He's graced our screens for nearly 40 years but tonight Peter Williams said farewell.

The veteran newsreader presented 1 News for the last time today.

Colleagues Wendy Petrie and Jenny-May Clarkson both became teary as they said their farewells.

Williams has been a part of TVNZ for almost 40 years.
Williams has been a part of TVNZ for almost 40 years.

Petrie introduced a highlights reel from his 39 years and eight months with the network saying, "He was smooth and he still is smooth".

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"All the best to you Pete. We all absolutely adore you. We're going to miss you so much," she finished by saying.

Williams himself stayed remarkably professional throughout the farewell but choked up slightly as he thanked his colleagues.

"Maybe we'll meet again," he finished by saying before walking out to hugs and high-fives from all the staff at the station.

He said he had enjoyed almost all of it but "everything must come to an end".

Last year, the 65-year-old he confirmed he's be leaving TVNZ at the end of 2018.

He began working at TVNZ in 1979 as a rugby league commentator after starting out at Radio Otago in 1972.

Most recently he had been weekend newsreader and fill-in for Simon Dallow on the weekday 6pm news.

The news crew gathers around Williams to farewell him.
The news crew gathers around Williams to farewell him.
Williams is applauded as he exits the studio.
Williams is applauded as he exits the studio.
Williams leaves the TVNZ studio for the final time.
Williams leaves the TVNZ studio for the final time.

Originally a sports journalist, Williams has fronted some of New Zealand's biggest news events, including seven Olympic Games and the Pike River disaster in 2010.

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He was also the host of Mastermind and a Breakfast presenter.

Williams was a presenter for the One World of Sport team.
Williams was a presenter for the One World of Sport team.
Williams is a keen golfer.
Williams is a keen golfer.
Peter WIlliams has a long history of presenting sports shows.
Peter WIlliams has a long history of presenting sports shows.
Williams is now a columnist at the Bay of Plenty Times.
Williams is now a columnist at the Bay of Plenty Times.

He is now a columnist at the Bay of Plenty Times.

He had been commuting to Mount Maunganui since 2010 when his wife, Sarah Lunam, took up a job at the Port of Tauranga.