Pahia Turia will bring business and governance experience to his new role as chair of Whanganui & Partners.
Turia has served on the board for several years and replaces outgoing chair Myles Fothergill who stepped down to focus on the economic growth opportunities around the port development.
Turia said he was honoured to be voted in by the board.
"We've got a strong board in place, strong management and the right people in the right positions on the team," he said.
"I plan to continue with the great work Myles has done and keep Whanganui & Partners moving forward on the track it's currently on."
Turia is well known in Whanganui for his leadership within business and iwi communities.
His wealth of experience in governance and management is one of the reasons the board supported his appointment as chair.
Turia has strong ties to organisations around the region, which he hopes will deepen partnerships between the economic development agency and Whanganui business and iwi stakeholders.
"Partnerships are at the heart of Whanganui & Partners' activities. It gives us the chance to tap into experience and expertise that we otherwise wouldn't have.
"The stronger our partnerships, the stronger our organisation."
In addition to his position on the Whanganui & Partners board, Turia is on the board of Māori business network Te Manu Atatū, regional growth network Accelerate25 and is the chair of Te Roopu Ahi Kaa and Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa.
He said Whanganui's economy has good momentum.
"I think it's important that Whanganui & Partners is leading the way when it comes to telling our economic story," Turia said.
"That's something I want to push going forward."