John Key

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John Key

Head and shoulders of a smiling man in a dark suit and pale blue spotted tie
John Key at Government House, 11 February 2015
38th Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
19 November 2008 – 12 December 2016
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralAnand Satyanand
Jerry Mateparae
Patsy Reddy
DeputyBill English
Preceded byHelen Clark
Succeeded byBill English
31st Leader of the Opposition
In office
27 November 2006 – 8 November 2008
DeputyBill English
Preceded byDon Brash
Succeeded byPhil Goff
12th Leader of the National Party
In office
27 November 2006 – 12 December 2016
DeputyBill English
Preceded byDon Brash
Succeeded byTBD
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Helensville
Assumed office
27 July 2002
Preceded byConstituency established
Majority20,547 (56.49%)[1]
Chairman of the International Democrat Union
Assumed office
21 November 2014
DeputyTony Clement
Preceded byJohn Howard
Personal details
John Phillip Key

(1961-08-09) 9 August 1961 (age 62)
Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyNational Party
Spouse(s)Bronagh Key (1984–present)
Alma materUniversity of Canterbury
WebsiteOfficial website

John Phillip Key (born 9 August 1961) was the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand and was the leader of the New Zealand National Party. He entered the New Zealand Parliament in 2002 representing the north-west Auckland area of Helensville as a National MP, a seat that he still holds. In 2006 he succeeded Don Brash as the National Party leader in 2006. Key led his party to victory in the November 2008 general election.

On 5 December 2016, Key resigned as prime minister and as party leader. Bill English soon replaced Key as prime minister and party leader.

Personal Life[change | change source]

Key with his wife and two children

Key was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to George Key and Ruth Key. His father, who was from the UK, died of a heart attack in 1967. Key and his two sisters were raised in a state house in Christchurch by his Jewish mother.[2]

He attended Burnside High School, and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting from the University of Canterbury in 1981.[3] He has attended management studies courses at Harvard University, although he did not receive a degree from this institution.[4][5]

Key met his wife Bronagh when they were both students at Burnside High School. They married in 1984. They have two children, Stephie and Max.[6]

Before politics[change | change source]

In 1995, he joined Merrill Lynch as head of Asian foreign exchange in Singapore. That same year he was promoted to Merrill's global head of foreign exchange, based in London, where he may have earned around US$2.25 million a year including bonuses, which is about NZ$5 million at 2001 exchange rates.[3][7] Some co-workers called him "the smiling assassin" for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis.[6][7] He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.[5]

Parl. Electorate List Pos. Party
47th Helensville 43 National
48th Helensville 7 National
49th Helensville 1 National

Prime Minister (2008-2016)[change | change source]

Key after winning the 2008 election

Key became Prime Minister following the general election on 8 November 2008 which ended the Labour-led government of nine years under Helen Clark. The National Party, promoting a policy of "change", won 45% of the party vote and 59 of the 122 seats in Parliament, a big margin over the Labour Party which won 43 seats.

Key was sworn in as Prime Minister on 19 November 2008 along with his new cabinet. His first international outing as Prime Minister was the 20th APEC meeting in Peru the following day.

Key announced he will step down from the role of Prime Minister and leader of the National Party effective 12 December 2016.[8]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Official Count Results–Helensville". New Zealand Electoral Commission. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 June 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  2. "". Archived from the original on 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "POLITICS: John Key - A snapshot". Sunday Star Times. 2008-02-03. Archived from the original on 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  4. Maggie Tait (2006-11-27). "Profile: John Key". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "New Zealand Parliament - Key, John". Archived from the original on 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bevan Rapson (2005-04-26). "Golden Boy". Metro Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gillian Tett and Ruth Laugesen (2008-02-03). "Who is John Key?". Sunday Star Times. Archived from the original on 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  8. "New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announces resignation". 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.