The next Parliament will be conspicuously missing some colourful characters, politicians stung by scandal, and veteran politicians with decades of experience.

Sir John Key's shock resignation as Prime Minister last year signalled the beginning of the end for others who announced they wouldn't be standing for election again this year.

Peter Dunne, Annette King, Murray McCully and Maurice Williamson announced their retirements, taking with them well over 100 years of combined parliamentary experience.

Dunne gave up the ghost after 33 years in Parliament, spanning several parties. He had consistently won the Ohariu seat.

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King was the longest serving woman in Parliament, after winning a seat in 1984.

King described herself as the "Grannie Annie" of the house in her leaving speech and has been a notable presence at new Labour leader Jacinda Ardern's rallies.

McCully - the longest serving Foreign Affairs Minister for National - announced in December he wouldn't be seeking re-election, having held Auckland's East Coast Bays electorate since 1987. The 64-year-old planned to spend more time with his family and playing golf.

Perhaps the most colourful character of all, Maurice Williamson will no longer be a familiar face around Parliament, after 30 years in the Pakuranga electorate.

Williamson was an outspoken supporter of prostitution law reform and legalising gay marriage - famously earning him an invitation from Hollywood talk show host Ellen Degeneres to be on her show after his "big gay rainbow" speech.

Finally, after months of questions on his withdrawal from politics, Clutha-Southland National MP Todd Barclay left for London, after a former staffer accused him of taping her conversations.

Barclay went to ground in June, refusing to respond to media queries, although the party insisted he was working on constituency issues.

He said he wouldn't be seeking re-election, and subsequently moved to England, while still claiming his $160,000 salary.

Former ministers Craig Foss, Sam Lotu-Iiga, Sue Moroney and Jo Goodhew are also leaving.

Goodhew stepped down after new Prime Minister Bill English reshuffled Cabinet and sent her to the backbenches, while Lotu-Iiga confirmed he'd be taking up a role with MIT after last year being stripped of his Corrections portfolio.

The self-described "loyal golden labrador" of politics, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows retired after 12 years.

His resignation came after he was found not guilty of careless driving after driving through a crowd of protesters in March, injuring two.