The Dunedin City Council has appointed a female chief executive for the first time in its history.
At present, Sue Bidrose is the council's services and development general manager.
Dr Bidrose takes over as chief executive from Paul Orders, who is returning to Wales after just two years in the job but credited with turning the South Island city's finances around and pushing for greater transparency.
Dunedin mayor Dave Cull said on Monday that Dr Bidrose is the ideal candidate to carry on the work that Mr Orders began.
"We don't envisage changing track and there is an element of implementation and consolidation about it - but there's also an element of creatively continuing the path that the previous council identified and the current council has endorsed."
Mr Cull said Dr Bidrose was part of the senior executive team that made all the changes and he he expects a seamless transition.
The council said she was the standout candidate from a field of 31 applicants, including eight from overseas.