John Key

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The Right Honourable
John Phillip Key
38th Prime Minister of New Zealand
Assumed office
19 November 2008[1]
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Jeremiah Mateparae
Deputy Bill English
Preceded by Helen Clark
31st Leader of the Opposition
In office
27 November 2006 – 8 November 2008
Deputy Bill English
Preceded by Don Brash
Succeeded by Phil Goff
Minister of Tourism
Assumed office
19 November 2008
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by Damien O'Connor
12th Leader of National Party
Assumed office
27 November 2006
Deputy Bill English
Preceded by Don Brash
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Helensville
Assumed office
27 July 2002
Preceded by Seat Established
Majority 20,547[2]
Personal details
Born 9 August 1961 (1961-08-09) (age 55)
Auckland, New Zealand
Political party National
Spouse(s) Bronagh Key
Children Two
Residence Parnell, Auckland

John Phillip Key (born 9 August 1961) is the 38th and current Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the New Zealand National Party. John Key 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.

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 mother.

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. She is currently full-time mother of their 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[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.