7 Dec 2016

Key 'very unlikely' to pursue IMF role

3:35 pm on 7 December 2016

Prime Minister John Key says it is very unlikely he would look at a job heading the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after speculation in overseas media.

John Key

Soon-to-be-former Prime Minister John Key: "I'm not looking for a full-time job" Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Mr Key announced earlier this week he would be stepping down as New Zealand's prime minister, but has given few clues about his future plans.

Overseas media have reported Mr Key could have the opportunity to take over from Christine Lagarde as the IMF's managing director.

Ms Lagarde is preparing for a trial, aimed at establishing her role in a €404 million ($NZ608m) payout to French businessman Bernard Tapie during her time as that country's finance minister.

The media report noted Mr Key's close personal relationship with US President Barack Obama, who has final sign-off on the new IMF position.

But Mr Key said today it was not something he was actively considering.

"It's flattering, but as I made clear on Monday, it's not the kind of role I'd like to take.

"It's not that it's obviously a tremendously well sought after position, but I'm not looking for a full-time job."

He would be speaking to President Obama this afternoon as he prepared to leave office, but said he would not be asking about the IMF position.

Mr Key said he had already spoken to a number of other world leaders, and would talk to the Queen tomorrow.

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