War to the Palaces Peace to the Huts Registered:
Just a few days ago I marked the anniversary of my eighth year as Prime Minister and my tenth as leader of the National Party.
Such an occasion seems a fitting time to not only take stock of the past 10 years, but to look forward. Being leader of both the party and the country has been an incredible experience.
Along with my Cabinet and caucus colleagues, we steered the country through the global financial crisis which was arguably the worst recession since the Great Depression.
We have stood with Christchurch in the wake of the earthquakes — the greatest natural disaster to hit our country sinceand we have mourned the victims of the Pike River Mine disaster; one of the saddest days our small nation has endured in recent times.
During my time as Prime Minister the Government has positioned New Zealand so that our economy could harness the opportunities offered by a burgeoning Asia and a more connected world. Reforms have been far reaching, including substantial changes to our tax, welfare, planning and labour laws, not to mention the successful partial sell-down of state companies, the considerable overhaul of our Justice, Security and Corrections agencies and, of course, trade liberalisation.
Ten years since I first became leader of the National Party, I believe we can look back on advanced race relations and real momentum in the Treaty settlement programme.
We also have a more confident, outward-looking and multi-cultural New Zealand that competes and succeeds on the world stage. Throughout these years I have given everything I could to this job that I cherish, and this country that I love. All of this has come at quite some sacrifice for the people who are dearest to me — my family.
For my wife Bronagh, there have been many nights and weekends spent alone, many occasions that were important to her that I simply could not attend. I thank them for their tolerance. Bronagh and I are immensely proud of them.
My family has also had remarkable opportunities and experiences as we have met people and visited places from one end of our country to the other. We have celebrated alongside fellow Kiwis in their happiest times, and wept with them in their saddest. Simply put, it has, for me, been the most remarkable, satisfying and exciting time of my life.
But despite the amazing career I have had in politics, I have never seen myself as a career politician. I have certainly never wanted my success in politics to be measured by how long I spent in Parliament. The National Party is in great shape. Bill English has told me that in all his years here, ours is the most cohesive Cabinet he has seen.
And I personally am humbled and gratified that after eight years as Prime Minister, my personal support from the public remains high. I absolutely believe we can win the next election.
But I do not believe that, if you asked me if I was committed to serving out a fourth term, that I could look the public in the eye and say yes.
And more than anything else in my time here, I have tried to be straight and true with New Zealanders. I also believe that leadership change, for the right reasons and handled well, is good for a political party.
For all these reasons, I today told my Cabinet and caucus colleagues of my decision to step down as Leader of the National Party and as Prime Minister.
It is my expectation that on Monday 12 December National MPs will hold a special caucus meeting to select a new leader and later that day I will tender my resignation to the Governor-General.
This has been the hardest decision I have ever made and I do not know what I will do next. But for me this feels the right time to go. It gives the Cabinet and caucus plenty of time to settle in with a new leader before heading into the next election with a proud record of strong economic management, a commitment to the most vulnerable in our society and lots of ideas to keep lifting New Zealanders up in the world.
It would be easy to say I have made this decision solely to rediscover the personal and family life I once had, and that is a factor, but it is one among many. Over the years I have observed many leaders who, in a similar position, fail to take this step.7 Mortgage Settlements Australia reviews.
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