Labour MP David Cunliffe is retiring from politics.
Cunliffe told caucus of his decision today.
Labour leader Andrew Little said Cunliffe intended to step down next year, likely within six months of the next election to avoid triggering a byelection in his New Lynn electorate.
Cunliffe was taking up a role at the Auckland-based management consultancy Stakeholder Strategies Ltd.
Image 1 of 17 3010NZHKERCANDIDATE1 Labour Candidate for Titirangi David Cunliffe has his hair dyed the appropriate colour as part of a fundraising effort to raise m Image 2 of 17 Labour MP David Cunliffe answers the questions of protestors outside his Titirangi electorate office who gathered to voice their opposition to aerial Image 3 of 17 New ministers outside cabinet David Cunliffe (standing left) and Taito Phillip Field (standing right) during their swearing-in ceremony at Government Image 4 of 17 Health Minister David Cunliffe has his blood pressure taken by nephrologist Dr Grant Pidgeon at the Beehive, Wellington. 13 March 2008 New Zealand Her Image 5 of 17 Labour Party finance spokesman David Cunliffe speaks to business leaders at the New Zealand Herald's Mood of the Boardroom breakfast meeting at the S Image 6 of 17 The three candidates for the Labour Leadership Grant Robertson, left, Shane Jones and David Cunnliffe after the first of the public meetings to elect Image 7 of 17 Labour Party leader David Cunliffe during his State of the Nation address, held at Kelston Girls College, Auckland, during Auckland Anniversary Weeken Image 8 of 17 Labour leader David Cunliffe, right, and his new chief of staff, Matt McCarten, during their announcement at Parliament, Wellington. 26 February 201 Image 9 of 17 Labour Party leader David Cunliffe tramping in the Waitakere Ranges with New Zealand Herald reporter David Fisher. 7 June 2014 New Zealand Herald Phot Image 10 of 17 Labour Party leader David Cunliffe, with his mother Barbara, left, and wife Karen Price, as he arrives his speech to the party's pre-election congress Image 11 of 17 Labour Leader David Cunliffe visited the Western Community Centre in Nawton this morning. Labour Leader David Cunliffe visit Hamilton. 16 September 2 Image 12 of 17 Leader of the opposition, David Cunliffe MP at the West Auckland Festival of Cultures. 29 August 2014 Herald on Sunday photograph by Michael Craig Image 13 of 17 Labour Party leader David Cunliffe is grabbed by Vilma Brooking during his visit to Wesleyhaven Retirement Village in Lower Hutt. 20 August 2014 New Image 14 of 17 Labour Party leader David Cunliffe greets supporters on a walkabout at the Avondale Markets in Auckland. 31 August 2014 New Zealand Herald photograph Image 15 of 17 HBT14294007.JPG David Cunliffe Labour leader addresses media on Market Street in Napier. 12th September 2014 Hawke's Bay Today Photographer: Paul Tayl Image 16 of 17 - Election 2014 - David Cunliffe, the leader of the Labour Party and his wife Karen Price arrive at the New Lynn Community Hall on Saturday after conc Image 17 of 17 250914 New Zealand Herald photo; Peter Meecham. Under pressure.....Labour leader David Cunliffe speaks to his press secretary Simon Cunliffe while on
"He has made a strong contribution to the party as the MP for New Lynn since 1999 and as a former leader and finance spokesperson," Little said.
"He was a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour Government where he held the portfolios of Health, and Information and Communications Technology, and Immigration."
Cunliffe has been an MP since 1999 in the Titirangi and New Lynn seats.
He led the party from August 2013 until the general election in 2014, when Labour suffered its worst election result since 1922.
Labour polled just 25.13 per cent, forcing him to resign as leader after the election.
He initially promised to re-contest the leadership but stood aside after widespread criticism.
Little demoted him to the back bench after becoming leader and made it clear he did not expect Cunliffe to be in any Cabinet he led.
His departure opens a chance for another MP in the historically safe Labour seat of New Lynn, although in 2014 Cunliffe's majority had dropped to 4,557 and National was beating Labour in the party vote.
Cunliffe was a successful minister in Helen Clark's Government, in which he held the health and IT portfolios. As IT Minister, he earned praise for unbundling Telecom's local loop monopoly. After Labour was defeated in 2008, he rose to number 3 on the party list and was appointed finance spokesman.
When Phil Goff stood down as leader after defeat in the 2011 general election, Mr Cunliffe ran for the leadership but lost to David Shearer.
He was demoted to the backbenches in February after he refused to rule out a challenge for Mr Shearer's position at Labour's annual conference in November.
After Mr Shearer resigned on August 22, Mr Cunliffe made his second bid for the leadership.