Goff, King to resign in fortnight

Phil Goff and Annette King announce they stepping down from the Labour party leadership.
Phil Goff and Annette King announce they stepping down from the Labour party leadership.
Phil Goff and Annette King leave the meeting where they announced they will step down.
Phil Goff and Annette King leave the meeting where they announced they will step down.
Phil Goff and Annette King will both step down on December 13.
Phil Goff and Annette King will both step down on December 13.
Annette King with MP Rick Barker.
Annette King with MP Rick Barker.
Andrew Little leaving the caucus meeting.
Andrew Little leaving the caucus meeting.
The media waiting for Phil Goff to speak after the meeting.
The media waiting for Phil Goff to speak after the meeting.
David Parker takes a break from the Labour caucus meeting.
David Parker takes a break from the Labour caucus meeting.
David Cunliffe walks out of the Labour caucus for morning tea.
David Cunliffe walks out of the Labour caucus for morning tea.
Andrew Little battles his way through the media scrum outside Labour's caucus meeting.
Andrew Little battles his way through the media scrum outside Labour's caucus meeting.
David Cunliffe (left) walks into the Labour caucus.
David Cunliffe (left) walks into the Labour caucus.

Labour leader Phil Goff says he will resign but plans to remain on the party's backbenches.

He and deputy leader Annette King announced today that they would stand down from their roles, effective December 13.

David Cunliffe, David Parker, David Shearer, Nanaia Mahuta and Grant Robertson all signalled that they would seek the leadership, or deputy leadership.

A file photo of Phil Goff checking in on a school.
A file photo of Phil Goff checking in on a school.
A file photo of Phil Goff from 1984.
A file photo of Phil Goff from 1984.
Phil Goff in 2001, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Phil Goff in 2001, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Phil Goff tries on a NZ Army flak jacket and helmet before his trip to Afghanistan in 2002.
Phil Goff tries on a NZ Army flak jacket and helmet before his trip to Afghanistan in 2002.
Then Customs Minister Phil Goff with a pamphlet issued by the Government to deter illegal imigrants arriving by boat, 2002.
Then Customs Minister Phil Goff with a pamphlet issued by the Government to deter illegal imigrants arriving by boat, 2002.
Phil Goff poses with Jasper and Siegfried, two donkeys outside Parliament.
Phil Goff poses with Jasper and Siegfried, two donkeys outside Parliament.
Phil Goff in 2006 at the announcement of the Vietnam veterans agent orange settlement in Parliament.
Phil Goff in 2006 at the announcement of the Vietnam veterans agent orange settlement in Parliament.
Phil Goff, at the time Minister of Defence and Trade, left, and Winston Peters, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs, during a press conference after meeting US senators in 2006.
Phil Goff, at the time Minister of Defence and Trade, left, and Winston Peters, at the time Minister of Foreign Affairs, during a press conference after meeting US senators in 2006.
Dr. Michael Cullen, then Prime Minister Helen Clark, and Phil Goff celebrate 25 years of parliament in 2006.
Dr. Michael Cullen, then Prime Minister Helen Clark, and Phil Goff celebrate 25 years of parliament in 2006.

"I want to pledge whoever might be leader or deputy leader of the Labour Party that they will have my full support and active support.

"If there's a two way fight for leader fine. If there's a three way fight equally fine," Goff said.

Goff and King will remain  in Parliament as electorate MPs but said they were happy to remain on the backbenches.

Both indicated they would see out the three-year term.

They refused to say which possible leadership candidate they would support.

"I've been a member of the Labour Party for 40 years. I'm committed to fulfilling the objectives of the Labour Party," Goff said.

"I'm very relaxed about the prospect; I'm going from an 80-100 hour week probably down to a 60 hour week, that should be quite refreshing."

Caucus met for five hours today during that time they farewelled departing MPs, welcomed new ones, and analysed the election campaign.

They did not discuss individual policies or whether they would be retained by the party.

After the meeting Goff addressed waiting media.

"You'll notice that I'm looking relaxed," he joked.

Goff said he considered staying on after the election loss for "about two seconds" and blame for the loss lay squarely with him.

"We discussed all of the factors that may have contributed to that. Not withstanding the loss that Labour suffered, it was a very positive and forward-looking caucus."

Labour had a good, energetic campaign but it was not the party's time, Goff said.

No one had suggested the campaign, or his performance was deficient, he said.

Goff thanked King for her support and friendship over the years.

She said she had not considered staying on.

"I have been honoured to serve with Phil, we are old mates. But we also worked incredibly well together and the time was right for me to go as well."

- Fairfax NZ