Those National Party Ministers who may have been sharpening their profiles in the expectation that the Prime Minister might retire within the next two or three years got a rude shock at the weekend.
He told TVOne’s “Q+A” that he intends to stay until the 2020 election.
Asked if he would see out another three years if he won the next election? He said: “That’s the intention. I mean my intention is to stay. And if I’m running, I’m staying, so that’s my intention.”
There has been no comment from Steven Joyce, Paula Bennett, Jonathan Coleman, Amy Adams, Judith Collins or Simon Bridges!
And for good measure, he told the same programme he didn’t think he would make a good ambassador if he did retire. What would he like to do?
“It won’t be as an ambassador for New Zealand, those kinds of traditional paths that you’ve seen former prime ministers go down, and that’s because it’s just not my area of interest and I don’t think it’s my area of speciality. “
If Key did manage to stay PM till 2020 he would equal Sir Keith Holyoake’s 12 years in the job and he’d only need another 12 months to beat the all time records set by Richard Seddon and William Massey who both served 13 years.