One of New Zealand's most respected journalists and newsroom leaders, Otago Daily Times editor Murray Kirkness, is the new weekday editor of The New Zealand Herald.

Herald Managing Editor Shayne Currie said Kirkness would take the reins of the weekday editions of the Herald and help drive the Herald's digital journalism from August. His appointment follows the recent promotion of Herald on Sunday editor Miriyana Alexander to Weekend Herald editor.

"Murray is completely audience-focused and is a champion of great journalism and fine story-telling. Murray and Miriyana are two very strong leaders who, in addition to Marcus Forbes leading digital, will drive quality content."

Kirkness said he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to join the Herald team.

"I'm looking forward to building the Herald's readership, and working with some of the best journalists in New Zealand."

Kirkness has been editor of the ODT for the past eight years and has been with its parent company, Allied Press, for the past 15 years. His background includes stints at the Newcastle Herald in Australia, as day editor, and at the Daily Telegraph in Sydney as a sub-editor.