New Zealand leaders pay respects to Thatcher

New Zealand political leaders on Tuesday paid tribute to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday at the age of 87.

Prime Minister John Key described Thatcher, who was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, as fiercely determined leader, who stood up for what she believed in.

"Lady Thatcher will be remembered as a strong and determined leader," Key, who is currently leading a trade delegation to China, said in a statement from his office.

"She 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."

Leader of the main opposition Labor Party, David Shearer, said Thatcher was a passionate and formidable politician.

"While I didn't agree with many of her policies, she was a strong and decisive leader with unwavering principles," Shearer said in a statement.