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English to be confirmed as new PM

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/12/2016

Bill English © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Bill English More than 14 years after he failed in a tilt to become the country's leader, Bill English is poised to become New Zealand's 39th prime minister.

The job will officially become vacant after John Key's formal resignation at Government House after lunch on Monday.

His former deputy will be named National leader after a caucus vote in the morning with he and Paula Bennett to be installed as prime minister and deputy prime minister later in the day.

Both initially faced challenges for the roles.

Judith Collins and Jonathan Coleman put their hands up to replace Mr Key, who last Monday surprised the country by quitting after eight years in charge.

But both pulled out of the running on Thursday when it became apparent the 54-year-old finance minister had the numbers of the 59-member caucus to win the vote.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges on Saturday withdrew his bid to be deputy, clearing the way for No.5-ranked Mrs Bennett to be elected unopposed.

Mr English has already said senior cabinet minister Steven Joyce will replace him as finance minister and there is expected to be more tweaks.

"One of the things he'll look at is the make-up of his cabinet," Mr Joyce told TVNZ's Q&A.

"There will be change. It will be different there's no point saying it won't be different."

He said the resignation of Mr Key would allow it to freshen things under a new leader as it seeks a fourth term at next year's election.

"The risk for us before was same old, same old. Now I don't think it's going to be that at all."

He said after working with Mr English for the last eight years he expected him to adopt a team approach to his leadership.

"He'll fashion his own way through it. He's very authentic, he's very straightforward."

A stocktake of policy decisions, which had been planned before Mr Key's departure, would be carried out but Mr Joyce said he did not expect any dramatic change.

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