Anna Whyte

Is Banksy in New Zealand taunting John Key?

A CURIOUS image of Prime Minister John Key has popped up in central Tauranga overnight, sparking more speculation that international street artist Banksy could be in town.

The image of Prime Minister John Key being beamed up by an UFO while flipping the bird, wearing a shirt saying 'don't vote' has been found on a wall of a service lane behind Grey and Elizabeth Streets.

The image is reflective of Banksy's stencil style, and his traditional theme of political and societal messages.

The painting is signed off with a stamp reading "Banksy".

Darryl Milne, who worked a few stores down from the mural, said he had not seen it before.

He said the thought of Banksy being in town was "really cool".

A woman walking to work this morning told the Bay of Plenty Times she had not seen it there yesterday.

The arrival of the mural comes on the heels of Mr Key's shock resignation yesterday afternoon.

Mr Key will formally step down as Prime Minister and leader of the National Party on Monday.

Anna Whyte