Napier City Council's embattled chief executive Wayne Jack is stepping down, effective Friday.
There had been speculation his departure was imminent, with Stuff reporting Jack was negotiating an exit package worth about $1 million, though RNZ understands his payout is nowhere near that amount.
Jack said after seven years it was time to leave and explore new opportunities.
"I'm proud of the work the NCC has done during my time here to further develop this thriving city during a time of change. I have had a really solid team alongside me, and they make me feel really positive about what's ahead for Napier," he said in a statement.
Jack has been no stranger to controversy during his time as chief executive, and he was known to have had disagreements with Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise.
His controversial decisions included overseeing a council restructure, removing the city's war memorial, a failed bid to build a velodrome, and a plan to build a new pool complex without proper public consultation.
It was revealed last year that he ordered a staff member to snoop on the Facebook pages of four "renegade" councillors', including Wise, who opposed the pool plan.
Jack is leaving his five-year-contact nearly three years early.
"Mayor Bill Dalton gave me two key challenges when I joined NCC in September 2013. The first was to lead the council through the local government amalgamation process and the second was to help transform and transition council to a more contemporary way of working.
"With those key projects behind me it feels like the right time to call time on what has been a rewarding and eventful role serving the Mayor, councillors and people of Napier City."
He said he was proud of the way NCC had risen to challenges and thanked everyone working with the council for their efforts.
Jack said he would be taking a short break, before finding his "next big project".
"I wish Mayor Kirsten Wise and her new team all the best for the term ahead."
In the same statement, Mayor Wise thanked him for the contribution he had made to the NCC and said the council wished him the very best for his next role.