Michael Maguire has stepped down as coach of the New Zealand national rugby league team.

The decision from Maguire comes following weeks of speculation regarding his future, which has been heavily linked to taking over Brad Fittler's post as coach of the NSW Blues at State of Origin level.

While nothing has been made official on that front by the NSWRL, Maguire was believed to have been delivered an ultimatum by the NZRL suggesting he needed to pick the Kiwis or Blues.

The Canberra Raiders assistant coach has seemingly picked the later though, despite previously suggesting he was set to remain Kiwis coach and juggle three roles.

It was reported that members within the NZRL expressed concerns around Maguire working within what is effectively a pathway to the Australian team while also coaching the New Zealand side.

Despite that, NZRL chief exective Greg Peters wasted no time in paying tribute to Maguire's six years in charge of the Kiwis in a statement released to confirm his standing down as head coach on Friday.

“The mana, history and whakapapa associated with the black and white jersey mean any role in and around the Kiwi team is the ultimate privilege. Michael's dedication to the role and players has seen him achieve incredible things over the last six years,” Peters said.

“Michael is the ultimate professional and has connected deeply with the NZRL whānau and playing group. We wish him nothing but success in his next career step.”

It's unclear whether Maguire will retain his role with the Canberra Raiders as part of Ricky Stuart's coaching staff should he take over the Blues, with the NSWRL believed to be hopeful of a decision in the near future over Fittler's replacement.