Labour MP David Cunliffe is retiring from politics.
Cunliffe told caucus of his decision today.
Labour leader Andrew Little said Cunliffe intended to step down next year, likely within six months of the next election to avoid triggering a byelection in his New Lynn electorate.
Cunliffe was taking up a role at the Auckland-based management consultancy Stakeholder Strategies Ltd.
Image 1 of 17: October 30, 1999. David Cunliffe as Labour candidate for Titirangi get his hair dyed red as part of a fundraiser for the Waitakere Life Education Trust. Photo/ Kenny Rodger Image 2 of 17: 2.August 24, 2002. Titirangi MP David Cunliffe speaks to protestors outside his electorate office who oppose aerial spraying of the area for apple moth. Photo/ Kenny Rodger Image 3 of 17: May 20, 2003. David Cunliffe is sworn in at Government House as a new minister with Taito Phillip Field. Photo / Mark Mitchell Image 4 of 17: March 13, 2008. Health Minister David Cunliffe has his blood pressure taken by nephrologist Dr Grant Pidgeon at the Beehive. Photo/ Mark Mitchell Image 5 of 17: July 14, 2009 Labour finanace spokesman David Cunliffe speaks at the Herald's Mood of the Boardroom. Photo / Paul Estcourt Image 6 of 17: August 31, 2013. Three of Labour's leadership hopefuls, Grant Robertson, Shane Jones and David Cunliffe after the first public meeting, in Levin. Photo / SNPA, Ross Setford Image 7 of 17: January 27, 2014: David Cunliffe's state of the nation address at the start of election year, 2014, at Kelston Girls' College, Auckland. Photo / Brett Phibbs Image 8 of 17: February 26, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe announces his new chief of staff, Matt McCarten. Photo / Mark Mitchell. Image 9 of 17: June 7, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe tramping in his beloved Waitakere Ranges. Photo / Richard Robinson Image 10 of 17: July 6, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe, his mother, Barbara, left, and wife Karen Price arrive at the party's pre-election Congress in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell Image 11 of 17: September 16, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe campaigning at Western Community Centre in Nawton. Photo / Christine Cornege Image 12 of 17: September 30, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe campaigning at the West Auckland Festival of Cultures. Photo / Michael Craig Image 13 of 17: August 20, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe is grabbed by Vilma Brooking while electioneering at the Wesleyhaven retirement village in Lower Hutt. Photo / Mark Mitchell Image 14 of 17: August 31, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe campaigns at the Avondale markets in Auckland. Photo / Jason Oxenham Image 15 of 17: September, 2014. Labour leader David Cunliffe talks to the media during a campaign stop in Napier. Photo / Paul Taylor Image 16 of 17: September 20, 2014. Election night and Labour leader David Cunliffe and wife Karen Price at the New Lynn Community Hall after Cunliffe has conceded to Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Greg Bowker Image 17 of 17: September 26, 2014. David Cunliffe under pressure over his leadership takes time out on Herne Bay beach near his home. Photo / Peter Meecham
Image 1 of 17: October 30, 1999. David Cunliffe as Labour candidate for Titirangi get his hair dyed red as part of a fundraiser for the Waitakere Life Education Trust. Photo/ Kenny Rodger
"He has made a strong contribution to the party as the MP for New Lynn since 1999 and as a former leader and finance spokesperson," Little said.
"He was a Cabinet Minister in the Fifth Labour Government where he held the portfolios of Health, and Information and Communications Technology, and Immigration."
Cunliffe has been an MP since 1999 in the Titirangi and New Lynn seats.
He led the party from August 2013 until the general election in 2014, when Labour suffered its worst election result since 1922.
Labour polled just 25.13 per cent, forcing him to resign as leader after the election.
He initially promised to re-contest the leadership but stood aside after widespread criticism.
Little demoted him to the back bench after becoming leader and made it clear he did not expect Cunliffe to be in any Cabinet he led.
His departure opens a chance for another MP in the historically safe Labour seat of New Lynn, although in 2014 Cunliffe's majority had dropped to 4,557 and National was beating Labour in the party vote.
Cunliffe was a successful minister in Helen Clark's Government, in which he held the health and IT portfolios. As IT Minister, he earned praise for unbundling Telecom's local loop monopoly. After Labour was defeated in 2008, he rose to number 3 on the party list and was appointed finance spokesman.
When Phil Goff stood down as leader after defeat in the 2011 general election, Mr Cunliffe ran for the leadership but lost to David Shearer.
He was demoted to the backbenches in February after he refused to rule out a challenge for Mr Shearer's position at Labour's annual conference in November.
After Mr Shearer resigned on August 22, Mr Cunliffe made his second bid for the leadership.