Barras, coach of Australia's national women's road team and director of the Orica-Scott women's team, has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years.
He has also worked in Canada and Great Britain.
"Without reinventing the wheel, we can improve our systems and delivery so that New Zealand continues to punch well above its weight," Barras said.
Cycling New Zealand chief Andrew Matheson said he was glad to have Barras onboard, given his expertise across a range of cycling fields including road, track, mountain bike and BMX riding.
Barras left Australia's high-performance program after the appointment of Simon Jones as High-Performance Director.
Longtime women's endurance coach Gary Sutton was also a casualty as Jones set about restructuring Australia's program to focus on the four-year cycle of Olympic medal results.
Barras will take up his New Zealand position from December. He replaces Mark Elliott who resigned last November after New Zealand bagged only a single medal in a disappointing Rio 2016 Olympic campaign.