John Key resignation: 'I'm not doing a comeback'

John Key resignation: 'I'm not doing a comeback'

There's no backtracking for Prime Minister John Key after he announced his resignation on Monday.

He told Story that it's "for keeps" and his wife Bronagh encouraged him to be sure about the decision before going through with it.

"I'm not doing a comeback," he said. "She said, 'look, be 100 percent sure, hand on heart, and be sure if it's what you want to do, if you're at peace with it'.

"'If not, stay longer, and I'll back you until you do'."

Mr Key's shock resignation means this time next week, New Zealand will have a new Prime Minister and the National Party will have a new leader.

And he's feeling pretty good about it all.

"It's been a big decision - I've mulled it over for a year and then got to the point where I wanted to announce it," he said.

"There's no perfect time in politics but for me, it's the right time. It's great for family and the polls are high, so we're giving the best shot to the next leader to do well."

Now the focus is on life after politics, for both Mr Key and his family.

"For Bronagh and I, our kids have grown up and I think we're going through a different phase in life," he said.

"I want to spend more time with her and go overseas and do things. There will be life after politics for us."