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Bill English elected as New Zealand PM

AFP | Wellington |

New Zealand's ruling National Party appointed the experienced Bill English as the country's new prime minister following last week's shock resignation of his popular predecessor John Key. 
The centre-right National Party caucus met today to confirm the decision on Monday morning, with English to be officially sworn in at Government House in Wellington later in the day. 
State Services Minister Paula Bennett was named as deputy prime minister. 
“Bill and Paula are outstanding leaders who will provide a good mixture of experience and fresh thinking,” said party president Peter Goodfellow. 
“Under their leadership, New Zealanders will continue to benefit from the stable government they expect, along with a dedicated focus on delivering results for families and businesses.” 
He added that with English at the helm the party would remain committed to “growing the economy, creating jobs, and allowing the government to invest in world-class services like schools, healthcare and infrastructure”. 
English, 54, was Key's preferred candidate to succeed him after serving under him as finance minister and returning New Zealand's budget to a surplus.