The man who's often been referred to as the most powerful non-elected politician in the country is quitting.

Wayne Eagleson has been Sir John Key and Bill English's chief of staff for 12 years, but says it's time to look at other options.

Mr Eagleson will stay around until the new Government is formed, which is expected to be around mid-October.

Eagleson formally told Bill English last week he planned to resign after the election but insiders say it has been known by the Ninth Floor for several months that he planned to go, no matter what the election result.


He will stay on for the next few week to assist with coalition talks planned between National and New Zealand First.

Eagleson was a former deputy chief of staff to Jim Bolger, and after some experience in public relations in the private sector returned to Parliament to become chief of staff to Don Brash in Opposition.

He stayed on to become Key's chief of staff in Opposition and then in Government.