Tuesday 6 December 2016

New Zealand Is Looking Forward To A New Prime Minister

New Zealand

At least three senior ministers joined the race to replace New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday, a day after Key stunned the nation by resigning to spend more time with his family, with his deputy Bill English seen as the front-runner.

English, the finance minister and deputy leader of the ruling centre-right National Party, announced his candidacy, as did Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Police minister Judith Collins. Other contenders may yet still emerge before the party holds a caucus meeting on Monday to vote for a new leader.

English has been endorsed by Key but all three said they believed they had significant support in the 51-member caucus.

"I can see fantastic opportunities for stronger economic performance, for spreading the benefits of growth for more New Zealanders ... I am a candidate for leadership," English told reporters after a caucus meeting in New Zealand's distinctive "Beehive" parliament building in the capital, Wellington.

Several others, including Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse and Primary Industry Minister Nathan Guy, have declared their support for English.

Other potential candidates include senior Cabinet minister Steven Joyce, fellow Cabinet minister Paula Bennett and Energy Minister Simon Bridges.

National elections are not expected until late 2017.



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