major Wellington EQ coming, and hence wants out ASAP.

Probably all his losses: losing his flag, losing the TPP, his mate Obama losing his legacy, and the massive coming property crash all had him running for the door - or perhaps he is just running before the lynch mob come for him and the other liberal elites who told us how great everything is/was...

So, there will be sympathy wave for National in the next election ?
If housing does not tank, immigration scams do not come out, economy does not do a U turn, budget surplus does not evaporate, Pike River does not escalate, no more earthquakes, so on, so on.
Hope they get a strong leader to lead the cavalry into the future...

If he told Bill English in September why does Bill have to think about it? I can understand Caucus has to discuss the resignation but surely he has talked with his wife? The

One question though, does it mean now the retirement age and the age for eligibility for super will go up soon ?

Wouldn't hurt to check the TAB odds on that

Our own Black Swan..yippee.

Hmm Paul Henry is winding up as well

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John was a great salesman; he sold himself to us, our clean water to the dairy industry, our power companies to the highest bidder, our land so we will become tenants, and our trade protections against environmental vandals. Lucky Trump cancelled the sale of our sovereignity (TPP). John was our political version of Bill Clinton; the damage done will be revealed in years to come.

Key's resignation doesn't surprise me. I have thought for some time that he does not look enthusiastic or even interested. He seemed to be just going through the motions. I have wondered why he does the job if he isn't happy in it and doesn't want to do it. He has aged and put on weight. I wonder if he is unhappy or depressed.

Good points. As you say he has seemed 'over it' for a while.
One one level I admire him for standing down. How often do we see politicians just go on and on for far too long.

TPP failed, property market about to drop, would you want to stick around? Trump is going to turn China upside down and unfortunately NZ is directly in the crossfire. Hold onto your hats trade war!

#JKEXIT - sad day for New Zealand and will be one of those moments where you remember where you were when you heard the news...

Keywest - could you please elaborate on why it is a 'sad day'?

This will be the National parties legacy - cut to 4.05 see the happy family of home owners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7I5rPqf6Tc

JK is a once in a generation politician and we won't see the likes of someone like him again for a very long time..just look at the Muppets that he leaves behind from both sides of the house...

Maybe one or two of them might grasp that our crazy immigration numbers and a housing market out of control are badly affecting the people who live in this country. Will there be someone willing to put their head on the block in a bit to steady the ship and once again make it a country for the people who live in it, because that is what must happen.

Steady it how? Stop immigration so local unproductive Kiwi's can take over? while leftie politicians try to bring down the price of houses so that thousands will have negative equity...just so the doomsayers, chicken little and green with envy brigade can say 'i told you so'...my Dad was an immigrant and i have been living overseas for 20 years....its this xenophobic rhetoric dressed up as immigration which actually scares me and goes to show there is a large minority of small minded New Zealanders.

What your interpreting as xenophobic rhetoric small mindedness has a far deeper root problem youre missing.
Its more People ... of any sort ...thats the problem. Too many people, not enough resources. Thats about to cause big problems worldwide.

That comment is almost incoherent

You're saying those who have been gazumped into buying property in the past year or so by foreigners with unlimited funds setting ridiculous price levels should now be protected and bailed out?

You are also saying that the political cadre that has overseen this rampant rise in property prices must be righty-pollies that are the opposite of your leftie-politicians

Now that the Asian segment have disappeared from the auction rooms as a result of the crack-down by Beijing they cant get their money out any more - they must be the lefties ?

Muldoon was also a "once in a generation politician". That isn't necessarily a compliment.

The election will be interesting. Who will be able to capture the vote of the smouldering discontented? No one seems to have grasped the nettle as yet. John Key was a bright chap, but he still fell for the big finance delusion that immigration and borrowing are so very good for us. That our future lies in necessary but low productivity activities like tourism, finance and construction. Will someone please point the ship to a saner shore?

Media Coverage RNZ
Phill O'Rielly : stability and (something forgettable): he means he fed the economy immigration.
"More confident about our place in the world"...huh? A prostitute.
.....
RNZ is a politically correct institution
Bring on Brietbart Australia NZ

From the other side of the Globe reminds of Tony Blair who was very charismatic and could do no wrong, and then without Electoral validation hands over to Gordon Brown who "may" have been a decent Chancellor, however his shortcomings as a Leader were well exposed.
Maybe JK is not only aware of economic under currents with internal Housing pressures and the apparent abandonment of the Trans Pacific Trade Deal now Donald Trump has indicated his position, and maybe, JK, does not feel comfortable with Trump and visa versa!!

Answers really crystal
JK is a gambler by profession & a good gambler recognises when his luck is about to run out.
Flag LOST
TPP LOST
The Obama/Clinton Era LOST
Trump WON & from what I understand Key mocked him ??? I guess
Pike River Home to Haunt
Housing market Turning
Immigration overloading housing/health & education & roads etc
Heck i dont even live in NZ and this is just some of the things I pick up from reading this blog