Max Key regrets 'party boy dropkick' persona, ends Instagram hiatus with shirtless superyacht pic on 26th birthday

The son of former Prime Minister John Key has posted a new shirtless snap online to celebrate his 26th birthday and a return to social media.

Max Key, previously an aspiring musician and vlogger, poses on a superyacht in the photo while wearing designer shorts and holding sunglasses as he looks seriously at the camera.

In the post he says life as the Prime Minister's son was tough and he now regrets portraying a "party boy dropkick" version of himself on social media.

"That was actually not an accurate representation of the person I really am," says Key.

"I massively struggled being under the spotlight as I grew up, and made mistakes a lot of us make in this growing up period of life. The only difference was every time I screwed up, the whole nation got to see.

"I hated the way I had presented myself and learnt the lessons and negative effects social media can play on us and our mental well being."

Now, however, Key says he's "matured" and "grown up a lot".

"I feel I'm back at a stage of wanting to be slightly more active in the social media community, and show you guys a bit of what I've been up to."

It's the first Instagram post Key has made since February, 2020, when he published a pair of shirtless beach photos.

During his break from social media, he became the owner of a villa in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert, which was bought for $1.4 million in July.