He was there when former MP Sue Bradford was taken down by police during a protest in 1995, when David Bain was released in 2007, and when former Auckland Mayor John Banks was attacked with horse manure in 2014.
He captured a poignant moment as Lady June Hillary touched her husband Sir Edmund Hillary's casket at his funeral in 2008, and helped track failed developer Mark Hotchin to his hideaway on the Gold Coast in 2010.
Multi-award-winning Herald chief photographer Brett Phibbs shut his lens yesterday after 26 years covering major news and sporting events around the world.
He's been to three Olympics, four Commonwealth Games, four Rugby World Cups, three America's Cups, a Fifa World Cup, and two Cricket World Cups.
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He was in Macedonia as Kosovo Albanian refugees were separated from their families, bound for a new life in Norway in 1999. He covered the Thailand tsunami in 2004, the Samoa tsunami in 2009 and the fatal Christchurch earthquake in 2011.
But the job hasn't come without hazard. Phibbs was headbutted by a balaclava-clad Mossad spy during the Israel-New Zealand passport scandal in 2004 outside the High Court at Auckland. He was spat on by members of the French rugby team who were partying after losing the World Cup final in 2011, and he was punched by a handcuffed Brian James Curtis as the fugitive returned to New Zealand after being arrested in the Philippines in 2001.
Here is a selection of some of Phibbs' best photographs from the past two decades.