Green MP Gareth Hughes announces retirement

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes is retiring from Parliament to spend more time with his family.

The 38-year-old is the party's longest-serving MP, but says his kids - aged nine and 12 - are missing out on having a dad around.

"If I do another term, my eldest will be 16 and he won't really want to hang out with me anyway," Hughes told Stuff, adding that he's been frustrated with the Government's lack of progress on key issues.

"I don't think the Government has been transformational. There's been pockets of transformation, but you know, I don't think historians are gonna look back at it and say, 'This was a turning point on the scale of the 1930s or 1980s'. And I think that's desperately needed."

In the 1930s, the first Labour Government - led by Michael Savage - set up New Zealand's welfare and state housing systems. The 1980s Labour Government on the other hand set in motion economic changes that would devastate them. 

"A most excellent human who I shall miss," Greens co-leader Marama Davidson said on Twitter.

Hughes is well-liked across Parliament. Hard-right National Party firebrand Judith Collins even had kind words for him on Sunday.

"@GarethMP and I do not agree on many things. However, I have found Gareth to be a positive contributor in Parliament and in Select Committees always polite, prepared and constructive," she tweeted.

"I am sure many other MPs would agree."

Hughes tweeted he's "loved the opportunity" to be a Green MP for a decade. He entered Parliament in 2010 after then-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons retired, and at the time was the youngest MP in Parliament.

He unsuccessfully ran for the party leadership in 2015, losing to James Shaw.

Hughes' final act in Parliament might be to get its bells changed to birdsong.

"We've got some quirks in our Parliament - Member's Bills are pulled from a cookie tin from I think Deka or Farmers back in the '90s," he told Newshub on Friday. "This could be another little iconically New Zealand quirk of our little Parliament."