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Minister announces NZDF appointments

4 February 2009

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, and the Chief of Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Graham Lintott, have been reappointed for a year from May 1. Their current terms of office, and those of the Chiefs of Navy and Army, end on April 30, 2009.

Announcing the appointments, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said that the extensions would provide continuity of leadership at the head of the Defence Force. “This will be especially valuable during the development of the Defence White Paper this year,” he said.

“As the highest-ranking officer in the Defence Force, Lieutenant General Mateparae commands the highest respect in the Defence Force for his leadership and professionalism, particularly in respect of the operational challenges facing our deployed personnel.

“Air Vice Marshal Lintott has considerable strategic insight into the challenges facing both the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Defence Force. Extending their terms will ease the transition of the officers appointed Chief of Navy and Chief of Army,” the Minister said.

Dr Mapp said that State Services Commission had begun the process for appointing the new Chiefs of Navy and Army, and the new Chiefs would be in place by May 1. “New appointees in these roles will provide new perspectives and insights for the Defence White Paper,” he said.

Dr Mapp said that both Rear Admiral David Ledson and Major General Lou Gardiner, the retiring Chiefs of Navy and Army, had made invaluable contributions as members of the Defence Force’s Executive Leadership Team and in leading their Services. “During Rear Admiral Ledson’s five years in the job he has dealt with the significant challenge of getting the Navy ready to operate more ships when the Project Protector fleet is in place, made a continuing commitment to organisational excellence through the Naval Excellence Programme, and strengthened the international relevance of the Navy.

“Major General Gardiner has successfully dealt with a very high operational tempo and the introduction of new equipment in his three-year term. He has made improvements in conditions for Army personnel deployed on operations and within New Zealand which have been greatly appreciated within the service.

“I thank them both for their outstanding service over many years.”

Ends

Contact: Geoff Davies [Geoff.Davies@parliament.govt.nz]

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