The outgoing head of the Ministry of Health says he is likely to remain working in the sector in New Zealand.
Stephen McKernan leaves his more than $550,000 a year job at the end of this week.
There has been considerable media speculation about the reason for Mr McKernan's departure, but he says it was his decision alone not to renew his contract and he has loved his time in the job.
Mr McKernan is also rejecting speculation that the job is a political hot potato, saying there is nothing unusual in the fact that it is taking time to find a permanent replacement.
Andrew Bridgman will become acting director-general from Monday. Mr McKernan says that is when he will spell out his own future plans, but intends to remain in New Zealand.