Mike Hesson didn't get 30 seconds into his statement before he felt the catch in his throat.

He did get through it, but not without some difficulty. Reading heartfelt, emotional words to yourself is one thing; quite another reading them out loud to an audience.

If you wanted to know what this day meant to him, there was the answer.

Hesson was pulling the pin on six years of what he called ''24/7'' devotion to the New Zealand job.

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It caught his employers by surprise. New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White admitted senior figures tried to figure ways around Hesson's decision to walk away, effective July 31. He had encouraged Hesson to take breaks from a job which has had him on the road nine months a year.

But Hesson made it clear: he was in it 100 percent or not at all.

Hesson said the decision had come to him recently in India. This was no slow burner.

It's easy to imagine the scenario. His daughters, 11 and eight, haven't seen much of Dad through the developmental years. Hesson had a year to run on his contract, through to next year's World Cup. There's a mountain of touring, planning and travel. Yet walking away from a contract which has meant so much to him would would not have been easy.

"Sometimes, sitting in a hotel room by yourself, you get a bit of time to put things in perspective," he said today.

"I know what's ahead in the next 12 months (leading up to the World Cup), know the demands of that. Then the world test championship. It's requires potentially nine months in a row away from home. That's just a bridge too far."

Hesson's stock is high. He will be in demand but he's in no rush to walk into another job.

And he has no doubts he has made the right decision. There will be no 'what if' moments in the coming months.

"And that's why I'm at peace with the decision. I think the Black Caps are in great hands. I've given six years of my life and loved every minute and it's time for someone else to take the reins."

He walks away with a better than 50 percent winning record in all three forms, plus a pile of memories to savour.

The World Cup final in Melbourne in 2015 is one, but Hesson singled out others which really mattered to him — the test series win in the West Indies in 2014; victory at Leeds in 2015; the staggering win over Pakistan in Sharjah in 2014, which took place in the wake of Australian player Philip Hughes' death, a match which should never have been played, - "given the circumstances it was a real evolution in terms of our playing group and the values we have."

"The World Cup was huge, but to me winning and losing is part of the game, but it's more (about) the people you have, and we have a lot of quality people."

Captain Kane Williamson, appointed to the job on Hesson's watch, said the coach "exemplified the 'team-first' attitude and left no stone unturned. I've seen the sacrifices he's made and can only say I have the utmost respect for what he's achieved."

Former skipper Brendon McCullum put it simply: "I regard him as the best coach the Black Caps have ever had."

You'd imagine he'll have a few offers to sift through.

NZC's next engagement is against Pakistan in the UAE in October, so no rush to a new appointment, White said.

For a man short in stature, Hesson has left big shoes to fill.

MIKE HESSON:
Age: 43
Appointed coach 2012
Tests: 53 (21 wins, 13 draws, 19 losses)
ODIs: 119 (65 wins, 8 NR/ties, 46 losses)
T20Is: 59 (30 wins, 5 NR/ties, 24 losses)