PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO RETIREPrime Minister
Prime Minister Jim Bolger has announced that he will retire as Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party before the end of this year.
Mr Bolger said he had decided to signal his intention at this stage in order to permit an orderly transition for the Coalition Government.
"Having now completed over seven years as Prime Minister, nearly twelve years as leader of the National Party and fourteen years as a Minister, changing circumstances make it appropriate for me to step down as Prime Minister.
"The advent of MMP and Coalition Government has made leadership transitions much more complex than in the past.
"Having invested a huge amount of personal effort in achieving the Coalition Agreement with New Zealand First, it is my strongest wish to ensure that it remains in good health for the future.
"Accordingly I am signalling my intentions to my colleagues that I will retire from the leadership of the National Party when I return from my attendance at the APEC leaders' meeting and a short visit to China at the end of this month.
"I plan to work with my successor to achieve an orderly and successful transition in the interests of the National Party, the Coalition Government and the country," said Mr Bolger.