The Right Honourable Sir John Key,GNZM,of Auckland, for services to the State
The Right Honourable Sir John Key was New Zealand’s 38th Prime Minister, holding the office from November 2008 until stepping down in December 2016.Sir John was the Member of Parliament for Helensville from his election in 2002 until April 2017. He was leader of the New Zealand National Party from 2006 to 2016, and was Leader of the Opposition from 2006 to 2008. As Prime Minister, he led the government response to the global financial crisis and to a series of major disasters, including the devastating February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Under Sir John’s leadership, the National-led government embarked on a range of economic, social and environmental reforms, successfully concluded a significant number of Treaty settlements, and undertook a range of initiatives focused on enhancing New Zealand’s sense of nationhood. In foreign relations, he supported closer relations with the United States, oversaw the withdrawal of New Zealand troops from Afghanistan in 2013, and focused on strengthening trade relationships in the Asia-Pacific region. He launched New Zealand’s campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2009, with New Zealand securing a seat on the Council for 2015/2016. In addition to the Prime Ministerial portfolio, he was also Minister of Tourism from 2008 to 2016. As Minister of Tourism, Sir John was instrumental in securing $50 million for initial construction work on the National Cycleway Project.