John Key

New Zealand PM: Bill English to succeed John Key

It follows Mr Key's surprise resignation last week. Social housing minister Paula Bennett has been named as deputy prime minister.

The appointments were confirmed after a meeting of the National Party's caucus.

Mr English, currently finance minister and deputy prime minister, will be officially sworn in at Government House in Wellington later on Monday.

In a tweet, Mr English said he was "excited and humbled" to be elected.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in surprise resignation

Called it "the hardest decision I've ever made," an emotional Mr Key said "I don't know what I'll do next".

Deputy PM Bill English is likely to take over until the National Party holds a caucus to choose a new PM.

Mr Key, a popular leader, is stepping down at the request of his wife Bronagh, the New Zealand Herald reports.

He won a third term for the National Party at elections in September 2014. He said he would not be contesting the 2017 election.


'Nothing left'

John Key resigns as Prime Minister

A special caucus meeting will be called on 12 December, when a new leader will be decided upon.

He said it had been a privilege to serve the people of Helensville, and he will stay in Parliament long enough to avoid a by-election.

Mr Key made the announcement at Parliament today.

He told his Cabinet and caucus colleagues this morning that he did not intend to stay on for a fourth term as leader, he said.

"To me, this feels like the right time to go."

Envoy will push for NZ to fund PNG sports

During the launching of the Jonah Lomu Cup in Port Moresby, Fautua said he will make strong representation for PNG to be included in the NZ$10 million (K20 million) Pacific Sports Partnership Program (PSP).

The PSP is focused on the development of rugby and netball in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

However, Fautua says PNG has to prove to itself and to the region that it is worthy of starting something that will develop the sport and the country.

Panama Papers: New Zealand to tighten trust laws after being named in leaks


New Zealand has announced it is tightening rules surrounding foreign trusts after numerous documents in the Panama Papers leak referenced the country.

Officials in Wellington said the changes would improve the disclosure and registration of foreign trusts, as well as strengthening anti-money laundering rules.

"The changes to the foreign trust rules are a matter that the Government intends to move quickly on," Finance Minister Bill English said.

NZ PM dismisses new flag poll

In the TV3 Reid-Research poll - released last night - Kiwis were asked whether they wanted change now that they had seen the final four alternative flag options.

Only 25 percent said yes, while the majority said no.

But PM Key - who has previously voiced his support for the silver fern on the flag - said the question asked was too basic, as there were people who had yet to make up their minds.

He told Morning Report fewer than 50 percent of people want to keep the current flag, and that number was falling.

NZ PM happy with his country's climate change stance

John Key is attending the Forum leaders meeting in Port Moresby which opened last night.

The meeting was preceded by declarations by Small Islands States, NGOs and Fiji's Pacific Islands Development Forum calling for greater action including no more than a 1.5 degree rise in global temperature above pre-industrial levels.

Developed nations have traditionally looked at two degrees as a more realistic target.

Mr Key says he is happy with the work New Zealand has done to fight climate change.

More aid for Cook Islands - NZ PM Key

The money is to be spent on education, health and infrastructure, such as rolling projects in renewable energy providing solar power to Cook Islanders' homes.

On top of the three-year aid pledge Key also announced a gift of $11.7m (US47.6 million) to go towards rebuilding the country's national secondary school.

Key has led a delegation of ministers and MPs and New Zealand-based Cook Islands community leaders to Rarotonga where they were welcomed by Prime Minister Henry Puna for two days of meetings and festivities.

PM Puna keen to discuss ‘super’ rules with NZ PM Key

The proposed changes directly affect the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokerau which are part of the Realm of New Zealand.

Key is scheduled to arrive on Rarotonga this afternoon with a large contingent from New Zealand. Puna hopes by having ‘bilateral discussions’ with Key during his visit here the Cook Islands government may learn what those reasons were.

Cooks PM keen to pursue talks with NZ on UN membership

Key is in Rarotonga for the 50th year celebrations of the Cooks free association deal with New Zealand.

Puna says applying the same innovative thinking of 50 years ago could also deliver UN membership and the retention of New Zealand citizenship for Cook Islanders.

He says the 1965 arrangement was the first of its kind in the world and the Cook Islands has historically done things ahead of everybody else.

He stresses he is mindful of being careful and how far the Cook Islands can push the issue.