After a string of leadership and management roles, Wayne Jack is set to return home to take on the role of Napier City Council chief executive.
Mr Jack, born in Napier and educated at Tamatea High School, is Yarra Ranges Council director of corporate services. He will replace Neil Taylor who is retiring from the position after more than 20 years.
Mr Jack told Hawke's Bay Today organising shared services between councils had been a major feature of his time working in Australia and it was an area he'd like to develop when he started work at the Napier council.
"Another area I learned a lot about was engaging with the community and understanding what it is they want, in terms of the value, pride in their city," he said.
He would promote shared services between Hawke's Bay's councils in front of any option to amalgamate Napier with other local government organisations.
"I think that is a discussion we have to have with the community, whether amalgamation is something they want.
My thoughts are, having been back and spoken to a number of people, that the community of Napier does not want amalgamation.
"So I think there are opportunities there to explore shared services to drive the efficiencies, to work together on joint strategies."
Mr Jack said he was keen to take in additional feedback from Napier councillors and ratepayers before making a final decision on the way forward for the council.
"But I don't believe it (a merger) is in the best interest of Napier city."
Mayor Barbara Arnott said there had been a "high level" of interest from a wide range of candidates locally, nationally and internationally.
She said the council now looked forward to welcoming Mr Jack, who is in his 40s, into the role and back to Napier.
"He has a lot of skills and values - we see him as the right man for this job and this city," she said, adding that staff were told about the appointment yesterday and were also impressed.
Before turning to local government work, Mr Jack held leadership and change management roles in various ministries in Wellington.
He also enjoyed a successful career in the Royal New Zealand Navy after he left high school and reached the rank of commander and was involved in several significant missions abroad.
Mrs Arnott said while growing up in Napier, he was heavily involved in surf lifesaving and, at the age of 14, swam Cook Strait.
Mr Jack is a chartered accountant and in his role at the Yarra Ranges Council is involved in co-ordinating services.