Prime Minister John Key has resigned from his position and will step down next week.
Just before midday, the Prime Minister’s office announced he would hold a special news conference at 12.45pm.
There, Mr Key announced he had decided to resign, saying it was “the hardest decision I’ve ever made”.
“To me, this feels like the right time to go.”
Mr Key’s resignation means that the National Party will now need to elect a new leader.
John Key has been in Parliament for 10 years and has been Prime Minister for 8.
Mr Key beat Helen Clark to win the 2008 election. He then went on to lead the National Party to election wins in 2011 and 2014.
Born in Auckland, Mr Key was raised in Christchurch. He attended Aorangi School and Burnside High School before studying commerce at the University of Canterbury.
Mr Key and his wife, Bronagh, have two children, Stephie and Max. They live in Parnell and have a holiday home at Omaha Beach. He likes to play golf and watch rugby.