One of New Zealand's most prominent and outspoken economists has resigned from the firm he has worked at for the last six years.

Shamubeel Eaqub has been the NZIER's principal economist but the institute has just announced he has left.

"It is with great regret that we announce that Shamubeel Eaqub has decided to leave NZIER to pursue other opportunities. Shamubeel joined NZIER six years ago and has been in charge of membership services until early this year. His presentations of the Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion and the Quarterly Predictions have become fixtures in the media calendar during Shamubeel's tenure, and his personal contribution to the public debate on economic issues in New Zealand has been of inestimable value.

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Shamubeel played a large part in getting regional development back on the public agenda after a period of neglect, and his expertise on housing in New Zealand is universally recognised.

At NZIER we will miss Shamubeel. He has been an excellent colleague, an incisive and insightful thinker, and a trenchant and vivid writer. Shamubeel leaves us with our best wishes for his future," the statement said.

Eaqub opened the NZIER Auckland office on Shortland St a few months ago and recruited a number of staff.

He not only fronted the series of quarterly economic briefings for clients and the media but is also an outspoken opponent of buying houses and a strong advocate for renting.

He has written a series of books.

These include the latest, Generation Rent, co-authored with wife Selena, calling for new attitudes to tenants, as well as Growing Apart, Regional Prosperity in New Zealand.

Both were published by BWB Texts.

He and Selena are now parents to their new son, Haydn, who is seven weeks old.

Eaqub has been on paternity leave from NZIER for some weeks.