As a new Hawke's Bay Regional Council takes shape, its former chief executive is back at the helm.

Today, the newly elected Hawke's Bay regional councillors will be sworn in at the council's inaugural meeting, witnessed by returned chief executive Andrew Newman.

Appointed to the role in 2007, Mr Newman was released in 2013 to head the council's investment arm, the Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd (HBRIC) - which has been leading the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme project.

After three years away he has been "back in the seat" as council chief since last Monday - busy reacquainting himself with staff and working through the organisation's issues and opportunities.


And today he will have the chance to meet the new regional councillors at the council meeting.

As a result of the election - labelled as a referendum on the Ruataniwha Dam - it has been touted that the new council will lean more against the project than its predecessor.

When asked, Mr Newman said he would not have an opinion on the new council until he had met with the new councillors and knew who the chairman was.

"My job is to serve the council," he said, "so I've got to go through a process of really working with the council to understand their agenda they wish to pursue, and then work with the team at the council to organise that."

He would say that having served a number of councils and a number of chairmen over the years "there's always been some change and that's a healthy thing in a democracy".

"I just really look forward to working with the incoming council in a pretty constructive way," he said, adding that the council as an organisation had a relevant and busy role in the community.

Following the elections, two councillors had called for a moratorium on activity relating to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

When asked if he would take note of this, Mr Newman said, "it's my job to work with the agenda that the council decides it wants to run with and its inappropriate for me to make comment around particular views of councillors until such time as [there's] some formality."


Any further progress around this would need to go through council process.

"So really we've got to sit down and figure out in the next ... few weeks and coming months with the councillors exactly how those issues are progressed in that formal council process," he said.