Superintendent Andy McGregor has been appointed to the position of area commander for the newly-created Christchurch metro area.
Canterbury's three-area police structure is to be replaced with a new system, which includes the new metro area.
Canterbury District Commander Gary Knowles says the new role will mean Superintendent McGregor will be responsible for response, investigations and prevention functions.
He says the role will encompass the greater Christchurch area currently covered by the Christchurch central, southern and northern areas.
Superintendent McGregor, who is the national manager of police communications centres, based in Wellington, has been an area commander in two of those former Christchurch zones.