Whanganui Mayor Michael Laws will not stand again for the position in this year's local elections.
He says the main reason he's quitting in October is to spend more time with his three young children, and his two older children and two grandchildren.
Mr Laws's daughter Lucy almost died of leukemia two years ago and he says some opponents have also attacked his family for political gain.
Although leaving the mayoralty, he intends to stand for Whanganui District Council and to continue on the district health board.
Mair not impressed with stances taken
Whanganui iwi spokesperson Ken Mair says the stance taken by Mr Laws on issues like the spelling of Whanganui has not helped mend divisions in the community.
He says that Mr Laws has not endeared himself to the Maori community, particularly over the city's name, and that he should have done more to repair relationships between the council and the iwi.
The mayor's campaign to ban gang patches was little more than political grandstanding, Mr Mair says.