Today is Garry Poole's last day as chief executive of Tauranga City Council.

In May elected members decided to hire then-Whakatane District Council chief executive Marty Grenfell for the role, rather than reappoint Poole when his contract came up for renewal.

Poole, who spent five years in the role, agreed to stay on for the transition.

At the time the decision was announced he said he was proud of what the council had been able to do under his stewardship.


It was understood he requested a quiet exit and had not announced what he would do next.

Grenfell, who worked closely with Poole when he was area commander of Wellington's police force and Poole was chief executive of Wellington City Council, would officially start next week.

He told the Bay of Plenty Times his seven years in Whakatane had been "fantastic".

"It's been one big honeymoon."

He suspected there might be fewer opportunities at his new job to leave early every so often and go fishing.

"It's a big job - I'm not under any illusions about that. It's going to be difficult at times."

He would not comment in detail about specific issues facing Tauranga City Council without first having an opportunity to speak to staff and others in the community.

"I'm not going to go in there with pre-determined views."


He said he was not coming into the role with an overarching vision for Tauranga, and did not believe it was his place to conceive one.

"It's not an organisation that creates a vision for the town. It is the expectations and outcomes the community desires."

He said he saw his job as ensuring the organisation was capable of executing the community's vision.

Meanwhile, Whakatane District Council was close to appointing a new chief executive.

A spokesman said elected members had finished conducting final interviews with shortlisted candidates, and the council hoped to confirm an appointment next week.

David Bewlie, the council's general manager of planning and infrastructure, will step up as interim chief executive until the new person takes over.