Better incomes for households, safer communities and smarter government to support the most vulnerable will remain the Government’s focus, new Prime Minister Bill English says.

Mr English was today sworn in as prime minister after outgoing prime minister John Key tendered his resignation at Government House.

“I want to thank my colleagues for the trust they have shown in me and for the constructive and civil manner in which they have debated over and chosen the new leadership team,” Mr English says.

He said he was delighted that Paula Bennett had been selected as National’s first female deputy leader and just New Zealand’s second female deputy prime minister.

“Paula brings with her the political experience of winning and holding marginal seats, world-leading welfare reforms and an inspiring journey from teenage solo mum to deputy prime minister.

Mr English also thanked Mr Key for his service. “His strong and positive leadership has guided our country through recession and natural disaster.  Because of his unwavering confidence and optimism, New Zealand is a better, more confident country.

“In the coming months and years the National-led Government will focus on building the roads, public transport, schools and houses needed to support a strong economy and growing population.

“This will be a government supporting economic growth and ensuring the benefits of that growth are widely shared,” he said.

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