Student Volunteer Army leader Sam Johnson has turned down an offer by Labour MP Lianne Dalziel to help her oust Bob Parker as Christchurch mayor in upcoming local body elections.
The Christchurch East MP asked Mr Johnson, 24, to be her running mate and deputy mayor but she has approached other people as well.
The Press has confirmed Mr Johnson seriously considered the offer but had decided against it.
"I really wanted to do it," he said. "It was a really difficult decision to make, but I don't think it is the right thing for me right now," he told the local newspaper yesterday.
Mr Johnson, who was named Young New Zealander of the Year in 2012 for work he did using social media to mobilise students to help earthquake victims, would focus on finishing his political studies and running the Volunteer Army Foundation.
According to the newspaper, Ms Dalziel is still considering a mayoralty bid.
However, she said she would need to get the right team behind her before officially stepping forward as a candidate.
Mr Parker has said he will seek re-election but it was too soon to begin actively campaigning ahead of the October election.