New Zealand Herald

editor-in-chief Tim Murphy has decided to step down after a stellar 30-year career with the company.

He has been editor-in-chief of New Zealand's premier newspaper for the past three years and editor for 10 years before that.

When appointed in 2001 aged 37, Murphy was the youngest person to edit the Herald. He was the 18th editor in its 151 years of publication and in his combined roles will have had the third longest tenure as editorial leader.

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Herald editor Shayne Currie will step into a new role, managing editor of Herald titles.

Jane Hastings, CEO of NZME, said: "Tim has guided the NZ Herald through some of the most dynamic years in the paper's history including changing format from broadsheet to compact in 2012.

"Tim's knowledge of journalism and the critical role that news creators play in shaping the communities in which we live has been outstanding. He will step down with our very best wishes and leave the company on June 30."

In a speech to staff, Murphy said: "I've had a great, long and thoroughly rewarding time leading our journalism - with a tremendous group of journalists and friends. And I'm proud of our papers and site which, in an era of real industry upheaval, are performing strongly -- due to constant, at-times heroic, efforts by all of you.

"We've certainly done our best for our readers at every step. We've changed the Herald vastly in the past decade - both the paper and our digital voices.

"The opportunities for the Herald and our journalism are considerable.

"We're in good heart - a big voice, trusted and valued, and a constant in many readers' daily lives. In terms of newsgathering and dissemination, it really is a golden age. And that's what we're particularly good at. "

Murphy said he had decided the time is right to step down "while I still love what I do.''

"Thank you all for the support you've given me in these roles. Thanks for the sustained excellence of what you do and for the unique, positive spirit of this place."