Topic: Politics

John Key resigns – I have nothing left in the tank

By Heta Gardiner
  • Wellington

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has announced his shock resignation stating he has got nothing more left in the tank. Key informed his cabinet and caucus this morning that he wouldn't be standing in the next election. He is the first New Zealand Prime Minister to resign while in office since David Lange in 1989. 

John Key walked into today’s press conference like it was business as usual. Two minutes into his press conference came the first hint of his shock announcement.

“As I’ve given everything I could to this job, the job that I cherish and the country that I love. All of this has come at quite some sacrifice as for the people who are dearest to me, my family. For my wife Bronah, there have been many nights and weekends spent alone. Many occasions that are important to her that simply couldn’t attend. My daughter Stephy and my son Max have transitioned to teenagers to young adults while coping with an extraordinary level of intrusion and pressure because of their father’s job,” said PM John Key.

It's understood Keys family had asked him to step down after eight years as Prime Minister.

“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.”

Key admitted he could no longer look the public in the eye and say he wanted a fourth term in government.

“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.”

Key said he supported Bill English as the next leader and that change would be good for the National Party.

“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.”