Sir Keith Holyoake, New Zealand's Prime Minister for II years, has retired. He will be?
Sir Keith Holyoake, New Zealand's Prime Minister for II years, has retired. He will be succeeded by his deputy Mr John Marshall. The announcement came at the end of a caucus meeting in Wellington of the ruling National Party.
The Minister of Finance Mr Robert Muldoon will become Deputy Prime Minister.
Sir Keith said his retirement was in the best interests of the party and the country. Speculation on his retirement has been intense for months and has been heightened by the general election due later this year. Sir Keith was the longest serving Prime Minister in the British Commonwealth. Aged 68, he has served 33 years in the New Zealand Parliament, the last 27 consecutively.
Mr Marshal holds the Cabinet posts of overseas trade, labour and Immigration. He received acclaim in New Zealand and overseas for his handling of his nation's case during the lengthy negotiations on the European Common Market: Aged 60 he has been deputy Prime Minister since 1957, three years before the National Party took office. He is commonly known as "gentleman Jack" for his quiet and demurs character. But as a politician he is as hard as any, winning wide support with a hard line policy that ended in deregistration of the New Zealand Seamen's Union. His stature rose with his apparent success in safeguarding New Zealand's trading interests with British entry into the EEC. Married with two sons and two daughters Mr Marshall plays golf and tennis and enjoys fishing.