Olympic medallist Nathan Twaddle is giving serious consideration to retirement after the world championships.

The 34-year-old's place in New Zealand's sporting history can be judged in medals. He has a bronze in the men's pair at Beijing with George Bridgewater, who also partnered him to a gold and two silvers at world championships, and eight World Cup gongs.

But Twaddle has achieved so much more as a team man, known as Pops for his responsible attitude, earnest demeanour and willingness to laugh at himself. He has often been the perfect tonic to cabin fever in a squad that can travel together for three months a year.

Twaddle has also lived up to the standards of the African honey badger, a catchcry for Kiwi crews, coined at the 2005 Gifu world championships. The team wanted to emulate the feats of that particular beast, because it is fearless and never gives up when it stalks into bees' nests to collect its favourite nectar. Twaddle has encapsulated that attitude over eight seasons in New Zealand skiffs.

He finished an uncharacteristic 7th in the B final of the quadruple sculls. That means he is likely to suffer a cut in his Sparc performance enhancement grant (PEG) funding from $55,000 to $40,000 per annum, in line with the rest of his crewmates.

Matthew Trott currently receives $47,500 after his fourth in the men's double last year, while Robbie Manson and John Storey are funded purely through Rowing New Zealand.

That might not be enough to sustain Twaddle to London 2012. He could have a meeting with Sparc and RNZ as early as this week to discuss his future. A grateful Twaddle says Sparc funded him through goodwill last year when he was out with injury but he now also has a 14-month-old son William to support with wife Andrea.

"I'll get a cut, which is fair enough - I'm not whingeing," Twaddle says. "London is a tempting carrot to keep trying for but I want to be realistic.

"New Zealand rowing has developed a decent programme that will work regardless of personnel.

"In some ways, our result was gutting but it has been great being back in the system again. It was better to have reached out and given it a crack than accept the middle ground."

Twaddle says having a young lad around has made training easier, albeit with a different focus.

"I come home knackered and my son is there waiting. He doesn't care, all he wants is a cuddle and some stories read. The Hungry Caterpillar and Spot Goes To The Park are the current favourites. The tough sessions and fatigue mean nothing to him.

"Andrea has been an amazing support but touring has been hard. If I'm still going next year, we'll try to get them over there. I don't think the computer screen at home can take any more hits from a little fist when Skype is on. The average age of the squad is about 23, so at least I'll have a good pool of babysitters."

Twaddle says if he decides to opt out, he wants to give something back. That has already come in the form of some television commentary. He also wants to continue coaching.

"I have been doing some work with [adaptive bronze medallist] Danny McBride. He has bought into the New Zealand rowing ethos and trains as hard as anyone with just his arms and shoulders. That's particularly gutsy coming 8km back into a head wind on Lake Karapiro.

"We're starting a talent identification programme after the world championships until the end of November. It would be nice to get a few more adaptive crews to the Paralympics."