Rural ward councillor and Masterton businessman Graham McClymont has been named as the district's deputy mayor.
His appointment was announced yesterday by newly elected mayor Lyn Patterson.
Mrs Patterson also outlined the committee structure council will adopt for the next three years.
Mr McClymont is now a second term councillor having been unopposed for the rural ward. He will also chair the Audit and Risk Committee, previously chaired by Mrs Patterson.
Mr McClymont, 56, said his appointment as deputy mayor had come as a "surprise".
"It's all a bit surprising but I'm pleased to be working with Lyn.
"I'm up for the challenge and it's another exciting thing to be involved in."
He said his phone had been ringing all day with friends and family offering congratulations.
"They are all excited for me, my daughters are very, very pleased."
Mr McClymont, husband of Teresa and father of Bella, 22, and Sophie, 18, grew up in Masterton and is an old boy of Makoura College.
He runs three successful Wairarapa businesses, GT Environmental Services, a water waste business, Redcar NZ, an industrial equipment service and Deco Precasters, a concrete manufacturing company, as well as looking after the Opaki Water Scheme.
He said he brings his "business orientated" focus to his council role and a "right of centre stance".
"It's a good balance to Lyn, who's left of centre and that's what she's about, making it balanced."
Mr McClymont said he was anticipating people's high expectations would be the most difficult aspect of the position.
"It's a big job to suddenly get thrown into this in your second term. I've only done three years on council."
Mrs Patterson will take over as chair of the Policy and Finance Committee, which last term was the responsibility of former mayor Garry Daniell, and councillor Jonathan Hooker will continue as chairman of the Hearings Committee.
Councillor Gary Caffell, who stood unsuccessfully for the mayoralty, will take over the Parks and Reserves portfolio.
Mrs Patterson said she had appointed Mr McClymont as deputy to get the "balance right" between urban and rural sectors.
"He has a skill set which is different to mine and has different community connections to me, so I'm sure we will complement each other in that respect.
"Graham is somebody I know I can rely on and I have every confidence in him.
"He's also not afraid to tell it how it is, and his open and honest approach will help all of us make the best decisions for our community," she said.