New Chief of Defence Force appointed

  • Wayne Mapp

Chief of Army Major General Rhys Jones has been appointed the new Chief of Defence Force. He will be promoted to Lieutenant General and take over from Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae on 24 January next year.

“Major General Jones is an experienced and highly-respected officer. He has played a key role in developing the Defence White Paper, which will be implemented during his term.

“Major General Jones has held command at every senior level. These include appointment as Commander Joint Forces New Zealand as a Major General from October 2007 until his appointment as Chief of Army in May last year,” the Minister said.

“As a proven high-calibre officer he will provide outstanding leadership as the Chief of Defence Force, especially in the strategic domain and also the Value for Money project.

“This is a time of considerable change for the Defence Force. Major General Jones will be implementing the recommendations of the Defence White Paper as well as providing broader leadership to the Defence Force,” he said.

Dr Mapp also announced that Rear Admiral Jack Steer, the Vice Chief of Defence Force, has been appointed for a further two years from 2 February 2011. He has served in the role since February 2008.

“Rear Admiral Steer has provided an in-depth approach to realising the Value for Money project during the development of the White Paper. He will have a central role in implementing the Value for Money aspects of the White Paper, and the enhanced responsibilities of the Vice Chief will reflect this.

“Major General Jones and Rear Admiral Steer will make a strong team to lead the New Zealand Defence Force through the challenges that it faces in the coming years,” he said.

“I congratulate both officers. I know their leadership will be a substantial contribution to New Zealand’s defence and security.”