The chief executive of the Canterbury Regional Council is leaving the job to become a freshwater management researcher.
Dr Bryan Jenkins will take up a professorial fellowship at the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management in February next year.
The centre is run by the universities of Canterbury and Lincoln.
Government-appointed commissioners took over the running of the regional council from the elected councillors earlier this year, after a critical review of the council's freshwater management.
The review was partly instigated by the region's mayors, some of whom said they also wanted a change in the council's chief executive.