The latest leadership crisis in the Labour Party comes on the heels of years of resignations, criticisms and a lack of confidence.

David Cunliffe has pulled out of Labour's leadership contest following the party's most dire election result since 1922.

The latest leadership crisis comes on the heels of years of resignations, criticisms and a lack of confidence. We take a look back over six volatile years in the Labour camp.

11 November: Resignation of Helen Clark, after serving three consecutive terms since being elected as New Zealand's first woman Prime Minister in 1999.

December: Party President and unionist Mike Williams stands aside to make way for new president Andrew Little. Former Foreign Affairs and Trade and Justice Minister Phil Goff takes over as Leader of Opposition.


25 March: MP Darren Hughes stands down after an alleged incident in Wellington. He is not charged with any offence.

26 November: Labour defeated by National at the polls; National 47.31 per cent, Labour, 27.48, Green, 11.06, New Zealand First 6.59. Mr Goff states "wasn't our time this time ... but our time will come again ... we're a bit bloodied but not defeated".

13 December:Mr Goff and deputy Annette King stand down, replaced by caucus with David Shearer and Grant Robertson as deputy.

Mr Goff says "My sense is I no longer have the full confidence of many of my caucus colleagues."

August 15: David Cunliffe denies he is after the Labour leadership, telling the New Zealand Herald: "I think he's (Shearer is) going to be a great Prime Minister and he's a good guy."

Labour remains low but steady across all polls, wavering between 29 and 34.6 per cent.

March: Mr Shearer is criticised for failing to declare a bank account with more than $USD50,000 in it, which he says he forgot about. He also comes under fire for returning Shane Jones to his front benches after Mr Jones was stood down for nine months during the investigation into Mr Jones's granting of citizenship in 2008 to Chinese millionaire Yang Liu.

29 April: Long-standing MP Parekura Horomia passes away from ill-health. Meka Whaitiri retains the seat for Labour in the June by-election.

August 20: In his last act of leadership, Mr Shearer takes two fish to Parliament as props for a fisheries discussion. New Zealand tweets disapproval. Mr Shearer's leadership status has earned him between 8 and 18 per cent in the 'preferred prime minister' stakes throughout his short tenure.

August 22: Mr Shearer quits as Labour Leader, saying "Whoever becomes next leader will have my full support."

15 September: Mr Cunliffe is chosen as leader of the Labour Party, with the party suddenly rising to 37 per cent in the polls.

July 4: Mr Cunliffe tells a Women's Refuge symposium: "I am sorry for being a man."

July 21: Mr Cunliffe slammed for taking a skiing holiday as Labour kicks off their election campaign. Throughout July Labour is unable to achieve 30 per cent support in any poll, some showing support as low as 24 per cent.

August and September: Polls continue to freefall. Despite problems with National's campaign, Labour dives to lows of 22.4 per cent and Mr Cunliffe registering 11.6 per cent support as preferred Prime Minister.

September 20: Labour suffers its worst defeat since 1922, polling 24.69 percent on election night, but Mr Cunliffe vows to stay on.

September 27: Under mounting pressure, Mr Cunliffe announces he will formally resign, only to re-enter his bid in the leadership contest. David Parker takes over as caretaker leader.

October 9: Andrew Little puts hand up for the leadership.

October 10: Grant Robertson formally lodges his nomination for the leadership.

October 12: Mr Parker announces he is throwing his hat into the ring.

October 13: Mr Cunliffe announces he is pulling out of the race.