Kawakawa's top police officer, Sergeant Nathan Davis, is leaving Northland to take up a new job in Dannevirke as the head of the Tararua Police sub-area.
The new job and promotion to senior sergeant takes effect on February 11, with this Friday likely to be Mr Davis' last day in charge at Kawakawa.
The role will put him in charge of 32 staff and six police stations, making it a "significant step up".
Mr Davis said the move meant giving up a lot in Kawakawa, but he was doing it for professional and family reasons. His wife Julie's family lives in Central Hawke's Bay, a short drive from Dannevirke.
The former detective said working in Kawakawa had given him a chance to reconnect with family and joked that he was related to half the people in town.
"This is the best job I've had in the police. My dad's family are from here, and it means a lot more when you're not policing strangers but people who know you."
Mr Davis said he was very happy with his staff and the fact crime had fallen in the past two years, so the people of Kawakawa were safer now than when he started.
One of the pluses of the move south, however, was that he would be back in Hurricanes country.
"I could never bring myself to support the Blues," he said.
The family's departure also creates a gap at Opua School where Mr Davis is the board of trustees chairman, Mrs Davis is a teacher aide and their two sons are pupils.
It also means other people now stand a chance in Northland eating competitions. The burly police sergeant cleaned up in every eating contest the Advocate saw him enter, including the spaghetti-eating competition at Russell's Birdman Festival and the pie-eating contest at Paihia's Food and Wine Festival. In the latter he had devoured three pies while most of his rivals were still chewing on their first.
Mr Davis also contested the heavyweight division of last September's Fighting Cancer fundraiser in Kerikeri, beating Duke of Marlborough Tavern manager Tama Salive in a three-round boxing match.