Prime Minister John Key has released a statement expressing condolences at the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher:
The Government is today paying its respects to the family, friends and colleagues of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who passed away overnight.
â€œBaroness Thatcher was a passionate and formidable politician who loved her country. She was a strong and decisive leader with unwavering principles. She was Britainâ€™s first and only female Prime Minister.
â€œWe join with political leaders around the world in remembering Margaret Thatcherâ€™s service to the people of Britain and her significant impact on the global political environment,â€ said Mr Key.
Labour leader David Shearer has also issued a statement:
Labour leader David Shearer has paid tribute to former British Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher, who has passed away aged 87.
â€œThis is an enormously sad time for her family. My thoughts are with them, and the people of Britain, at this time.â€
Mr Shearer says he admired Lady Thatcher as fiercely determined leader, who stood up for what she believed in.
â€œLady Thatcher will be remembered as a strong and determined leader.â€
During her time as Prime Minister, from 1979 until 1990, she faced some real challenges â€“ from the conflict in the Falklands to tremendous economic changes,â€ says Mr Shearer.
â€œShe has left a strong and permanent legacy in Britain. Lady Thatcher believed passionately in what she was doing, and she will be missed by many.â€
Mr Shearer says he had met Lady Thatcher once in Britain, prior to his entering politics.
â€œI met Lady Thatcher only briefly, and I remember being somewhat in awe of her, as such a well-recognised, well-known world leader.
(Both statements slightly edited.)