The editor of the Wairarapa Times-Age, Andrew Bonallack, will farewell Wairarapa in July.

He and his wife, and two dogs, are moving from their cottage in Featherston to Wellington's Churton Park suburbia, as he takes on a new role with the New Zealand Defence Force.

Mr Bonallack said the move, after just over three years' tenure with the Times-Age, is a very emotional one for himself and his team after forging such strong links and friendships in the community.

"It was exciting to come to Wairarapa, to a thriving newspaper with such a powerful and loyal connection to its readers. It was an opportunity to make my mark, to step up from weekly community news, and face a new challenge. Team members grew with me over three years, while I in turn was shaped by the experience and expertise of team members who stood with me.


"It is someone else's turn now, a chance for someone to grab in both hands the opportunity of a lifetime, to have the pleasure and the privilege of bringing news to Wairarapa on a daily basis. My successor will be lucky in having such an established team who love what they do."

General manager Andrew Denholm said a search for a new editor was now under way.

He said he was delighted with the performance of the Times-Age under Mr Bonallack over the three years, in readership and circulation, including being a Canon Media Award finalist for Best Newspaper of the Year. Mr Bonallack arrived in April 2013, succeeding Heather McCracken.

A surveyor in a previous life, he retrained as a journalist in 2006 at Massey University, rising to editorship of five Wellington community papers in 2010.