New Zealand now has a new Prime Minister—Bill English, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. He is also the new leader of the National Party. 

As he replaces the outgoing PM John Key, his position is being filled by Paula Bennett, MP for Upper Harbour, as the Deputy Prime Minister and deputy leader of National Party.

Let's take a look at a brief history of country's new leader and get to know them more.

Bill English: Prime Minister of New Zealand

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Full name

Simon William “Bill” English


December 30, 1961 in Southland, New Zealand


Degree in commerce from University of Otago

Degree in English literature from Victoria University of Wellington


Worked as a farmer in Dipton

Policy analyst in the New Zealand treasure


Joined National Party in 1980

Won Wallace seat in 1990 and continued the winning spree from the electorate for seven subsequent general elections.


1996: Responsible for Crown Health Enterprises and Associate Minister of Educations

1996-1999: Minister of Health after reshuffling of cabinet in late 1996

Minister of Finance (In 1998, the portfolio was vacated by the former Finance Minister Bill Birch. Later that year Mr Birch and Mr English swapped portfolios and Mr English then became treasurer and Birch becoming Minister of Finance again.)

1999-2008: Leader of opposition

2008-2016: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

December 2016- current: Prime Minister


In 2008, two tapes were leaked in one of which Mr English was indicating his intention to sell KiwiBank and his views on Barack Obama in the other one.

In 2009, media revealed that Mr English was getting $900 per week as part of living allowance for ministers while living in his own $1.2 million house in Wellington and receiving annual salary of $276, 200. After a review by then PM John Key, Mr English announced that he will no longer take up any housing allowance and had paid back all the allowance he had received so far.

Paula Bennett: Deputy Prime Minister

MP for Upper Harbour

Full name

Paula Lee Bennett


1969 in Wellington, New Zealand


Taupo-nui-aTia College in Raupo

Bachelor of Arts from Massey University

Worked first as a dishwasher and then as a nurse aide in an Auckland rest home.

Worked as electorate secretary for National MP Murray McCully

Worked as recruitment consultant


Stood for and lost Waitakere seat for National Party in 2005 general elections but entered Parliament as the List MP.

Won Waitakere seat in 2008 elections


2008: Minister of Social Development and Employment, Minister for Disability Issues, and Minister of Youth Affairs.

2009: Minister of Social Development and Employment


Paula Bennett gave birth to a daughter at the age of 17 and raised her alone with the help of welfare funding from the government.

In July 2009, she released the benefit details of two beneficiaries, breaching the Privacy Act and upon investigation the Human Right Commission announced the resolution against her.

In November 2012, Bennett was wrongly claimed the job numbers available at various stores in New Zealand, at the time when the unemployment was reported at 7.3 percent— 1 13-year-high. The said stores refuted the claims made by Bennet.