Chris Finlayson snubs Simon Bridges in valedictory speech

National's Chris Finlayson has delivered his valedictory speech in Parliament on Tuesday, drawing laughs as he paid tribute to his colleagues - with one noticeable exception.

He praised former National Party leaders and prime ministers Sir John Key and Sir Bill English, along with his colleagues Gerry Brownlee and Nikki Kaye, and gave a shout-out to Newshub.

"I need to say something about the media, because they are not the enemy and should never be referred to in that way. Their work is essential to our democracy," he said.

"I promised Tova [O'Brien, Newshub's Political Editor] I would say this - I especially acknowledge the young, clever and classy TV3 [Newshub] team."

But there was one person who didn't get a shout-out - current National leader Simon Bridges, who was caught earlier in the year saying Mr Finlayson was an MP National could afford to lose.

"I reckon there's three of our MPs not bringing up obvious ones like [Chris] Finlayson or [David] Carter - but actually we just want them to go," Mr Bridges told former National MP Jami-Lee Ross in a leaked recording.

Mr Finlayson has previously said Mr Bridges "will be looking forward to a good Christmas break".

He also used the opportunity to take a dig at NZ First leader Winston Peters - a constant opponent and thorn in National's side.

"Thank you very much for not choosing the National Party in 2017," he told Parliament.

"I think we dodged a bullet. That decision lays the foundations for a National Government in 2020."

Mr Finlayson, who served as attorney-general and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister under the previous Government, also called for changes to our political system.

He argued for extending the parliamentary term to four years and thought MPs should take a compulsory sabbatical after four or five terms.

"A break would allow MPs to re-enter the real world and if they're odd enough to want to come back well, they can do so," Mr Finlayson said.

He also wanted greater awareness around the relationship between Parliament and the courts.

"One of the things that amazes me in this place is that there really is a lack of practical understanding of the separation of powers," he said.

"Sometimes the courts overstep the mark with Parliament when they go too far with parliamentary privilege."

Mr Finlayson will retire in January.