Honesty is a policy that never wears out and that's what Shane McKenzie has built his constitution on throughout his life.

"I'm big on honesty and trust. It takes a team to get things done, not just an individual," said McKenzie yesterday after Hawke's Bay United announced he was going to replace Matt Hastings as general manager operations of the football franchise from August 1.

The 35-year-old from Napier, who is operations manager of Rescom Security Systems, has carried those principles through football and work all his life.

"I've been involved in operations at Rescom for probably the last four years and also a lot of skills I have in this job translate to football," said McKenzie, who has been involved with planning Bay events such as the Blues, Brews and Barbecues, and the security around Horse of the Year Show.


He felt his ability to pay attention to detail and dealing with volunteers would put him in good stead.

McKenzie hasn't formally sat around the table to discuss matters with the franchise but when they do next month he has a few ideas to put across.

"I want to ensure that we stay in the Bay as long as we possibly can so the young guys coming up are aspiring to play for Hawke's Bay United and so we get huge support on game days."

Franchise chairwoman Paula Walker said they had received many quality applicants, including from overseas.

"Being able to appoint a person with Shane's varied experience across all areas of the game shows another alignment that the club provides, along with our player development focus of having a clear pathway to Hawkes Bay United," Walker said.

For McKenzie it was a path to serve a code he has played since he was 5.

"The big attraction for me is to be able to work in football, the game I love and have been involved with and doing something for the region."

He arrived from Auckland in 2005 for a change in lifestyle in the Bay where he joined the Port Hill Soccer Club and served on its committee.

McKenzie, who will step down as Port Hill president at the end of this winter season, mentored the second division men's team, women's teams (divisions one/two) and was the federation talent centre coach of the under-16 Bay rep girls.

"It's an administrative role at probably the highest level you can get in Hawke's Bay so it means I can move from one club to the whole [Central Football] area."

The biggest challenge, he felt, was luring families from the beaches during summer to the park.

"We've got to make the whole experience with Hawke's Bay United and the game day to everyone, the whole family and not just the football supporters."

With the franchise's success over the past few seasons, McKenzie said, it was imperative to make the other clubs feel a part of it as well.

"I've met a lot of other people who run the other clubs in Hawke's Bay and I think that's going to work in our favour so I can go have a genuine conversation with them about and what they'd like from us as a franchise to support local football and really get into it."

Enticing a percentage of other club members on game days would do the trick.

"Why not wave our own flags and wear our own club shirts with the Hawke's Bay ones?"

Building a culture is on the top of his agenda. "We want Hawke's Bay United and the Bay community to buy into that culture so that when the team is successful the region is successful."

Central Football, he said, played a pivotal part in developing reps from a tender age.

"We haven't had huge player base of local talent in the past couple of years but the pathway is there in the future to get there so it's important Hawke's Bay United is here for a long time for when those players are there for the national league level."

McKenzie and wife Kelly, who he met as a player at Port Hill club, are expecting a child soon.

"Matt's done a great job the last couple of years. The club has been very successful on and off the pitch while Matt has been with the club. Now it's my job to work from the foundation he has helped to create and build from here." he said.

The franchise premiership and youth teams kick off their season in October.