New Zealand PM wins second term

“What I can tell you is for another three years there will be a national-led government in New Zealand,” he told cheering supporters at a party gathering. “Its a fabulous night to be the leader of the National Party.”

The election followed a turbulent 12 months for New Zealand, which was rocked by February’s Christchurch earthquake, in which 181 people died, and buoyed by last month’s victory in the Rugby World Cup.

Key, 50, won plaudits for his leadership through the quake, as well as a colliery explosion in which 29 miners died, and much of National’s campaign was based around his personal popularity.

“In the worst of times you see the very best of New Zealanders and I’m proud to be prime minister of this great country,” the former investment banker said.

The main opposition Labour Party secured only 27 per cent of the vote, its worst result since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996. Labour leader Phil Goff said he accepted the electorate’s decision but his party would hold the government to account and rebuild for the next election.

“It might not be our time this time, but our time will come again and we will be ready to take New Zealand forward,” he said, refusing to say if he would stay on as leader. “We’re a bit bloodied but we’re not defeated.” However, former Labour Party president Mike Williams said: “It’s an unmitigated disaster.”

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