The flyhalf was part of two World Cup winning teams in 2011 and 2015, when he won the man of the match honour in the final against Australia.
“I officially retire from professional rugby today,” Carter wrote on Twitter.
“A sport I’ve played 32 years which has helped shape me into the person I am today. I can’t thank everyone who has played a part in my journey enough, particularly you, the fans.
“Rugby will always be a part of my life.”
Carter was also named International Rugby Player of the Year three times in his career, equalling the record held by longtime team mate and skipper Richie McCaw.
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