Hawke's Bay police's area commander has been seconded from his role to assist in the Pike River mine re-entry operation.

Inspector Dave Greig acted as area commander for 15 months between October 2017 and January 2019 for the region.

"It was a privilege to serve as Area Commander in the area where I have served for more than half of my 29 years' service, and to work with a team of such passionate and committed police officers who are working extremely hard to keep their community safe," he said.

On January 7, Greig was seconded to Police National Headquarters as an acting superintendent to assist with the Pike River re-entry.

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He said he would not be returning to Hawke's Bay as area commander once that role finishes.

The recruitment process to replace him is still under way and while Greig's role in the mine operation is secondary - a temporary role - it's uncertain where he will be placed once the operation is complete.

"The future for policing and the Hawkes Bay community looks bright with the investment of additional staff into the area over the next three years, and I'm excited to see the impact the additional staff are going to make."

The Pike River Mine re-entry operation is expected to be completed by June 2020 and is costing a total of $36 million.

Before the first phase begins in February, preparation work by the Pike River Recovery Agency is taking place.

The work includes the design and manufacture of new emergency portal doors, the restoration of a high voltage supply and the addition of a nitrogen plant which will be used throughout the process.