Kevin, known as Dinghy, is from Greymouth and brings more than 40 years of underground mining experience to the role. In addition to his strong mining background, Dinghy has been actively involved with the NZ Mines Rescue Service for the past 33 years.
Chief Executive Dave Gawn said: "This is a really key role for the agency and I'm delighted we're able to bring Dinghy on board.
"His highly specialised underground mining experience, combined with his clear leadership and stakeholder management skills, will prove invaluable to our team as we move forward."
As Chief Operating Officer, Dinghy will manage the operational elements of the Pike River re-entry work programme and have responsibility for ensuring activities at the mine comply with statutory health and safety requirements.
He has numerous mining qualifications, including Site Senior Executive and First Class Mine Manager certificates, along with a Postgraduate Diploma in Coal Mine Strata Control from the University of New South Wales.
He will take up the role of Chief Operating Officer on 12 March 2018.