Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister John
Key won a second term on Saturday, with voters in no mood for change
after a tumultuous year marked by a devastating earthquake and
glory in the Rugby World Cup.
Key`s centre-right National Party fell just short of an
outright majority but lifted its vote by more than three
points to 48.1 per cent, its highest in 60 years, and will
form government in coalition with minor parties.
"What an awesome night, and what a wonderful night to be
the leader of the National Party," he told cheering supporters
at Auckland`s upmarket SkyCity Casino.
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
"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.