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National welcomes Defence appointments

Max Bradford


National Defence Spokesperson

10 December 2001

National welcomes Defence appointments

National welcomes the appointment of Air Commodore Bruce Ferguson as the new Chief of Defence Force.

"Air Commodore Ferguson, who will be promoted to Air Marshal, comes with a distinguished service record and a safe pair of hands on difficult issues," National's Defence spokesperson, Max Bradford, said today.

"His appointment is a safe one at a time when the Defence Force is having to face up to significant change and the aftermath of the unsatisfactory events in the Army over many years.

"National is also pleased with the appointment of Brigadier Jerry Mateparae as Chief of General Staff. Brigadier Mateparae, who will be promoted to Major General, has had significant operational experience and has strong linkages with other defence forces, at a time when New Zealand's relationship with its key security allies is at its lowest level ever.

"Air Commodore John Hamilton's appointment as Chief of Air Staff is also welcomed. Air Commodore Hamilton, who will be promoted to Air Vice Marshal, is well respected within the Defence Force and, in particular, within his own service.

"These appointments, together with the two other key personnel - Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Peter McHaffie, and Commander Joint Forces, Major General Martyn Dunne - should see a strong team providing a new direction for the Defence Force.

"It is fitting that the Government has not promoted Major General Maurice Dodson, given the controversy currently surrounding the Army. We hope this represents a clear sign that the so-called "A + B Team" divisiveness of the Piers Reid and Maurice Dodson approach is over," said Mr Bradford.

Ends


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