The former chief executive of the national museum, Te Papa, has gone back to the United Kingdom after just three months in a Ministry job he was seconded to.
Mike Houlihan was appointed chief of the Wellington museum in August 2010, but then left to take on a role as a special adviser on military heritage at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage in May this year.
Mr Houlihan was to work for a year on a range of projects, including next year's Anzac Day centenary commemorations.
The ministry says the first phase of this work has been completed. That included contributing to the design of the recently announced WW-100 Commemorative exhibit at the Dominion Museum building.
Mr Houlihan took over at Te Papa following the death of Seddon Bennington in 2009, who died while tramping in the Tararua ranges.
The museum is searching for a new chief executive.