>> A bombshell from New Zealand prime minister on Monday, John Key announcing he's quitting next week after almost eight years in the top job. He's been one of the countriy's most popular leaders ever, but rather than run for a fourth term, he say's he wants to leave on a high.
>> I honestly don't think on a family basis and on a lot of other reasons, I could commit for much beyond the next elections.>> Key flatly denies local media reports that his wife gave him an ultimatum to resign, but as Reuters Jane Wardell reports, it is difficult to make sense of his decision.
>> John Key's resignation today really caught everyone by surprise, it's really very unusual for a world leader to quit in such circumstances, and so suddenly. He was really right at the top of his game, very popular, and it really came as a shock to most people in New Zealand today.
>> Key's been praised for steering New Zealand through the financial crisis and natural disasters, but he's had a fair share of awkward moments too.>> He's had a number of gaffs, but has remained popular throughout. One of them made world headlines when he repeatedly pulled a waitress' ponytail, but he then manage to ride that one off.
He also embarrassingly led a big push to have the New Zealand flag changed by referendum, which was greeted with a resounding no by the public. But people still like him, he's consistently voted as the politician people would most like to have a beer with and they like his straight no nonsense talking.
>> He says he has no future plans but told reporters he'd stand parliament long enough to avoid a snap election for his seat. He's given the thumbs up for his deputy, Bill English, to take his place. Parliament votes on his replacement next Monday.