Ross Taylor has been axed as New Zealand captain and left out of the squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White announced that Brendon McCullum would take over the captaincy in all three forms of the game.
White claimed that Taylor had "declined the opportunity" to continue as Test captain if he was forced to relinquish the ODI and Twenty20 role in a split captaincy plan introduced by coach Mike Hesson.
"Mike's assessment was that he wanted to share the captaincy workload," White said. "He thought the best environment for Ross to develop his captaincy was in the Tests.
"Ross thought long and hard about it but felt he needed a break. It's not ideal and we would be a stronger team with Ross in it. But we respect his wishes."
But Taylor claimed he was asked by Hesson to step down as Test captain before the recent tour of Sri Lanka, in which he scored 142 and 74 as New Zealand won in Colombo to level the two-Test series.
"Obviously, the news and the timing was distressing," Taylor said. "It has been a very challenging and pressured time and I don't believe I can give 100 per cent to the game at this time.
"I am determined to contribute to the Black Caps team in the future and help whoever is in charge to win."
The Black Caps will also be without injured spinner Daniel Vettori in South Africa, while wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and rookie leg-spinner Todd Astle have also been dropped.
BJ Watling replaces Van Wyk behind the stumps with Derek de Boorder providing cover, and left-arm spinner Bruce Martin received his first call-up at the age of 32.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Bruce Martin, Jeetan Patel, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.
Don't miss any live and exclusive cricket coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar