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About the book
  • Published: 30 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143573104
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $38.00
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John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister




An in-depth portrait of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key – his personal and political life, ambitions, thoughts and aspirations.

An in-depth portrait of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key – his personal and political life, ambitions, thoughts and aspirations.

John Key has been called a political phenomenon. Having scaled the heights of one career, as a foreign currency trader, he came home from the world's financial capitals to start another. Six years after entering Parliament, Key was Prime Minister – the most rapid rise of a New Zealand politician in our lifetime. In this updated edition of John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, Key shares his account of defining moments in his career, including the bruising 2014 election campaign that nonetheless saw the National Party increase its majority in government.

This lively portrait offers insights into Key's life, personality, political motivations and ambitions. Journalist John Roughan has secured unconditional access to Key and his family, as well as his closest advisers. Roughan examines how the twin ambitions of a boy in a state house, 'to make a million dollars and be Prime Minister', have been realised beyond his dreams, and how Key's instincts as a currency trader have shaped his politics. He reflects on the reasons for Key's continuing popularity and assesses his contribution to New Zealand's future.

Also available as an eBook

  • Pub date: 30 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143573104
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $38.00

About the Author

John Roughan

John Roughan is a journalist who has been observing and writing on New Zealand politics for the past 40 years. Born in Southland and educated in Christchurch, he graduated from Canterbury University with a degree in History and a diploma in Journalism. He began his newspaper career on the former Auckland Star newspaper before travelling extensively, working on newspapers in Japan and the United Kingdom at the time of the election of Margaret Thatcher.

On his return, he joined the New Zealand Herald and was posted to the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Wellington in 1983. There he covered the dramatic final years of the Muldoon era and the beginning of the Lange–Douglas Government's rapid reforms of the New Zealand economy. In 1988 he became the New Zealand Herald's chief editorial writer and in 1996 he was invited to write a weekly column which continues to appear in the Weekend Herald.


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