John Key resigns: The Kiwi PM who took New Zealand to the world

John Key resigns: The Kiwi PM who took New Zealand to the world

From growing up without a father in a state house in Christchurch to becoming one of New Zealand's richest people, John Key's rapid rise to Prime Minister in 2008 began an almost decade long love-in with the Kiwi public.

Not all of what 'teflon' Key touched turned to gold; some Key moments fell flat, proved controversial or became comedic greatness.

Key has overseen some of New Zealand's darkest days, such as the deadly 2011 Christchurch earthquake and the Pike River mine disaster.

He was in charge as the New Zealand economy turned into a rock-star, but house prices went sky high and child poverty hit endemic levels.

He's also been our de facto face and voice overseas, from addressing the UN Security Council as chair to selling New Zealand to millions of Americans on the David Letterman show.

He also made a few unsanctioned appearances on comedian John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show, as his illegal use of an Eminem song for National's 2014 election, failed passion project to change the New Zealand flag and his predisposition for pulling ponytails were mined for many cringe-inducing laughs.

His rounds of golf with US President Barack Obama while holidaying in Hawaii didn't stop Obama from getting his name wrong when Key popped into the oval office.

And Key ambushed many an APEC summit, his latest dad-move with young Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stole the show at the traditional leaders family photo in Peru.

And who could forget his three-way handshake with Richie McCaw and IRB boss Bernard Lapasset as his beloved All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup in 2011?

But for all the awkwardness, "at the end of the day", Key was easily the most recognisable New Zealand Prime Minister the world has ever seen.