Key Points:

    NZ election captures headlines around the world

New Zealand's new government has captured headlines around the world with one UK paper comparing Helen Clark to the historic Queen Boadicea who died after leading an uprising against the Romans in 61AD.

The Daily Telegraph
reports John Key as a gladiator who put Helen Clark - "Boadicea" - to the sword.

"Miss Clark, New Zealand's first elected woman prime minister, is at 58 a battle-hardened warrior whose early political skills were forged fighting old-fashioned misogynists to claw her way to the top of the Labour party," the Telegraph reports.

Under the headline "Multimillionaire takes control of New Zealand", Times Online describes John Key's win coming amongst the backdrop of the global financial crisis.

"John Key's conservative National Party easily won power in New Zealand, known internationally for its pristine environment and as the backdrop to the Lord of the Rings movies".

The Guardian reports that Mr Key will face "many challenges" with a projected decade of deficits gripping New Zealand.

"Key has rejuvenated a party that had been out of government for nine years by moving it towards the centre and broadening its appeal to blue-collar workers.

"He has also taken a more pragmatic approach by accepting many of the Labour government's policies," reports the Guardian.

But the paper also reports that some commentators had said it was "hard to pin down what he really stands for".

"The broad similarity to many of the Labour-led government's main policies has seen National dubbed "Labour-lite".

"But with coalition governments the norm under New Zealand's proportional voting system, Key is seen as a more conciliatory leader able to forge alliances with minor parties than his predecessor Brash," reports the paper.

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald describes Mr Key as a "self-made tycoon".

"Mr Key has had a meteoric rise to the top with just six years in Parliament and will be the most inexperienced prime minister in more than a century," reports the Herald.

The China Daily newspaper reports John Key winning "a decisive victory".

National has also made headlines in India with the Times of India reporting: "The Kiwis, who voted for regime change, showed the exit door to the Labour Party's Helen Clark, one of the longest serving women leaders in the world."

The Middle Eastern news service Aljazeera was one of the first international news agencies to report on New Zealand's election result and reported Helen Clark accusing John Key of stealing Labour's policies and of "having a hidden right-wing agenda" during the campaign.

The news service reported the election result and quoted from an earlier interview with political analyst Anthony Green before the results came in.

"The weather in New Zealand tends to be more fickle than the politics - four seasons in one day is not an uncommon experience.

"But if the pundits and the pollsters are right, New Zealand will vote for change and, unlike America, opt for the conservatives."

- NZHERALD STAFF