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Key Critical Of New Labour Leadership

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

By Maggie Tait of NZPA

Wellington, Nov 11 NZPA - National leader John Key says he is not worried in the slightest by Labour's new leadership of Phil Goff and Annette King.

Leader Helen Clark and her deputy Michael Cullen stood down from their positions following their party's defeat in Saturday's general election.

"It's hardly an overly inspiring move by the Labour Party," Mr Key said.

"I would've thought they've got some younger people that they might have wanted to bring forward, but in the end it's for them to choose their leadership team."

Mr Key made the comment before the official announcement but as there were no challengers this afternoon's decision was a formality.

Mr Goff as leader and Ms King as his deputy have formidable experience.

Asked if he was concerned Mr Key said: "Not in the slightest.

"We've got a very powerful government that wants to make change in New Zealand, we campaigned hard on that, New Zealanders gave us an overwhelming mandate to deliver a brighter future for New Zealanders and that's where our focus of attention will be and not on the Labour Party and whatever internal machinations take place there."

United Future leader Peter Dunne said it was a clear choice.

"I think probably in the circumstances it is the obvious choice whether it is more than a transitional team though is still to be resolved."

ACT leader Rodney Hide was more gracious. He congratulated the new leadership and recognised the "extraordinary service" of Miss Clark and Dr Cullen.

"Phil Goff and Annette King are politicians who clearly have the qualities required to lead the Labour Party. They are well respected and we look forward to working with them for the good of our country.

"We don't always agree, but I know Phil Goff and Annette King put their country first."

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons congratulated the pair.

"Well they are both very experienced and they are both very competent and I wish them well."

She held concerns about the process.

"Four days after the Prime Minister resigns, and as far as I can gather no one was expecting it, we have a new leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party with absolutely no input from anybody involved in the party."

The Green Party hold a delegated conference to make such decisions.

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