Sir John Key
|38th Prime Minister of New Zealand|
19 November 2008 –12 December 2016
|Governor-General|| Anand Satyanand |
|Preceded by||Helen Clark|
|Succeeded by||Bill English|
|31st Leader of the Opposition|
27 November 2006 –8 November 2008
|Preceded by||Don Brash|
|Succeeded by||Phil Goff|
|11th Leader of the National Party|
27 November 2006 –12 December 2016
|Preceded by||Don Brash|
|Succeeded by||Bill English|
|Chair of the International Democrat Union|
21 November 2014 –21 February 2018
|Preceded by||John Howard|
|Succeeded by||Stephen Harper|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
27 July 2002 –14 April 2017
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Chris Penk|
John Phillip Key
9 August 1961
Auckland, New Zealand
Bronagh Dougan(m. 1984)
|Alma mater||University of Canterbury|
Sir John Phillip Key GNZM AC (born 9 August 1961) is a former New Zealand politician who served as the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the New Zealand National Party. He was elected leader of the party in November 2006 and appointed Prime Minister in November 2008, resigning from both posts in December 2016. After leaving politics, Key was appointed to board of director and chairmanship roles in New Zealand corporations.
The Leader of the National Party is the highest ranked politician within the National Party in New Zealand. Under the constitution of the party, he or she is required to be a member of the House of Representatives.
The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.
Born in Auckland before moving to Christchurch when he was a child, Key attended the University of Canterbury and graduated in 1981 with a bachelor of commerce. He began a career in the foreign exchange market in New Zealand before moving overseas to work for Merrill Lynch, in which he became head of global foreign exchange in 1995, a position he would hold for six years. In 1999 he was appointed a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until leaving in 2001.
Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country, Auckland has an urban population of around 1,628,900. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. Auckland is a diverse, multicultural and cosmopolitan city, home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. A Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions.
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.
The University of Canterbury is New Zealand's second oldest university.
Key entered the New Zealand Parliament representing the Auckland electorate of Helensville as one of the few new National members of parliament in the election of 2002 following National's significant defeat of that year. In 2004, he was appointed Finance Spokesman for National and eventually succeeded Don Brash as the National Party leader in 2006. After two years as Leader of the Opposition, Key led his party to victory at the November 2008 general election. He was subsequently sworn in as Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. The National government went on to win two more general elections under his leadership: in November 2011 and September 2014. Key was expected to contest for a fourth term of office at the 2017 general election, but on 5 December 2016 he resigned as Prime Minister and leader of the National Party.He was succeeded by Bill English on 12 December 2016.
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.
An electorate is a geographical constituency used for electing members to the New Zealand Parliament. In informal discussion, electorates are often called seats. The most formal description, electoral district, is used in legislation. The size of electorates is determined on a population basis such that all electorates have approximately the same population.
Helensville is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the House of Representatives. The electorate was first established for the 1978 election and was abolished again in 1984, and has existed again since the 2002 election. The MP for Helensville is Chris Penk of the National Party, who has held the seat since the 2017 general election.
As Prime Minister, Key led the Fifth National Government of New Zealand which entered government at the beginning of the late-2000s recession in 2008. In his first term, Key's government implemented a GST rise and personal tax cuts. In February 2011, a major earthquake in Christchurch, the nation's second largest city, significantly affected the national economy and the government formed the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority in response. In its second term, Key's government implemented a policy of partial privatisation of five state-owned enterprises, while voters in a citizens-initiated referendum on the issue were 2 to 1 opposed to the policy. In foreign policy, Key withdrew New Zealand Defence Force personnel from their deployment in the war in Afghanistan, signed the Wellington Declaration with the United States and pushed for more nations to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Fifth National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand for three parliamentary terms from 19 November 2008 to 26 October 2017. John Key served as National Leader and Prime Minister until December 2016, after which Bill English assumed the premiership until the National Government's defeat following the October 2017 government-forming negotiations.
The Great Recession was a period of general economic decline observed in world markets during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that it was the most severe economic and financial meltdown since the Great Depression and it is frequently seen as the second worst downturn of all time.
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax or consumption tax for goods and services consumed in New Zealand.
Key was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to George Key (1914–1969)and Ruth Key (née Lazar; 1922–2000), on 9 August 1961. His father was an English immigrant and a veteran of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. Key and his two sisters were raised in a state house in the Christchurch suburb of Bryndwr, by his mother, an Austrian Jewish immigrant. Key is the third prime minister or premier of New Zealand to have Jewish ancestry, after Julius Vogel and Francis Bell.
The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.
The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists, Monarchists, Carlists, and Catholics, led by a military clique among whom General Francisco Franco soon achieved a preponderant role. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, and different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism. The Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
He attended Aorangi School,and then Burnside High School from 1975 to 1979, where he met his wife, Bronagh. He went on to attend the University of Canterbury and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting in 1981. He also attended management studies courses at Harvard University.
Burnside High School is a state co-educational secondary school located in the suburb of Burnside in Christchurch, New Zealand. With a roll of 2526 students, it is the largest school in New Zealand outside Auckland, and is among the country's six largest schools.
A Bachelor of Commerce is an undergraduate degree in commerce and related subjects, usually awarded in Canada, Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Myanmar and other Commonwealth countries; however, the degree is no longer offered in the United Kingdom.
Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Benedikt Kotruljevic in 1458, merchant, economist, scientist, diplomat and humanist from Dubrovnik (Croatia), and Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.
Key's first job was in 1982, as an auditor at McCulloch Menzies, and he then moved to be a project manager at Christchurch-based clothing manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin for two years.Key began working as a foreign exchange dealer at Elders Finance in Wellington, and rose to the position of head foreign exchange trader two years later, then moved to Auckland-based Bankers Trust in 1988.
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.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. He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.
In 1998, on learning of his interest in pursuing a political career, the National Party president John Slater began working actively to recruit him. Former party leader Jenny Shipley describes him as one of the people she "deliberately sought out and put my head on the line–either privately or publicly–to get them in there".
|New Zealand Parliament|
Auckland's population growth led to the formation for the 2002 general election of a new electorate called Helensville, which covered the north-western corner of the Auckland urban area.Key beat long-serving National MP Brian Neeson (whose own Waitakere seat had moved on paper to being a Labour seat through the boundary changes) for the National Party Helensville selection. At the 2002 general election Key won the seat with a majority of 1,705, ahead of Labour's Gary Russell, with Neeson, now standing as an independent, coming third.
The National Party was heavily defeated in the 2002 election, receiving only 20.9% of the party vote – the party's worst-ever election result.Following the fallout a leadership coup against the incumbent Bill English was launched by Don Brash, another of the 2002 recruits, in October 2003. English and his supporters offered Key the finance spokesman position for his vote and were confident they had the numbers with him on their side. Brash narrowly won 14 votes to 12 and at the time it was thought Key had changed his support to Brash. The votes were confidential, although later Key stated that he did vote for English.
Key won re-election at the 2005 general election, garnering 63% of votes cast.He increased his majority again in 2008, gaining 73% of the electorate vote.
The low numbers in the National caucus meant Key was given more opportunities and responsibilities than most new Members of Parliament would.After serving as deputy finance spokesman under Brash, Key was promoted to the Opposition front benches in 2004 as party spokesman for finance. Key was up against Michael Cullen, the Minister of Finance and a veteran of 23 years in parliament. There was concern he would be out of his depth going up against Cullen in his first term and there was talk among the party of trying to "protect" Key. During the 2005 election campaign political commentators felt Key matched Cullen in the debates, although he may have benefited from Labour focusing their campaign on discrediting Brash.
Although Brash lost the election, Key remained as finance spokesman.He was promoted to number four on the list, partly due to his success at selling the party's tax package during the campaign. While Keys ambition to become leader had been telegraphed from early in his political career, he was now beginning to rate highly on preferred Prime Minister polls. Rumours that Key was looking to take over the leadership circulated and there was an unofficial agreement between Brash and Key that he would be the natural successor.
Things came to a head earlier than expected. In November 2006. Brash resigned as leader, citing damaging speculation over his future as the reason. His resignation followed controversies over an extramarital affair, and over leaked internal National Party documents that were later published in the book The Hollow Men .After months of speculation, Key stood for leadership of the party and was duly elected unopposed.
On becoming leader Key convinced Gerry Brownlee, deputy leader under Brash, to step aside and promoted his main rival English to deputy leader and finance spokesman. He showed a ruthless streak by unceremoniously pushing Brash out and refusing to allow another one of the 2002 recruits, Brian Connell, back into the caucus.In his maiden speech as National Party leader, Key spoke of an "underclass" that had been "allowed to develop" in New Zealand, a theme which received a large amount of media coverage. Key followed up on this speech in February 2007 by committing his party to a programme which would provide food in the poorest schools in New Zealand.
In opposition he was instrumental in promoting Nationals change of policy regarding keeping superannuation and Kiwibank.He also supported interest-free student loans and early childhood education funding. He relented on his stance in opposition to Sue Bradford's Child Discipline Bill, which sought to remove "reasonable force" as a defence for parents charged with prima facie assault of their children. Key and Prime Minister Helen Clark agreed a compromise – giving police the discretion to overlook smacking they regarded as "inconsequential".
In August 2007 Key came in for criticism when he changed his position regarding the Therapeutic Products and Medicine Bill.At the same time Labour's Trevor Mallard hinted in Parliament that Labour would try to link Key to the 1987 "H-Fee" scandal, which involved Key's former employer Elders Merchant Finance and a payment to Equiticorp Chief Executive Allan Hawkins. Hawkins and Elders executive Ken Jarrett were later jailed for fraud. Key declaring that he had left Elders months before the event, that he had no knowledge of the deal, and that his interview with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) during the investigation into the affair could only have helped to convict the people involved. Then-SFO director Charles Sturt publicly supported Key's statement.
Labour MPs criticised Key for not releasing specific policy information at their annual conference. Key responded that National would set its own policy agenda and that there was adequate time before the next election for voters to digest National Party policy proposals.
Key became Prime Minister following the general election on 8 November 2008, which signalled an end to the Labour-led government of nine years under Clark. The National Party, promoting a policy of "change", won 45% of the party vote and 59 of the 122 seats in Parliament (including a two-seat overhang), a substantial margin over the Labour Party, which won 43 seats.
National negotiated with smaller parties to form a minority government with confidence and supply from the classical-liberal ACT Party, the centrist United Future and the indigenous-rights-based Māori Party.
Key was sworn in as Prime Minister and Minister of Tourismand also appointed as a member of the Executive Council on 19 November 2008, along with his nominated cabinet. He chose Bill English as his Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. During his first term in office National remained high in the polls and one commentator described support for Key as "stratospheric". In 2011 he was nicknamed "Teflon John" in the popular media, as nothing damaging to his reputation seemed to "stick" to him.
Key's government introduced several bold economic policies in response to the global economic downturn that began shortly after he took office. The government introduced a plan of personal tax cuts, reducing taxes on all income; the top personal tax rate was lowered from 39% to 38% and then 33%.In its first budget the government raised the rate of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 12.5% to 15%, despite Key previously stating that an increase would not happen under a National government.
In January 2009, after addressing Chinese New Year celebrations at the Greenlane ASB Showgrounds, Key tripped after coming down a small set of stairs in front of cameras, leaving him with a broken right arm and "embarrassed".Later that year, when arriving at the Ngapuhi Te Tii Waitangi Marae the day before Waitangi Day, Key was briefly shoved and grabbed by two protesters before diplomatic protection officers pulled them off. He told reporters he was "quite shocked" but continued onto the marae and spoke, while police took the two men away and charged them with assault.
Key was tied with the National Cycleway Project since its conception at the national Job Summit in early 2009. He proposed it, and as Minister for Tourism, was instrumental in getting NZ$50 million approved for initial construction work.
Key launched New Zealand's campaign for a Security Council seat at the UN General Assembly meeting in September 2009.He met briefly with US President Barack Obama and former US President Bill Clinton. While in New York City, Key appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman . He read out the Top Ten list, 'Top Ten Reasons You Should Visit New Zealand'.
In foreign policy, Key supported closer relations with the United States, an ANZUS defence partner. On 4 November 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully signed the Wellington Declaration. The agreement signalled an increase in the strategic partnership between the two nations and covered areas of co-operation including nuclear proliferation, climate change and terrorism.This was followed in June 2012 by a companion document, the Washington Declaration. Since 2008 Key has also engaged in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations with the United States and other Asia-Pacific economies.
On 22 February 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, causing widespread damage to the city region and significantly affecting the national economy. It was New Zealand's third deadliest natural disaster, killing 185 people.Addressing the nation, Key said that the disaster "...may well be New Zealand's darkest day". On 29 March 2011, Key created the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to manage the earthquake recovery, co-operating with the government, local councils and residents.
On 8 March 2011, John Key advised the Queen to appoint Jerry Mateparae as the next Governor-General of New Zealand.The Queen of New Zealand made the appointment later that day.
In October 2011, Key was caught up in a controversy over the replacement of 34 three-year-old Government BMW limousines with new ones at a time of economic restraint. Initially, Key denied any knowledge of the plan, although reports later surfaced showing that his office was aware of the deal. Political opponents accused Key and his government of hypocrisy; he later apologised, calling it a "sloppy" deal, effectively placing most of the blame on his chief of staff.
Shortly before the general election in November 2011, a recording was made of a conversation between Key and ACT Party candidate John Banks that they considered private – though the conversation took place in a public cafe.Key made a complaint to the police and compared the incident to illegal phone hacking in the News of the World scandal in Britain. The recording allegedly concerned the leadership of ACT and disparaging remarks about elderly New Zealand First supporters. Journalists and opposition parties demanded the release of the tapes and the affair was nicknamed 'teapot tape'. A senior barrister criticised Key, stating that the comparison of the recording to the phone hacking scandal was a "cheap shot".
Statements made by Key regarding New Zealand's national credit rating proved controversial. In October 2011 he claimed that Standard & Poor's (S&P) had said that "if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely". S&P contradicted the claim, bringing Key's credibility into question.National won the election, but New Zealand's credit rating was subsequently downgraded anyway – by two different agencies – Standard and Poor's and Fitch Group.
The general election on 26 November 2011 saw National increase its share of the vote and gain a seat, while Labour suffered further losses.Key called the election a "very happy night" and a "strong and solid win" for his party. The Prime Minister re-negotiated confidence and supply agreements with United Future, the ACT Party and the Māori Party, to secure a second term of government.
In 2012, Key was implicated in the arrest of Kim Dotcom and the subsequent revelations that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had illegally spied on Dotcom.As Prime Minister, Key was directly responsible for the GCSB, which is not allowed to spy on New Zealand citizens – and Dotcom had been granted permanent residency. Three days later, Key apologised for the illegal spying. "I apologize to Mr Dotcom. I apologize to New Zealanders because every New Zealander…is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him." It subsequently came to light that Deputy Prime Minister Bill English had been asked by the GCSB to sign a "ministerial certificate" suppressing details of the bureau's involvement in the case while Key was overseas – the only time this had been done in the last ten years.
The fallout from Dotcom's arrest continued in December when the High Court ordered the GCSB to "confirm all entities" to which it gave information, opening the door for Dotcom to sue for damages – against the spy agency and the police.Later that month, Key's rating as preferred PM dropped to 39% – the first time in his four years as prime minister that his rating had slipped below 40%. It emerged that Key had known Ian Fletcher, head of the GCSB, since they were at school, but Key denied he had 'shoulder-tapped' Fletcher for the role. Later Key's office released a statement saying he rang Fletcher and recommended he apply for the position at GCSB. Key said he hadn't originally mentioned the phone call because he "forgot". Political commentator Bryce Edwards called it the "most appalling political management since he became Prime Minister back in 2008".
Key continued New Zealand's push for a spot on the UN Security Council while in New York in 2013.There he accused rival candidates Spain and Turkey of using aid money to buy votes from small African countries, and said New Zealand would not be spending its way onto the Council. While in New York, Key suddenly fell ill, but recovered in time for meetings with representatives from other countries ahead of the General Assembly.
In April whilst visiting Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing, Key made headlines by suggesting New Zealand would back any United States or Australian military action against North Korea.The following day he backtracked, saying the chance of New Zealand troops entering North Korea was "so far off the planet".
The general election on 20 September 2014 saw the National Government returned again. National won a plurality with 47.0% of the party vote and 60 of the 121 seats. On election night counts the party appeared to hold the first majority since 1994 with 61 seats, but lost a list seat (for Maureen Pugh) to the Green Party on the official count (including special votes) of the party vote.National re-entered a confidence and supply arrangement with United Future, the ACT Party and the Māori Party.
In October, Key created a new ministerial portfolio called the Minister of National Security and Intelligence to serve the newly established Cabinet National Security Committee.The Prime Minister assumed the new portfolio while the Attorney General Christopher Finlayson became Minister Responsible for the GCSB and Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), portfolios which have traditionally been held by a prime minister. Key was elected Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU), an international alliance of centre-right political parties. The National Party was a founding member party in 1983.
In April 2015, Key acknowledged that he had pulled a waitress' ponytail multiple times over several months;when Key learnt she had taken offence, he apologised. International media reported the incident as "ponytail-gate".
Key had long supported changing the flag of New Zealand, and during the 2014 general election campaign promised a referendum on the issue.Following the election win, two New Zealand flag referendums were held in November/December 2015 and March 2016. The second resulted in the retention of the current flag. Critics (both national and international) charged that the referendums were unnecessary, expensive and a "wasteful vanity project".
International trade and the negotiation of free-trade agreements were a priority in Key's third term. He was a leading advocate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), also supporting the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPSEP). Both agreements provide for a multilateral free-trade area in the Asia–Pacific region. In a September 2016 speech to the Council of Foreign Relations, Key said "[TPP] will boost our economy by at least $2.7 billion a year by 2030. It will help diversify our economy and create more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders".Key was particularly intent on securing the participation of the United States in the agreement; to this end, he discussed TPP with President Barack Obama in April 2016, and hosted Secretary of State John Kerry in Wellington, 9–13 November 2016. The finalised TPP proposal was signed on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, concluding seven years of negotiations. In January 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum to withdrawing the United States' signature from the agreement, making its ratification virtually impossible.
In March 2016, Queen Elizabeth II , Queen of New Zealand, approved the appointment of Dame Patsy Reddy as the next Governor-General of New Zealand, for a five-year term starting in September 2016, on the advice of John Key.
Key resigned as Prime Minister and leader of the National Party, effective 12 December, and instructed the party to put into motion the processes to elect a new leader. He expressed interest in spending more time with his family, stating that he had "never seen [himself] as a career politician" and that "this feels the right time to go". Media reports described the decision as unexpected, and noted the popularity of Key and his party.He was succeeded by Bill English.
Following his resignation, Key stated that he would leave Parliament before the 2017 general election. However, he stated that he would resign within six months of the election so as to not trigger a by-election in the Helensville electorate.He gave his valedictory speech in Parliament on 22 March 2017 and formally resigned the following month, on 14 April.
In May 2017, Key was appointed to the board of directors of Air New Zealand, and took up the position on 1 September 2017.He was also appointed chairman of ANZ Bank New Zealand, taking up the position on 18 October 2017.
Key's views were largely aligned with his own party's view. However, he noted that his differences from his predecessor are more of style and focus rather than view.Key noted others' concern at the pace of asset sales, but stated that the arguments against selling assets in the 1980s were largely irrational. In a 2002 interview, he said that "some form of orientation towards privatisation" in health, education and superannuation, such as giving firms tax breaks for employer super schemes, made sense. After his party won a plurality in the 2011 election, Key rejected claims that the National Government lacked a mandate to partially privatise state-owned assets.
Key had a mixed voting record on social issues. In 2004 he voted against the bill creating civil unions,stating that, while he personally supports such unions, he acted in accordance with his electorate's views. However, in 2005, Key was part of a large bloc of MPs voting to defeat a bill that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Key stated in 2008 that he did not oppose same-sex couples adopting children. In 2013 he expressed support for same-sex marriage and voted for the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013.
In 2008 Key voted for an attempt to raise the legal drinking age from 18 back to 20,but ignored a Law Commission recommendation to increase levies on alcohol. He claimed there was "no appetite" for such a move. A report on public attitudes to alcohol law reform was later discovered, which indicated that in 2010, when he made this claim, 56% of New Zealanders supported a price increase.
Key says that global warming is a real phenomenon, and that the Government needed to implement measures to reduce human contribution to global warming.Key committed the National Party to working towards reducing greenhouse emissions in New Zealand by 50% within the next fifty years. Commentators note that as late as 2005, Key made statements indicating that he was sceptical of the effects and impact of climate change.
As a first-term MP in 2003, Key criticised the Labour-led government's stance on the Invasion of Iraq, claiming that New Zealand was "missing in action" by failing to support its ANZUS allies, the United States and Australia.In August 2007 Key claimed that he would have taken a similar position to Clark and not sent troops to Iraq. In response, the Government argued that his comments from 2003 suggest that Key would have deployed troops had he been Prime Minister at the time.
Like his predecessor Helen Clark, Key views a New Zealand republic as "inevitable", although probably not for another decade. "If Australia becomes a republic there is no question it will set off quite an intense debate on this side of the Tasman", he said. "We would have to have a referendum if we wanted to move towards it."Key later stated that he was a monarchist, and that a New Zealand republic would "Not [happen] under my watch". In 2009 Key's government restored titular honours, including knighthoods and damehoods — the abolishment of these titles in 2000 had been seen as an advancement towards republicanism.
On 25 July 2008, Key was added to the New Zealand National Business Review (NBR) Rich List for the first time. The list details the wealthiest New Zealand individuals and family groups. He had an estimated wealth of NZ$50 million,which made him the wealthiest New Zealand Member of Parliament. In the 2016 NBR Rich List, Key had an estimated wealth of NZ$60 million. Most of his financial investments are held in a blind trust.
Key married Bronagh Irene Dougan in 1984; they met when they were both students at Burnside High School.She has a BCom degree, and worked as a personnel consultant before becoming a full-time mother. They have two children, Stephie and Max. Max is a night-time radio host for George FM, and is also a singer. Stephie is a performance artist.
In 2008 Key stated that he attended church frequently with his children, but was an agnostic.He has said that he does not believe in an afterlife, and sees religion as "doing the right thing".
On 3 August 2010, Key gained the style "The Right Honourable". Previously, as he was not a privy councillor, he had not been entitled to use the style—his predecessor ended the appointment of New Zealanders to the Privy Council. However, in 2010 the Queen approved the use of the style by Prime Ministers, Governors-General, Speakers of the House, and Chief Justices.
Key was appointed a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, in recognition of "services to the State", in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours.Later Key was appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia, for "eminent service to Australia-New Zealand relations", by the Governor-General of Australia on the personal recommendation of the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
On 7 August 2017, Key was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, the University of Canterbury, to become a doctor of commerce.
Sir Simon William English is a retired New Zealand politician who served as the 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2016 to 2017. He was the leader of the National Party from 2001 to 2003 and 2016 to 2018, also serving two terms as Leader of the Opposition.
Philip Bruce Goff is the Mayor of Auckland, in office since 2016; previously he was a Member of the New Zealand Parliament from 1981 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 2016. He served as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition between 11 November 2008 and 13 December 2011.
The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) is the public-service department of New Zealand charged with promoting New Zealand's national security by collecting and analysing information of an intelligence nature.
Nicky Hager is a New Zealand investigative journalist. He has produced six books since 1996, covering topics such as intelligence networks, environmental issues and politics. He is the only New Zealand member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
David Richard Cunliffe is a New Zealand politician who was Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, serving from September 2013 to September 2014. A former Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for New Lynn, he served as the Minister of Health, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Minister of Immigration, as well as a range of associate economic portfolios for the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand from October 2007 until November 2008.
Anthony Boyd Williams Ryall is a New Zealand former politician. He represented the National Party in the New Zealand Parliament from 1990 to 2014. Since November 2008, he served as a cabinet minister, holding the posts of Minister of Health, Minister of State Services and Minister of State Owned Enterprises. He served previously in the Shipley Cabinet between 1997 and 1999. He announced in February 2014 that he was to retire from politics at that year's general election. He is chief executive of BestStart Educare, an early childhood education provider.
Sir Douglas Arthur Montrose Graham is a former New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1984 to 1999, representing the National Party.
Kim Dotcom, also known as Kimble and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, is a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur and political activist who resides in Queenstown, New Zealand. He first rose to fame in Germany in the 1990s as an Internet entrepreneur.
Paula Lee Bennett is a New Zealand politician who serves as the Deputy Leader of the National Party and MP for Upper Harbour. She served as the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand between December 2016 and October 2017.
The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked an end to nine years of Labour Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth National Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.
Grant Murray Robertson is a New Zealand Labour politician who has been the Minister of Finance since 2017 and the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central since 2008.
New Zealand has a history of debate about whether the national flag should be changed. For several decades, alternative designs have been proposed, with varying degrees of support. There is no consensus among proponents of changing the flag as to which design should replace the flag. Unlike in Australia, the flag debate in New Zealand is occurring independently of debate about becoming a republic. Common criticisms of the current design of the New Zealand flag are its similarity to the Australian flag and the inappropriateness of retaining the Union Jack in the design. A series of polls conducted since the 1970s have shown that a majority of New Zealanders prefer the current flag.
Simon Joseph Bridges is a New Zealand politician and lawyer who has served as the Leader of the New Zealand National Party and Leader of the Opposition since 27 February 2018. He has been the Member of Parliament for Tauranga since the 2008 election. A self-described "compassionate conservative", Bridges has served in several Cabinet portfolios, including those of Minister of Transport (2014–2017) and Minister of Economic Development (2016–2017). He took the role of Leader of the House from May to October 2017.
Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is a New Zealand politician serving since 26 October 2017 as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand. She has also served as the Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017. Ardern has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mount Albert electorate since 8 March 2017; she was first elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP at the 2008 general election.
Kelvin Glen Davis is a New Zealand politician and a member of the House of Representatives who has served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party since 1 August 2017.
The Minister for Infrastructure is a ministerial post created in November 2008 by the Government of New Zealand, in accordance with the National party's pre-election policy.
Helen Elizabeth Clark is a New Zealand politician who served as the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, and was the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme from 2009 to 2017. She was New Zealand's fifth-longest-serving prime minister, and the second woman to hold that office.
The Mana Movement, formerly known as the Mana Party, is a New Zealand political party led by Hone Harawira which was formed in April 2011 following his resignation from the Māori Party. Harawira won the by-election in Te Tai Tokerau of 25 June 2011 for the Mana Party and retained the seat during the 2011 general election, but lost it in 2014 and 2017 to Labour Party candidate Kelvin Davis.
This is a summary of the electoral history of John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand (2008–2016), Leader of the National Party (2006–2016), and Member of Parliament for Helensville (2002–2017).
Education Minister Anne Tolley has announced that Prime Minister John Key's former primary school, Aorangi School in Christchurch, will close in January.
82 per cent thought [the new law] should be changed to state that parents who smacked their children to correct them were not breaking the law.
if you're asking me if I'm religious it depends how you define religion. I look at religion as doing the right thing....I go to church a lot with the kids, but I wouldn't describe it as something that I ... I'm not a heavy believer; my mother was Jewish which technically makes me Jewish. Yeah, I probably see it in a slightly more relaxed way.
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|New Zealand Parliament|
|New constituency|| Member of Parliament|
| Leader of the Opposition |
| Prime Minister of New Zealand |
| Minister of Tourism|
|New office|| Minister of National Security and Intelligence |
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the National Party |
| Chair of the International Democrat Union |