John Key has announced that he will resign as prime minister of New Zealand, after eight years in the job.
Mr Key called it “the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” adding “I don’t know what I’ll do next.”
Bill English is expected to take over until the National Party holds a caucus to choose a new PM.
Mr Key is stepping down at the request of his wife Bronagh, the New Zealand Herald reports.
He won a third term for the National Party at elections in September 2014.
Mr Key made the announcement during his weekly press conference and cited family reasons for the surprise decision. He set a date of 12 December for the formal resignation.
He said the job required great sacrifices “from those who are dearest to me”. He said his children had coped with “an extraordinary level of intrusion”.
“All I can say is that I gave it everything I had. I have left nothing in the tank.”