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Appointments important step for Defence

15 December 2003 Media Statement

Appointments important step for Defence

In line with achieving this government’s goal of a modernised, sustainable Defence Force, Minister of Defence Mark Burton today announced appointments to two senior Defence positions: Vice Chief of Defence Force and Deputy Secretary of Defence (Policy and Planning). These key appointments, which were recommended in the Review of Accountability and Structural Arrangements in the Defence Force, will enable greater cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief Dame Sylvia Cartwright has promoted Air Commodore David Bamfield, Assistant Chief of Defence Forces (Resources), to the rank of Air Vice Marshal, effective 2 February. He will be appointed as Vice Chief of Defence Force at NZDF Headquarters on that date.

Secretary of Defence Graham Fortune has appointed Chris Seed to the position of Deputy Secretary of Defence (Policy and Planning). Currently, Mr Seed holds the position of Director, Organisational Planning and Performance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and served as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea from 2001-2003.

Mark Burton also announced that the Governor-General has appointed Maritime Component Commander Commodore, David Ledson, as the Chief of Navy at the rank of Rear Admiral, effective 8 April 2004. He will replace Rear Admiral Peter McHaffie, who will be retiring.

Mark Burton congratulated the appointees, saying that he has “full confidence that Air Commodore Bamfield, Commodore Ledson, and Mr Seed will each bring strong leadership skills and talents to their roles.

“These two senior appointments are another important step forward for New Zealand Defence. Both appointments follow a comprehensive internal and external review of Defence structural arrangements. The results closely mirror the government’s key organisational goal for Defence: all elements working together for national security.

“One of the key recommendations emerging from this work was that both a Vice Chief and Deputy Secretary were necessary to facilitate efficient consultation and information sharing between both Defence organisations. Air Commodore Bamfield and Mr Seed will co-direct and lead a shared NZDF/Ministry team, with provision for joint strategic advice and integration between Defence Headquarters and the Ministry.

“We have already taken many strong steps towards a culture of collaboration between the Ministry of Defence and the NZDF. Today’s appointments reinforce the significant work done to date in achieving this goal, and offer excellent opportunities for future cooperative efforts,” said Mark Burton.

ENDS

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