The interim chief executive of Ngati Kahungunu has six months to prove she's up for the job.
Adele Whyte stepped into the role in April, when Meka Whaitiri began campaigning for the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election, which she won.
Dr Whyte is the tribe's Fisheries and Environment director and a scientist.
The chair of the iwi, Ngahiwi Tomoana, says Ms Whaitiri trained the tribe's four directors before she left.
He says Dr Whyte has six months to show whether she is suitable for the role.