Key busts myths about his resignation

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key answers a question during a media conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Australia-New Zealand Leaders Meeting in Sydney, Friday,Feb.19, 2016. (AAP Image/David Moir) NO ARCHIVING

Soon-to-be former Prime Minister John Key has dispelled some myths about the "real" reason he's leaving the job, including knowing a major earthquake will hit next week.

Since he made the surprise announcement he'd be stepping down to spend more time with his family, there seemed to be as many theories as days Mr Key spent as Prime Minister.

Is there a damning book on the way? Is the economy about to collapse? Has he had an affair?

No, no and no were his answers to More FM hosts Simon Barnett and Gary McCormick on Thursday morning.

Barnett quizzed the Prime Minister on seven theories which have been doing the rounds online.

That last theory has been gaining some traction on Facebook with thousands of shares.

The post says in part: "Friends & family in New Zealand please be prepared for the next couple of weeks because their will be a big earthquake & it will effect everyone on the north & south Island. Either it will hit on the 13th,24th or the 25th of Dec 2016.

"I'm praying that this isn't true. If it doesn't happen then better to be safe then sorry. The reason John Key has stepped down as Prime Minister is because he is part of what's to come & he does not want to be held responsible when this hits. [sic]"

Mr Key reiterated that no one knows when earthquakes will strike.

"I wish we could predict earthquakes because boy, we could do a lot better job of getting people out of the way. We can use science to get a likelihood of an aftershock, but there's no way we can predict them.

"We've ben around the houses a million times with GNS Science and our agencies to say 'is there anything you can do to tell us?' because the serious end of all of this is that if we could do that obviously we could move people, make sure they had preparation."

He rubbished all of the theories "other than I want to spend more time with Bronagh".

Mr Key says he was "completely at peace" with his decision to leave at his own choosing.

"In 100 years of New Zealand Prime Ministers, no one's gone out on their own terms. They've either been dumped or died or lost an election."

He said the most rewarding time was being able to lead the country during times of crisis, including the Christchurch earthquakes.

The lowest points included the so-called ponytail-gate and the teapot tapes. He admitted there were also some instances "where I was less than spectacular" - but didn't elaborate.

He thanked the New Zealand public for their support.

"I feed off people, I like people, I like probably the truth is I like being liked.

"For the rest of my life, people are going to come up to me and say 'you were a Prime Minister, what was it like?' And I'm going to look them in the eye and I'm going to say 'it was awesome, I really loved it.'"

Newshub. 

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