Andrew Little was quick to respond to John Key’s resignation announcement via Twitter:
That’s a gracious and respectable off the cuff reaction. And on Facebook:
Although we have our differences on policy, John Key has served this country generously and with dedication. I called him this afternoon to wish him and his family the best.
Metiria Turei put more politics and herself into her response.
A more considered response from Greens co-leader James Shaw:
Green Party statement on resignation of the Prime Minister
The Green Party wishes to extend its best wishes to the Prime Minister, following his resignation today.
“On behalf of Metiria, the Green Party MPs and the Party, I would like to thank John Key for his eight years of service as Prime Minister,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“No matter your political allegiance, you have to respect someone who chooses to make the personal sacrifices required to be our country’s Prime Minister.
“I would like to pass along our best wishes to him for whatever his future holds, and to his wife, Bronagh, and children Stephie and Max as well, who I’m sure have made many sacrifices of their own.
“Being the leader of a major political party, and indeed the country, is not an easy job; Mr Key should be applauded for his commitment to public service and to New Zealand,” said Mr Shaw.
Māori Party acknowledges John Key
Marama Fox and Te Ururoa Flavell
Māori Party Co-Leaders
The Māori Party will always be grateful to John Key for making a space at the table of his Government for a kaupapa Māori Party.
“It has been under the leadership of John Key that the Māori Party has been able to secure gains for Maori and advance kaupapa Māori over the past eight years,” said Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
“We may not have agreed on everything but we’ve always maintained a respectful relationship with the Prime Minister and he with us,” said Mr Flavell.
“We’ve had some tough talks on many issues but at the end of the day, respect for each other prevailed and that’s why he has always seen us as a party that governments can work with,” said Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox.
“We’re all about whānau in the Māori Party, so we understand and support Mr Key’s call to return to his family and be with them more.”
Both co-leaders were confident that the new Prime Minister would continue the mana-enhancing relationship between the National Party and the Māori Party.
“It’s up to the National Party to decide who will lead them now. The Māori Party will work with anyone to advance kaupapa Māori.”
The Act Party:
And a press release:
ACT congratulates John Key
“The ACT Party congratulates John Key on eight years as Prime Minister, and the noble way he has bowed out,” says ACT Leader David Seymour
“Under John’s leadership, the Government has steadfastly maintained New Zealand’s policy settings. As a result, we remain at the top of almost every international league table for good policy settings. In the long term, all Prime Ministers are judged for the policies they leave behind, and John will be judged well.
“It is a reality of MMP that ACT has played a vital role helping John to become and remain Prime Minister. He thanked me for that this morning. I’d like to thank him on behalf of ACT and its previous leaders for the constructive way we’ve worked together over the past eight years.
“We also extend our warmest regards to Bronagh as the Keys get their lives back after a decade of service to the country.”
Peter Dunne (United Future):
“I’m gonna miss him”.
“I got a call from the Prime Minister about 12.20 this afternoon to inform me and he gave his reasons, as I understand it family, time to move on, time to give a new leader a good chance with the run-in to the election next year etc.
“I admire him for having the courage to make that call, it would have been very easy if his mind was somewhere to have simply carried on for the sake of the party. It’s a huge decision and it’s one I think that no one in their wildest dreams would have imagined happening.
“The test will be just who the new leader is, how that beds down, and what the reaction of New Zealand is. I think most New Zealanders will take a day or two to absorb this, and then they will make a judgement based on what they see the likely new line-up looking like.”
Ex Prime Minister Helen Clark:
“John Key has worked tirelessly to promote New Zealand and its interests over eight years as Prime Minister. I am personally highly appreciative of the support he has given me as a New Zealander in the international system. I respect his decision to stand down now and spend more time with Bronagh and his children, and I wish him all the best for whatever the future holds.”
John Key’s intelligence, optimism and integrity as Leader of the National Party and Prime Minister of New Zealand means he will be judged by history as one of New Zealand’s greatest leaders, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says.
“On behalf of the National Party, the Government and New Zealand I thank John for his years of dedicated and outstanding service to our country.
“Through good times and bad, his strong leadership has been steadfast and this is a more confident, successful and self-assured country because of his contribution. He has truly made a difference.
“I thank Bronagh, Stephie and Max for the sacrifice they’ve made to enable John to be an extremely successful and effective leader. We are deeply appreciative.
“While the gap he leaves is huge we understand and respect his decision to step down from a job from which there is no respite. We wish John and his family every success with their life out of the public eye.
“Under John Key’s leadership the Government has worked alongside New Zealanders to ensure our country is one of the most desirable places to live, work and raise a family in the world.”
The National Caucus will consider the implications of the Prime Minister’s decision and how to ensure New Zealand stays on course to continue building a strong economy, increasing opportunities for our families and businesses, rewarding enterprise and effort, while protecting the most vulnerable.
“It is a tribute to the Prime Minister’s outstanding leadership that he will leave behind a united team with plenty of talent to take New Zealand forward and build on his legacy,” Mr English says.
The worst for last – Winston Peters:
Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today that he is to stand down cannot be credible , or for any reasons he has given, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“The fact is that the economy is not in the healthy state that the Prime Minister has for so long claimed, and there are other issues which have caused this decision as well.
“The New Zealand public should have been informed of this a long time ago.
“Clearly the Prime Minister does not believe the superficial polls any longer.
“Contrary to certain perceptions the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister are unable to muddy the waters anymore.”
Is he just a bitter old twit, or does he really think that will attract support for NZ First?