New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who won praise for his economic stewardship after the global financial crisis, unexpectedly announced his resignation after eight years in power backing his finance minister to take the helm.
- Key, a popular former foreign exchange dealer who grew up in state housing, is part-way through a third, three-year term that has been marked by political stability and economic reform.
- Steven Joyce, who has held a variety of senior cabinet positions since joining the parliament in 2008, is seen as another potential candidate, while Judith Collins, the minister for police and corrections, told local media she would not rule out running.
- The New Zealand dollar fell around a fifth of a U.S. cent on the news and was last trading around $0.71 NZD=D4.
- He won praise with his stewardship of the NZ$240 billion ($170 billion) economy in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and two devastating earthquakes around Christchurch.
- The National Party caucus will hold a meeting on December 12 to decide the new party leader and prime minister.
- Key said he would vote for his deputy and finance minister Bill English to take over.
Do you know?
- New Zealand is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
- New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life.
- New Zealand’s capital city is Wellington.
- New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy.
- Queen Elizabeth II is the country’s head of state and is represented by a governor-general.
- The Queen is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister.