NEW YORK—The New Zealand Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced that he is stepping down, after four years as New Zealand’s prime minister, ending a decade in office that saw the country’s economy slide into recession and unemployment spike.
Peters will step down at the end of June, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office said Friday, declining to give further details.
In a statement, Peters’ office said the announcement was made to help with his wife’s medical treatment, which is being treated in the United States.
“We want to thank all of the New Zealand people for their support over the past four years,” Peters said.
“There has been a lot of good will and goodwill towards Winston Peters during this difficult time for our country.”
Peters’ departure follows a week of tense negotiations between the Trump administration and New Zealand over its plan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation trade agreement with 12 other countries.
On Wednesday, the Trump Administration announced it would not allow New Zealand to join.
“This is the wrong decision for New Zealand,” Peters told reporters after his resignation was announced.
“The agreement will be a disaster for our economy, for our workers, and for our future.”
In his statement, the prime minister also said he was grateful for the support from the American people, saying that they have “given him a great platform for speaking out against the dangers of climate change and the need for a strong, safe and prosperous global economy.”