National Party leader Bill English resigns, says now is the right time to step aside and embark on new personal and professional opportunities

Former Prime Minister and National leader Bill English has resigned after 27 years in politics saying he has no regrets.

But he has not nominated a successor and National MPs will spend the next two weeks deciding among themselves who will take the top job.

Flanked by dozens of National MPs and members of his family, English was at times emotional when recounting his life in the public eye of politics.

“After careful consideration, and talking it over with my family I have decided that now is the right time for me to step aside from the leadership of the National Party and embark on new personal and professional challenges.”

English told his MPs of his plans to resign half an hour before at National’s weekly caucus meeting but says he informed Steven Joyce and his Deputy Paula Bennett a week ago.

He said he was confident he was handing over the party in as strong a position as it could be, not being in government.

He added that he was confident he would have had the support of his caucus through to 2020 “if they could see I was determined to do that” but it was a personal decision to step aside.

His resignation will take effect on February 27 and he will deliver his valedictory speech on Thursday, March 1.

English says this would give the party’s new leader the time and the best possible opportunity to prepare National for the 2020 election.

However, he would not say who should take over, only saying it was now a matter for the Caucus.

But he is not expecting things to get messy within the party as the new leader is selected.

“This is a caucus that did me an enormous favour by executing a very civil and successful translation when John Key unexpectedly left. They are quite capable, in my view, of doing that again.”

When Key stood down in late 2016, he anointed English as his replacement. Asked about why his hasn’t taken a similar approach, he says it’s the role of the caucus to choose a leader.”

He got emotional when talking about his family, at one point stopping to gather himself.

“Through all our time together as a family, we have lived with the demands of public service, your strength and tolerance has enabled my career.”

He recounted his efforts in driving his government’s social investment initiatives, the rebuilding of Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake, facilitating work that “made a real difference” between the Crown and Maori and, of course, his time as Prime Minister.

As for what’s next, English hasn’t got anything concrete planned.  

But he does say he would like to look into business opportunities and to work with his family, which he says he has a lot of interests in common.

“I want the opportunity to be able to start again on a different life and for our family to be able to live without politics.”

‘A safe pair of hands’

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says very few serve for so long at such a high level but garner the respect of many.

“Bill has worked tirelessly as Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and Opposition Leader among his many public roles.

She says he is a man of clear convictions who has always had a genuine concern for the well-being of New Zealanders and gave a huge portion of his working life to serving on their behalf.

“The impact of public service on a politician’s family cannot be understated. In the 27 years, Bill served as an MP, with the support of his wife Mary, his children were born and grew up.  They have made great sacrifices so he could do his job to the best of his ability.

English's predecessor, former Prime Minister John Key, said he was saddened to hear his close friend is leaving Parliament.

"Bill has given remarkable service to a party and a country he loves.His dry wit outstanding economic leadership and rolled Rs will be missed. Enjoy your new life mate.”

Meanwhile, Federated Farmers President Katie Milne says English was “a safe pair of hands” during his time as Finance Minister, leading New Zealand through the Global Financial Crisis, a dairy downturn and the Christchurch earthquake.

"A straight-up farm boy from Dipton, he is a guy that many New Zealanders could relate to.

"He demonstrated he wasn’t just an astute manager of the nation’s finances, but through his approach to social investment revealed he was a caring leader who really wanted to make a difference for the less-well-off," Milne says.

Here's English's statement.

National Party Leader Bill English has today announced he will resign as Leader of the National Party and leave Parliament.

Mr English says his resignation as Leader will take effect on 27 February and that he intends to deliver his valedictory speech on 1 March.

“It’s been an enormous privilege to serve New Zealanders since being elected to Parliament in 1990.

“Over 27 years I have been privileged to work alongside so many people to improve our country. I am proud of the innovative work done as a Health Minister in the 90's, and then as Finance Minister through the GFC, helping to stabilise and grow the economy and to rebuild Christchurch.

“In recent years I enjoyed the development of Social Investment and new ways of the Crown working with Māori to make a real difference, and I was honoured to lead New Zealand as Prime Minister.    

“National’s two-day Caucus meeting last week confirmed to me that our team has the talent, the ideas and the energy to return to government in 2020. It’s important that National’s new Leader has the time and the best possible opportunity to achieve that.

“So I believe now is the right time to step aside and to embark on new personal and professional opportunities.

“I’ve served with some outstanding politicians and I want to thank my Parliamentary colleagues and the National Party for the trust and support they have given me.

“I’m also indebted to the people and communities of Clutha-Southland - and before that Wallace - who sent me to Parliament and kept me grounded for so many years.

“To our supporters, thank you for keeping your faith in us through nine years in Government, and through the change of government.  I know that our MPs will continue to represent your ambition for New Zealand.

“Most importantly I would like to thank my family. Mary and our children, Luke, Thomas, Maria, Rory, Bart and Xavier.

“For all our time together we have lived with demands of public service. Your strength and tolerance has enabled my career. You have been my inspiration and pride and I now look forward to a new life together.”

And below is a statement from PM Jacinda Ardern.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today paid tribute to outgoing National Party Leader Bill English.

“Bill has worked tirelessly as Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, and Opposition Leader among his many public roles. Very few serve for so long at such a high level, but garner the respect of many.

“He has always stood for what he believes in. He is a man of clear convictions who has always had a genuine concern for the well-being of New Zealanders, and gave a huge portion of his working life to serving on their behalf.

“The impact of public service on a politician’s family cannot be understated. In the 27 years Bill served as an MP, with the support of his wife Mary, his children were born, and grew up.  They have made great sacrifices so he could do his job to the best of his ability.

“I wish Bill and his family all the best for the future,” says Jacinda Ardern.

 

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.

122 Comments

Think he will get a knighthood - or did he not make enough from his property portfolio while in office?

But on a serious note, I think it will be a shame to see him go. He provided a lot of stability to the National government over the last 9 years.

up
15

I agree.
A government needs strong opposition - I mean just look at what happened in recent history with the Labour party's musical chair opposition strategy.

Bill is probably the only person in the leadership of the National Party who has some integrity and is trustworthy in the eyes of the public.
Now the ones sharpening their knives are hugely polarising personalities and/or carry a carriage load of political baggage.
I'm picking that the National party will be well down on support in the next poll.

up
20

I think Bill lost that trust by lying to the public to defend Todd Barclay. Apart from that, you may be right. There does seem to be an issue of ethics in a number of the top figures.

Collins, Bridges, Bennett. Not the best bunch.

Nikki Kaye might be the best bet.

Do we need to wait for Jian Yang's recommendations, though?

Agreed. The Barclay affair did tarnish him. Slightly. But he got off of that so easily due to the very same reason I was advocating for him - poor opposition.

And very right - the notion of professional ethics and duty of office is probably a bi-thought for those listed.

Nikki Kaye is a good choice on the basis of her personal character and capabilities. However, they won't put her up against Jacinda. Apart from ideology (even that might be a small difference, too) they are too similar.

My pick is that it will either be Collins, Coleman, or Adams.

up
12

Thank you for your great work Bill, you were an astute and capable minister of finance and a good man. New Zealand owes a lot to you for being in good financial shape.

Is it Friday already?

@Yvil, your comment is about 46 days too early and I don't owe him anything

???

up
32

Left a legacy. A legacy of inequality, of wealth division, corruption and fraud at an all time high. Well done Bill.

Tui 12 - inequality comes from those who will not lift a finger in the private sector vs those who do......socialists and communists have no right to demand a percentage of someone else toil.........fraud is using other people's money! NZ has just lost one of the best heads in Wellington!

up
11

There is no point in arguing with bitterness.

up
15

What about your cleaning lady/ elder care workers etc who's working two jobs 12 hours a day, and can barley afford to feed their family, let alone own a home.

Not every one on a low income is lazy or expects hand outs. Many work very hard but are simply paid too little. Combine that with a government what allowed the cost of shelter (a human need) to grow 10 times faster than wage inflation, they seriously fucked up the equality side.

on a zero hour contract

Gooki - I think you missed my point and that is that politicians, bureaucrats and public servants are making a living off those in private enterprise.....they don't lift a finger generating taxes or productivity but rather use the production and income from others for their lifestyles.......

Minimum wage in NZ is $15.75 so for someone working 12 hours a day for 5 days per week is grossing $945.00 per week. That's actually a good deal....in fact I know heaps of self-employed not paying themselves that much per week and doing far more hours all the while generating taxable business income and GST.......

Was it the government who allowed house price increases or the bureaucrats and RMA Administrators??? And why didn't MP's cross the floor and support the RMA changes National were initially after?

A bit less Breitbart and Fox for you my friend, because that is a fairly warped perspective of society. Private sector = efficient & good; public sector = lazy & bad. Just laughable, especially the Reds under the Bed part.

Let's turn that around and say that a well-organised public sector is the *enabler* for private individuals to invest, take risks, and rely on certainty of rules and law enforcement.

I've worked in both public & private sectors and I can tell you that:
a) civil servants don't sit around tables plotting how to increase house prices; and
b) it was the bank I worked for that had the most out-of-date management practices and work culture.

Also, let's take a pop quiz - which societies have the best HDI and/or economic growth right now? That's right, it's the socialist paradises of the EU & Scandinavia and so-called communist China, who are in fact better capitalists than the "free" USA - that paragon of good government, deregulation and freedom from gun control.

"...and so-called communist China, who are in fact better capitalists than the "free" USA"

This is what happens when capitalism and state capitalism are conflated.

up
17

There is no question that the Key/English government has created and left problems that'll take generations to deal with. New Zealand now has the residue of an immigration and property economy, not much else. In a list off the top of my head, which of these would you say has improved?

Rural/agricultural indebtedness
Private property indebtedness
Added value exports
Productivity
Necessary use of foodbanks
Educational achievement
Infrastructure efficiency
Social exploitation
Freshwater quality
Environmental sustainability
Homelessness
Security of family housing
Suicide and mental health, being factors of existential despair
Racial and social harmony

But, to balance all these, we do have the thrill of high house prices.

The immigration and property economy was well entrenched before the recent National government was even on the horizon.

While that is true, John Key campaigned on rising house prices in 2007 and did a U-turn the moment he got into government.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWPgoAI1cLE

Yes, every single government since the 1970s has done the very thing you describe.

Sure, MikeM. And its entrenchment grew considerably deeper under Key/English as these, like other governments, chose the quick and easy, the short-term, over long-term national interest. We have had a sticking plaster of immigration and property inflation. Nothing fundamental cured, and very many basic social, environmental and economic indicators now much worse. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the current government will lift the plaster too much. There are very many vested interests that want to keep it firmly in place. But fundamentals don't go away, even when conditions look hunky dory. Ask Fletcher Building.

Workingman - I can't for the life of me see where you are coming from. You are apportioning blame while seemingly forgetting the history of many of the issues......

On immigration, who was going to do the work in NZ....earthquake rebuild , horticulture etc if there weren't immigrants coming here? The fundamentals were there was/is a labour shortage.

The vested interests are those who want to keep in excess of 6 months every year the fruits of someone elses labour whilst claiming a public good......

Sigh! you're not one of those with a huge sense of entitlement are you?

up
10

No, Upside, I'm a businessman who aims to have his eyes open.

Sigh! you're not one of those with a huge sense of entitlement are you?

Sigh! The ones with the sense of entitlement are those entrenched at the top due to a bias in the tax and regulatory system. The one they built and maintain.

Oh yes rastus we should all work for you the common good and all that fluffy stuff......the bias is entrenched alright......Come forth all ye good slaves, work hard and we shall all share in the glory.......sounds like a scene from gloriavale.

Oh bugger. Now we're going to have Paula Benefit as the next leader.

up
10

unlikely she wont even survive as deputy now.
will nick smith be next?

up
16

They're all so unlikable. I wouldn't have a beer with any of them. If Labour keeps importing the "GDP growth" Jian Yang might end up PM.

At least if Jian yang did make it to PM we can be sure we will have full backing of the CCP ;).

A sad day in NZ history.....

I think NZ is going to stumble heavily.......

up
10

I think you hope NZ is going to stumble

Actually pocket aces I don't want NZ to stumble. Only a narcissist would wish for that......but NZ is now at a cross roads as the level head in the opposition has gone. If NZ stumbles the blame can be put squarely on the dirty politics of the left wing.

Dirty politics of the left wing? Do go on...

Back on topic all the best Bill, I wasn't a fan, but decades in politics is some achievement.

I too am itching to hear about these dirty tactics..

Haha you're joking right?

Dirty tactics of the left wing??? Very droll.

Lol.....

And leadership musical chairs begins. Nikki Kaye is the only answer to beating the government.

How many times will the music stop until she wins?

I would be careful if I were her, that thing she had a battle with thrives on stress and I Would not want to wish its return on anyone

If they don't pick her she is going to pop up in every preferred prime minister poll up until the election and undermine the new leader. Maybe the best thing she could do for the Nats is resign then?

Since i've taken up the role of the interest.co.nz Nikki Kaye cheerleader i'd like to share this concerning her health:

https://www.facebook.com/NikkiKayeMP/photos/a.10151781319047957.10737418...

You have to be on your guard with it, it will still be there, somewhere lurking in the background, you have to never give it any quarter or it will turn on you. Yes, I know what I am talking about.

up
23

One of the architects of the housing and immigration ponzi that has wrecked our country. Good riddance.

up
15

The man who was so proud of our low wage economy.

When you look at his family it's no surprise he doesn't care about the next generation.

No need to get personal .....

We ought to refrain from saying disparaging things about poiticians families , number of children or religion .......... just like the unhelpful comments about Jacinda Ardern setting a good example having a child out of wedlock .

Bill and his Doctor wife have given much to both the country and their community .

"Wedlock". How quaint

Oh dear – anything but that ghastly “Judith Collins” contraption!

Informal herald.co.nz poll has her, Simon Bridges and Nikki Kaye neck and neck in popularity.

Judith would be a great leader of the Opposition and would be quite the agitator I imagine, but with that said she would not be my first choice for Nats leader going in to an election.

But did he jump or was he pushed......

Bill English - best politician in the country for my money.

Heaps of experience - on top of his very considerable talent - made him much more than just a safe pair of hands.

I'm sure he'll find a great job somewhere else!

TTP

up
20

Undoubtedly, on the board of a Chinese owned corporation as per National party tradition.

up
14

Jonkey probably sorted him out a chairman ship or two..probably with a Chinese bank

Well, he owes him something after setting him up for this when he did a runner, which I suspect may have been because he had a foreign purchaser on his place and he knew that would go down like a cup of cold sick. One long settlement date and a bow out to "spend more time with family" later, we now have Billy Boy with his career cut somewhat short.

up
14

he's a farmer from down south...the overseer of a crash in the health of our rivers and lakes. A man happy for the few to rape the resources for themselves, happy that polluters don't pay and happy for massive land prices that arise from passing the pollution cost to the public. Nah...the man just looks after himself and others of his 'kind'. Private profit from public resources....yet happy top praise the lord for blessing him with such personal bounties.

Where Bill English failed is that he was only a leader in title. He did not have the negotiation skills to get NZF on board with a deal. Perhaps he should have spent less time patting himself on the back and instead should have run an MMP campaign with something genuine to offer to form a Government.

It's likely that National will fall into the old pattern of a series of even more useless or intolerable leaders until they figure out they need someone who can not just win seats but make a deal with other parties. It's easier to make a deal if you don't violate another party leader's privacy, or make a fool of yourself by sending 450 texts to a woman in the early hours of the morning who is not your wife.

You could conclude that his actions are those of a fool.

up
13

Im all for Bennet being in charge. Shes already demonstrated what an intelligent woman she is by sabotaging Peters. Look how that turned out for National. Long may it continue.

Bennett can't even muster the will to eat fewer pies. She's taken the easy path, just like her history as a beneficiary, and had a gastric bypass.

She's basically a SkyTV watching PakNSave biscuit isle connoisseur that somehow made it into politics with all the experience an arts degree brings.

Would you really want someone like this to be running NZ?

Running NZ? No. National? Yes.

.

Could someone give a considered view on what's wrong with Bennett please (genuine question)

I think being behind getting rid of a single mothers benefit she used herself causes the most ire

https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/bennett-cutting-a-benefit-helped-her-labou...

I'm hoping for Paula Bennett simply to enjoy parliamentary question time. About her talents for long term political strategy or a sincere concern about the disadvantaged well I not so confident but at least none of the other candidates display more talent than Ms Bennett..

Nice thinking

A good job as leader , and finance minister before that . Marred to me by him playing along with Joyces lie's in the Election campaign.
Time for National to be bold and elect someone outside the current front runners, noneo f them who come across as inspirational.

up
34

I don't have " No regrets " , Bill ... I have regrets , lots of the buggers ...

... Jolly Kid & you had 9 years riding a popularity wave atop Kiwi politics .. but you didn't use that mandate the electorate had given you to get cracking , and do the hard work we wanted of you ... you guys operated with a dead hand , a steady as she goes , offend no one ... keep the popularity level up , win the next election ...

The thing you take pride in , that you left the fiscal books in good order , is the thing that hacks me off ... we wanted the government to lead with spending big on infrastructure ... on schools ... research & development ...

... in the absence of you guys wanting to risk your ever so precious popularity , the public went on a property bender , and in the absence of new house supply , a drunken orgy of real estate speculation ... the government's books may be prudent , but the private sector has pigged out mightily on unproductive assets ...

I have regrets , Bill ... the GFC was the financial mother of all opportunities to rejig the economy , and more particularly , the tax system ... but once again , prudence ruled , the dead hand stifled progress ...

SIGH ! ... there's no sadder words in the English language , Wild Bill , than " what might have been ... "

"No Regerts"

The Nat will need someone with gut, someone that can crush cars with her teeth!

Have you got a crush on Judith? ;-)

up
10

Suddenly Labour look like the reliable and stable government

Bill is a top bloke, and usually the smartest guy in the room.
Who next ? If they go for Bridges they are doomed. Amy Adams is my pick.
Forget the likes of Kaye and Bennett. Collins and Joyce are well past use by date and should follow Bill. Hopefully soon.
If you go down the list a bit Todd Muller is talent. But I have no idea of what he wants or what Caucus support he has.

Well I assume you mean the "national room" as BE never impressed me. Rather sad that out of 120 odd MPs many seem so, so pathetic.

.. I larfed at someone's comment that Nikki Kaye is too young to lead the Gnats ... a little fact update : she is 38 y.o. ... our beloved PM Jacinda is a precious 37 !

So , for what it's worth , the Gummster would plump for Nikki as top Gnat , Todd Muller as her deputy ...

... and I would be encouraging Nick Smith , Jumbo-Jerry Brownlee , Amy Adams , Steven Joyce & the luscious Ms Paula to ... ahhh ... " re-assess their future in the party " .... yes ... that's diplomatic of me , isn't it ...

Is there room on the boards of Kiwi Bank, Lotto etc?

.. soon to be a few empty boardroom seats at Fletchers ... their NZX code is FBU ... Frigging Buggered Up !

National is stuffed .......... there is no one ..........Paula Benefit is a loose cannon , Simon Bridges is a smarty-pants who is full of himself, Judith Collins is a bulldog wearing lipstick , and Nicky Kaye is too young and just not leadership material

And thank God for free speech ......

It will be Judith Collins then, no one else has any balls, which should make them un-electable.

Paula Bennett has balls, just no brains. I think you're right and it'll be Judith "Oravida, Kauri, Pipeline" Collins

In how many years do you believe Kaye will be old enough? Round it up to the nearest multiple of 3 and you have the number of years until the next potential national victory.

And just in case the irony of the our current political climate hasn't hit you yet... do you realise Bridges is only 4 years older than Kaye?

Good popular leadership really makes a difference. Labour were a fractured rabble till Jacinda steped in and Nats were the same while the Clark govt governed. Will be interesting to see what happens this time.

"Nicky Kaye is too young and just not leadership material"

Really? She is 6 months older than the current PM, and beat her for her Electorate Seat.

Beat her twice.

up
13

National is at risk, like the conservative party in the UK of blowing itself to bits. People voted for present PM because she had compassion. The free market National espoused looked like helping mates and the already rich. I was a long time National party member and I don't see anyone standing up that I could vote for.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/john-e-strafford/decline-and-fa...

She has compassion? OMG....never saw it in the policies.

As I posted above my view of most MPs is they are a rather sad collection of individuals that I cant believe are actually MPs. Is this really the best that a (any) party can put forward for us to vote for?

bugger......

Strange Andrew that you would admit that when more voted for the “compassion” of Bill English than voted for Adern that you would make such a comment - have you forgotten who voted for what or dont you put weight on what voters say ? Very strangely deluded comment

Well all the old people worried about pensions voted for Winston. National could have side stepped that debate with ease.

WE have a habit of following the UK regards political parties, expect National membership to dive to a level almost as bad as labours.

Lots of people who have experienced unearned wealth voted N

Thank you Bill for your legacy and I mean it :-)

Kinda covers it really.

..what is Bills legacy?

Charter Schools ! ... well , Gnats policy really ... but it is the one good thing which the Gnats actually did do ...

.. and originally , it was David Lange's Labour Government who mooted the idea ... for ALL schools up and down the length of our fine land , girt-by-sea ... a terrible shame that they didn't crack on and do it ... the teachers' lobby were too powerful for them ...

Sadly ... Miss Jacinda and Chris Hipkids are in the process of destroying the one thing that Wild Bill and the Gnats did that make sense , and works well ...

nah stupid idea. Schools need to be a place where all kids from all backgrounds mix. The one opportunity they can learn to get along with each other without the interference of messed up parents and their prejudiced and wacky beliefs. Taken to its natural conclusion, we could have charter school for every nut group out there.

The future is kids mixing it with each other....not kids looking over the fence at the other kids in that 'other' charter school.

You mistake raising the bar in public schools with charter schools as a solution.

.. from the little that I've seen , charter schools have taken some seriously no-hoper kids and given them a fresh start at learning ... and it's worked by not mixing the children ... but by segregating them ... it works ... we have Catholic Schools ... segregation on religion ... separate sex schools ... boys , girls .... no bother there , is it ? ... private ... for the rich listers ... public for the great unwashed ... segregation based on munny !

It's all about best outcomes for the kids ... education is about the kids ...

... it's not meant to be a power play by the all too powerful teachers union ..

Exactly right Gummy. Getting rid of the Charter Schools hurts kids. But who cares about the kids when the teacher unions want something.

..... i think your are pulling my leg?? " Catholic Schools ... segregation on religion ... separate sex schools ... boys , girls .... no bother there , is it ?"

Cripes. The root cause of most things - racism, sexism, religious nutbars is all in that list!!

The profit aspect of Charter schools was very, very problematic, and in future I could see these schools going down the same route as ECE, all corporates whose raisson d'etre is to pay dividends to their shareholders, out of the public purse. I wish we had thought to stop that in its tracks with ECE to be honest.

Exactly.

Vehicle for directorship fee scams.

It's difficult to get to the truth about Charter Schools, nearly everything you read is politicised or an opinion from someone who has a vested interest.

I've seen very dodgy statistics where the academic achievements of cherry picked charter school kids are trumpeted over kids at the local low-decile school... first rule of statistics, compare apples with apples.

It seems like the Vanguard schools are doing good things for some kids. But then I remember reading of some Northland charter schools that were a complete shambles.

charter schools was an ACT policy , part of the agreement between them and the nats

Following the 2011 general election, the National Party in return for confidence and supply announced it would pick up an ACT Party policy of setting up charter schools in southern Auckland and eastern Christchurch within three years

So did he fall on his sword or was it more of a Game of thrones style execution

I'd need to check Judith Collins' smile to tell you that.

Although there was this.

Plus one, would LOL again.

whaleoil claimed he jumped because of his post this morning about who really leaked the chris bishop snapchat story

It's so easy to believe that Bishop is up to something perverted and unsavoury. He just has that vibe, even when there's no actual evidence, and this snapchat thing seems like a bit of a non-event.

Despite Bishop's history of working in tobacco lobbying the Snapchat hit seems grossly unfair and completely unjustifiable to me. I see no basis for denigrating Bishop's character in this area.

Seems like it's based on one or two parents' erroneously continuing to associate Snapchat only with teens texting each other racy pics, not what it's become - and perpetuated, so it's increasingly appearing, as an inside hit job by one of the National factions.

Unlike Helen, Bill did not resign immediately.
However his couple of weeks he has allowed to elect a new leader is very parsimonious. With that huge talent available the Nats will need a lot longer than that to come up with the goods.

Charter Schools was a Trojan Horse for the eventual wholesale privatisation of schools. The really attack wasn't anything ultimately to do with education much at all. The selling off of the land all the state schools are on to private sector is the reason for being of Charter Schools. RIP. With Hospitals ditto.

National will only need a proper leader in the year of our next election.
The coalition will be in tatters well before that date and are starting to come away at the seams already!

Without a GFC or earthquake the National Party have no strengths to play to. They lack IDEAS in a swing in electoral cycle to an age of IDEAS.

Ardern has absolute command of her party and caucus, Peters has absolute command similarly. They together make a powerful, and attractive projection of NZ core identity and values. They are rock solid to next election.

Next poll will be interesting. Labour will have the numbers to rule with Greens alone.

National are all rudders without a boat. Blood will flow.

Bill resigned, his next role should be Australia's National Party DPM role. Their current ex-Kiwi DPM is a bit screwy at the moment.

I have mixed views on Bill's legacy.
Fundamentally I think he is a good man and a very good member of parliament. I think he does care about NZ.
However, he was part of a government that believed in trickle down economics and just did not do enough in terms of investment in social infrastructure - housing, education and health. This has left the country with some massive issues to grapple with. So my grades:
As an mp: B+
As a leader serving the best overall interests of NZ society: C-

He admitted he didn't do enough to avoid social equality growing on Campbell Live.

I respected Bill English the first model as leader of the opposition, almost voted his way, he was a principled ethical and moral leader. In government he lost all that and instead of a leader he became led. Bill English the 1st cared about NZ and everyone in it, Bill English the second cared about his mates who put him there and those he hoped would keep him there.
Bill English was NOT a leader.

As a Catholic PM English almost certainly would have read Pope Francis's Encyclical on the Environment and Human Ecology. A unequivocal statement of high end social justice if there ever was one. English didn't get a pass mark at any stage of his years "influence". In reality he wasn't a Catholic PM.