Key on his resignation

The Herald reports:

Former Prime Minister says a conversation with Helen Clark helped make his decision to retire while at the top of his game – but admits it was the hardest decision of his life and he did wake up in the night wondering about it.

An updated edition of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister includes further material from the final years of Key’s time as Prime Minister as well as a post-resignation interview.

In it, Key says he made the final decision after a trip to New York last September, during which he had also had a conversation with Clark, who left Parliament after she was defeated by Key’s National Party in 2008.

Key says that in the conversation, he and Clark discussed the right time for a Prime Minister to resign. He did not believe she realised the significance of the conversation at the time, saying it was “a conversation she didn’t know she was having”.

Clark served one more year as PM than Key, but her legacy will always be remembered for how it ended by losing an election.

Key was back in Parliament this week but told Roughan he had signed up for the international speaking circuit, was likely to get back into investment banking and was likely to turn down a request to be on the board of an American airline: “It would feel a bit like coaching the Wallabies.”

Heh good call.

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