Wellington, New Zealand, December 12: Bill Englis, who was once doing farming in in the far south of the South Island of New Zealand has become the prime minister of New Zealand replacing former PM John Key.
New Zealand's ruling center-right National Party on Monday confirmed that Bill English is replacing outgoing Prime Minister John Key, and the new deputy prime minister will be Paula Bennett.
Bill was a farmer in the far south of the South Island and policy analyst at the New Zealand Treasury before being elected to Parliament in 1990.
English, who was elected by his parliamentary caucus exactly a week after Key announced his shock resignation. Bill stressed in a broadcast press conference that the government under his leadership would follow the same policy settings laid down under Key's eight years as the country's leader.
He had already said that Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce would replace him as finance minister, but he declined Monday to outline any further changes to his cabinet, saying they would be announced before Christmas.
English, 54, has been deputy to Key and finance minister since the National Party came to power in 2008.
He will lead the government into the next general election, which must take place by September next year.
He became National Party leader in 2001 and led the party to its worst ever general election defeat in 2002.
He said at the press conference that he had learned a lot since his 2002 defeat.
"You learn a lot more from losing than you do from winning," he said.
He described himself as an "active Catholic and proud of it" and said his faith was important to him: "It doesn't define me, but it's an important influence."
He said New Zealand would continue to build on its "critical" relationship with the United States under President-elect Donald Trump.