The Secretary for Education finishes her job on Friday, a little more than a year after she started.
Lesley Longstone leaves after a difficult relationship with Education Minister Hekia Parata.
Mrs Longstone's leadership of the ministry was marred by a series of controversies including problems with the school payroll system Novopay and criticism of plans to reorganise schools in earthquake-hit Christchurch.
Mrs Longstone came to New Zealand from the United Kingdom where she had worked in the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Former public servant Peter Hughes will become acting Secretary for Education on Saturday.