John Key denies shock resignation is because of ultimatum from wife Bronagh
A decade of long nights alone for John Key's wife Bronagh are a major factor in his decision to resign, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
However, Key has denied his shock resignation is the result of any marital ultimatum, saying he had decided it was "the right time for me to come home".
Announcing his decision to step down next week, an emotional Key said his eight years as Prime Minister and decade as National leader had taken a toll on his family.
"All of this has come at quite some sacrifice from the people who are dearest to me, my family.
"For my wife Bronagh, there have been many weekends and nights spent alone, many occasions that were important to her that I simply could not attend."
Key said his daughter Stephie and son Max had also made the transition from teenagers to young adults "coping with an extraordinary level of intrusion and pressure because of their father's job".
"I thank them for our tolerance, Bronagh and I are incredibly proud of them."
Key said he and Bronagh, who recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary, had talked about his future during a family holiday in Hawaii before heading to the UN Security Council in September, before he made a final decision.
"For our family, 10 years at the top, it's a long time - it's a lot of lonely nights for Bronagh, and I really feel I owe it to the family to come home a little bit...
"To be frank Bronagh and I had had a pretty long discussion about it. I said to her, look maybe we'll just take one last look at it when I'm in New York."
However, Key said she had not given him an ultimatum about standing down, and he himself had decided the time was right.
Celebrated my 32nd wedding anniversary with my beautiful wife Bronagh last night. pic.twitter.com/2ue4yg9TfR— John Key (@johnkeypm) December 1, 2016
"She's been amazingly supportive and if I really wanted to stay for a fourth term, she would back me, but I just feel look it's been a decade of a lot of nights alone for her, and the time is the right time for me to come home."