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New General Manager of Veterans’ Affairs NZ

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

22 September 2008

New General Manager of Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand named

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae today announced Retired Brigadier, Mr Rick Ottaway as the new General Manager of Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand (VANZ).

Earlier this year VANZ became an operational unit of the Defence Force, while at the same time becoming the sole agency with end-to-end ownership and accountability for the entire War Disablement Pension process; as well as for the co-ordination of services to veterans.

Lt Gen Mateparae says the new position of General Manager is a significant one as VANZ becomes more closely integrated with the Defence Force, and services to veterans are firstly consolidated and then expanded.

Mr Ottaway has over 40 years experience in the New Zealand Army, and was the Army’s Deputy Chief between 2002 and 2004. He is currently Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Canteen Council. Mr Ottaway is a fellow of the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies, and a fellow of the NZ Institute of Management.

“These are exciting times within the veterans sector,” says Lt Gen Mateparae. “VANZ is moving towards a greater emphasis on brokering services for veterans and case managing their claims for assistance. Meanwhile, the most significant review of the War Pensions Act in half a century is under way.

“I am delighted that Rick has agreed to be the General Manager Veterans’ Affairs. He has considerable experience in the Defence sector, both from his time as a serving officer and latterly with the Armed Forces Canteen Council. But he also has extensive relationships within the Defence Community that I will be asking him to build on as we ensure veterans receive the recognition and support they need. Rick will be at the forefront of championing veterans’ issues in New Zealand.”

Mr Ottaway says he is delighted to be taking up the position: “The profile of the veteran community is changing. I am very conscious that we must continue meeting the needs of current veterans, while planning and creating robust policy that will meet the future needs of the ‘new veteran’.

“I look forward to strengthening and growing the relationships with veterans’ organisations as together we lock-in a world-class veterans’ organisation responsive to the needs of all veterans,” he says.


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