The current head of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Jim Mather, who also led Māori Television for nine years, will replace Richard Griffin as chair of RNZ.
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran announced the appointment this afternoon.
She said Mr Mather, who is of Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe and English descent, was highly regarded as a chief executive.
"His understanding of the public broadcasting ethos and landscape means he'll be able to make a significant contribution," she said in a statement.
He has been appointed for a term of three years and replaces Richard Griffin whose term expired at the end of April.
Mr Mather said he was looking forward to taking up the new position.
"RNZ's commitment to professional journalism that questions, celebrates and holds to account, is an immensely valuable resource for all New Zealanders.
"RNZ has an enviable reputation in a fast evolving and increasingly diverse New Zealand society and I look forward to working with the RNZ team."
RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said he looked forward to working with Mr Mather.