This week marks the end of one era, and the dawn of a new one.

Tomorrow the National Party Caucus will vote in its new leader and deputy. Three days later, Bill English will deliver his valedictory to Parliament.

Much musing over who the new leader might be has consumed column inches, but what about Bill? Where's he off to?

Well, although not quite the verbose extrovert John Key could be, Bill English can rest easy that he's left the economy in good shape, according to many of his supporters.


One high net-worth ex-pat Kiwi said the strong economy English delivered Labour is "like the Titanic; if you turn the engines off the ship keeps cruising at ten knots for another year."

And while other investors say people will sit on their hands for a bit and take a wait and see approach to this new government now he's no longer at the helm, what's in store for the former PM?

Well if previous examples are anything to go by, directorships and board roles seem popular, although English himself says he'd like to drive a silage chopper. He loved driving big machinery when he was farming, he said, and perhaps the charm of a simple life holds greater appeal after 27 years in the spotlight.

Either way, at 56 years old, he's not retiring any time soon.

After his valedictory this Thursday, his diary says he's off across the Tasman a few days later to speak at a Financial Review Business Summit in Sydney. So do Australian roles beckon? Quite possibly. But here's the thing about Bill. Given he's more your strong and silent type, will he carry quite the same theatre and showmanship in post political existence that a Key or a Lange or a Clark has?

Will we get autobiographies written, and UN postings, and Obama invites to play golf downunder? It remains to be seen of course, but I have a hunch he will slope off into his next chapter without too much fuss and fanfare.

And that's perhaps what makes him desirable at a corporate level. He's not inclined to be overtly political outside of the parliamentary platform. He is unlikely to be tweeting his views on policy and politicians like Helen Clark does, he is probably not one for spending his days focussing on what's being said about his "legacy" and writing his own version, as Lange did. He will, I assume, take time out to spend sitting on that sofa in Dipton, looking out to the scenery with his wife and family, enjoying the fact he is out of the hustle and bustle of the daily political grind.

He has the street cred and the skills, say the experts, to try his hand at many things. It will be interesting to see what he chooses, and it will be reported and critiqued of course.


But at the end of the day, I have a feeling that the least interested out of everyone in making a production out of his next move will be the man himself. Bill English seems a person more interested interested in simply getting on with the job. Which is pretty much what he spent that last 27 years doing. I wish him all the best.