John Key Keynote Speaker

  • Prime Minister of New Zealand (2008 - 2016)
  • Chaired the International Democrat Union and the United Nations Security Council in 2016
  • Received top honours in the 2017 Queen's Birthday list

John Key's Biography

Rt Hon Sir John Key was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016, winning three general elections as leader of the centre-right National Party. He led the country through the aftermath of the global financial crisis and a series of devastating earthquakes in New Zealand’s second-biggest city. When he retired from office New Zealand had one of the highest growth rates and best fiscal positions of any advanced economy.

Sir John Key was well respected in international affairs and chaired the International Democrat Union and the United Nations Security Council in 2016. Among his portfolio’s he was Minister for Tourism and has a strong interest in the best that New Zealand has to offer both local and international tourists. He was the instigator of the great New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Since retiring from politics, Sir John has been an ambassador for philanthropic Japanese billionaire Dr Haruhisa Handa, his International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS HANDA) and other agencies. He is also has a keen passion for golf.

Sir John received top honours in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday list. He was made a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit which brings with it the title of Sir John. While he is certain people will still call him John, he was delighted that Bronagh becomes Lady Key. He was also recognised by the Australian Government and has been appointed an Honorary Companion in the Order of Australia.

In September 2017, Sir John joined the Board of Air New Zealand and is the Chairman of ANZ. He is enjoying advisory and consulting roles for a number of different entities throughout the world.

Sir John worked in investment banking for 20 years primarily for Bankers Trust in New Zealand and Merrill Lynch in Singapore, London and Sydney. His positions included heading Merrill Lynch’s global foreign exchange business along with responsibility for European derivative trading and E. Commerce.

Sir John was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1999-2001).

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