Wairoa District Council's long-serving chief executive officer, Peter Freeman, will not be reappointed to the role and a replacement is likely to be named next week.

All councils are required to periodically advertise their CEO positions and either reappoint or replace the incumbent.

Mr Freeman, who has worked for the council for 23 years, left his CEO position last week when his contract expired as the council continued to work through the appointment process.

Mayor Craig Little said at the time Mr Freeman was on a shortlist of candidates being considered for the role after it was advertised in December.

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On Thursday, Mr Freeman sent an email to all council staff saying he had been told the council had decided to appoint another candidate to the position.

"While this is disappointing personally, it was always a possible outcome of the process," he wrote.

"No doubt I will be the whipping boy for everything that goes wrong for the next few years."

Mr Little said yesterday the council was currently checking the references of the person who has been offered the job as it worked through the final phase of the appointment process.

The person had been offered the job subject to final reference checks, which was not unusual, Mr Little said.

"They're not going to give you a reference of their current employer unless they know they've pretty well got the job," he said.

"We just want to dot our i's and cross our t's and make sure we're doing it right."

He said an announcement of the appointment was likely within a matter of days.