A familiar face will be joining the senior team at Masterton District Council on April 26, when former Labour Party candidate for Wairarapa Kieran McAnulty takes on the role of economic development manager.

Mr McAnulty, 31, was appointed by a selection panel and takes over from Tina Nixon who left the staff late last year to take on a role at the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre.

For the past seven years Mr McAnulty has worked for the TAB as a sports bookmaker and said he was looking forward to the challenge of helping Masterton district progress into the future.

He stood for Labour at the 2014 election and said yesterday that although he was keen to seek the nomination for the Wairarapa electorate again when the next general election rolled round, his focus was now firmly fixed on his council job.

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"I have enjoyed my work with the TAB and thought I would be there until such time as I became Wairarapa MP but I am really excited about the economic development role.

"I suppose you could call it a change of direction but with my university studies, my leadership of projects and my work building relationships I am ready for this," he said.

In a private capacity, Mr McAnulty is keen to continue his MC role at the Golden Shears.

Mr McAnulty said his political aspirations had been discussed with the selection panel and in his new job he had no qualms working in collaboration with Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott when that situation arose.

His role with the council would be "quite back-room and I am happy to have it that way".

Mr McAnulty said he would be working to build and facilitate relationships and would be part of a team effort pushing for the creation of jobs in the Masterton district.