New Zealand's longest continuously serving mayor is stepping down.
Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno has announced she will not be a candidate in local body elections to be held in October.
Mrs Cardno said on Thursday it was one of the hardest decisions of her life and she has loved the past 21 years, but seven terms is enough.
"It takes in your whole life and I've got family all over the world and I want time to visit them. It's a very hard decision to make. I just feel it's time to move on, as much as I love my job."
Mrs Cardno says over her time as mayor, she has seen the council come to terms with amalgamation and become a coherent and unified body.
She says she is also pleased to see more women in politics than when she first became mayor in 1992.