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Defence appointments announced

10 December 2001 Media Statement

Defence appointments announced

The appointment of Air Commodore Bruce Ferguson as the new Chief of Defence Force was announced today by Defence Minister Mark Burton.

Air Commodore Ferguson, who will be promoted to Air Marshal, will take up duty when Air Marshal Carey Adamson retires in February.

Mark Burton also announced the appointments of Brigadier Jerry Mateparae as Chief of General Staff and Air Commodore John Hamilton as Chief of Air Staff. Both will also take up duty in February, on the retirements of the present chiefs of the Army and the Air Force.

"My recommendations to Cabinet and the Executive Council were accepted and reflected the recommendations of the selection panel, headed by State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham," Mark Burton said. "The appointments are all for four year periods."

Air Commodore Ferguson served as a helicopter pilot in New Zealand and overseas and has held various senior posts in the Air Force, including command of the Operations Wing and the RNZAF base at Auckland. Since 1997 he had been head of personnel at Defence Force Headquarters.

Brigadier Mateparae, who will be promoted to Major General, will succeed Major General Maurice Dodson. Brigadier Mateparae served with the UN Truce Supervisory Organisation in Lebanon, commanded the Truce Monitoring Group in Bougainville and commanded operations in East Timor. He is at present Land Component Commander at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.

Air Commodore John Hamilton, who will be promoted to Air Vice Marshal, will become Chief of Air Staff when Air Vice Marshal Don Hamilton steps down. Air Commodore Hamilton served as a helicopter pilot in New Zealand and on exchange with the Australian Air Force. He has held various senior posts in the Air Force, including command of the Operations Wing and the RNZAF base at Ohakea. He is at present Air Component Commander at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.

"With the Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Peter McHaffie, and the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand Major General Martyn Dunne, the new chiefs will form a strong team to lead the Defence Force through the next important phases of development," Mark Burton said.

ENDS

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