Samantha Hayes has posted a tribute to fellow Newshub presenter Mike McRoberts, who announced he will be leaving his career behind when Newshub shuts down on July 5.

In a post to Instagram, Hayes said his exit “brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it”.

“There is no one quite like Mike. A bold, brilliant journalist and caring friend, a Kiwi icon. Try walking down the street with him and you’ll see what I mean. I adore him, as do Kiwis countrywide,” the post read.

“That last bulletin together is going to be emotional for all of us. It will also mark an historic moment for New Zealand’s media industry. The end of a story spanning 35 years that has been crafted every day by Three’s tenacious, fearless and marvellous news team.

“Mike has been there at 6pm for every major news event of the past two decades. A calm, warm, reassuring voice telling Kiwis what is happening and helping us to make sense of it.

“For the past eight years I’ve had the privilege of sitting next to Mike in the studio. If things were different I have no doubt our partnership would have continued on a lot longer.

“I have learned so much from him, but I have also gained a lifelong friend, and boy I’m going to miss the time we have together each day when this chapter ends.

“Thank you Mike, for your support, advice and aroha – for all the one-liners and laughter. That I have been able to spend these years with you in the studio is one of my life’s great treasures.”

McRoberts will have been working on the show, formerly known at 3 News, for around 23 years by the time he leaves.

He began his TV3 news reporting career in 2001, and in 2002 started presenting current affairs programme 60 Minutes.

By 2005, he was presenting the 6pm news bulletin with Hilary Barry. In 2016, Barry left and McRoberts was then joined by Samantha Hayes.

Speaking on his announcement today, McRoberts said “When I started in this industry as a teenager 40 years ago I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams what an incredible adventure it would be.

“I feel so privileged to have had the opportunities I have had, none more so than in the past 23 years at Newshub, 3 News and 60 Minutes.”