The Opposition may as well pack up and go on holiday: next year's election is already won and John Key will be the Prime Minister for all eternity, says the monk at Thailand's Wat Pho temple.

Mr Key and his wife Bronagh were shown around the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok yesterday, one of the city's oldest wats with hundreds of Buddhas covered in gold leaf - including the famous Reclining Buddha, 15m high and 43m long.

Mr Key was shown around by monk Phrasuthi Thammanawat, who proved to have a good sense of humour.

He told Mr Key that his brush with the Reclining Buddha meant he would be the PM forever.


"If you believe it, apparently you'll get luck. And he's convinced I'll be the permanent Prime Minister of New Zealand."

Mr Key appeared slightly horrified by his new fate, but clearly hoped the luck would hold for at least another year. He wasn't taking any chances and when it came time to put Buddha coins in the donations bowls along the wall of the Reclining Buddha's temple, he assiduously placed them in almost every bowl. "I was filling those bowls."

What he had not seen was that his wife was moving behind him, filling them even more diligently. Given Mr Key has promised Bronagh will have some control over his post-politics life, it is likely that her version of good luck was the opposite of him becoming the Prime Minister in perpetuity.

The monk also presented Mr Key with a copy of the book The Temple produced about US President Barack Obama's visit in November last year. He promised that the next time Mr Key visited, he would get a book on his own visit - although the laughter indicated he wasn't necessarily telling the truth.