New York [U.S.], Dec. 5 : In a shocking move, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who had been in power since 2008, and leader of the ruling National Party since 2006, has offered his resignation.
"Ten years at the top is a long time. A lot of leaders stay at the top too long," he told reporters in Wellington, adding that he owed it to his family to step aside.
Key, who has dominated New Zealand politics for years, winning three terms as prime minister, said he had "given everything" to the job, reports CNN.
"All of this has come at quite some sacrifice for the people who are dearest to me -- my family," he added.
Key further said that his adult children had faced "an extraordinary level of intrusion and pressure because of their father's job." Key and his wife Bronagh have been married since 1984.
They have two children, model and DJ Max, and Stephanie, an art student. Max is a DJ and model who has been criticized in the past for his comments on social media. Meanwhile, the National Party will hold a special caucus on December 12 to select a new leader, after which Keywill tender his resignation to the Governor General.
Key further said he would support whoever was chosen, but said that his deputy prime minister and finance minister Bill English "would win the election in 2017.".