Te Mata School Principal Mike Bain is leaving the school he's led for 18 years.
Bain started at the school in 2003 and said his time there has been "amazing".
But he said he never wanted to be someone to "sit around too long", and felt now was a good time to leave while the school and school community is in a "rocking" place.
His final day will be May 28 - on May 31 he takes up the role of principal at Wellesley College in Wellington.
It will be a big change for Bain, as Wellesley is an all-boys independent primary school.
"It's right on the coast of Days Bay so it's a glorious location, which it needed to be to pull me out of the Bay."
He was not actively looking, but the school came knocking and having always thought Wellington might be on the cards, the decision was made.
When asked what he will miss about Te Mata School, Bain says "everything".
"The people, the people, the people.
"I love our kids and I've always loved our kids. I still know them all by name, I see them in the street, I see them now in bars, and some of our early ones are now bringing their 5-year-olds into our school.
"It's that whole big sense of family and whanau - it is a really unique place."
He said he has also been surrounded by "absolutely amazing boards of trustees" who had always had faith in him.
Over his time at the school, he has enjoyed finding opportunities for "every kid to shine" - whether they are musical, IT-focused or into sport or cultural activities.
"I think we've got that formula right now."
The school has grown from 380 children to 640, which has been an "incredible journey of building and bringing new people in".
He has also seen "moving through the dark days of national standards" and a restriction of the curriculum to be "basically reading, writing and mathematics" to now having the autonomy to "bring back the richness of the curriculum", which Bain says is an "absolute winning moment".
On behalf of current and former Te Mata Home and School Committees, committee president Kristen Enright said Bain "brings an energy and passion for his work that is unmatched".
"It has been such a pleasure working alongside him and supporting all of the incredible opportunities and initiatives that he has brought to Te Mata throughout the years."
Deputy principal Heather Wilkie will take over as acting principal until a new principal is appointed.