• Paul East

The Minister of Defence, the Hon Paul East, today announced that Rear Admiral K F (Fred) Wilson, CBE, LVO, the incumbent Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, will be appointed Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) of the Royal New Zealand Navy effective from 8 April 1997. Rear Admiral Wilson will replace Rear Admiral J E N Welch CB who retires on 7 April 1997.

The Governor General, Sir Michael Hardie-Boys, approved the appointment of Rear Admiral Wilson following recommendations from the Chief of Defence Force and the Minister of Defence.

Rear Admiral Wilson, originally from Takapuna, Auckland, joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a cadet in 1959. After initial training in Australia he had six sea-going appointments, including command of two fisheries-protection vessels, before attending an anti-submarine warfare course in the United Kingdom in 1969. He then joined HMY BRITANNIA as the New Zealand Liaison Officer for the 1970 Royal Tour of Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

He subsequently served as Torpedo and Anti-Submarine Officer on board HMNZS OTAGO, and later became the Midshipman Training Officer at HMNZS TAMAKI.

In November 1973 he joined the Royal Household, and subsequently acted as equerry to Her Majesty during the 1974 Royal Tour of New Zealand. He was awarded the LVO in 1974.

After a period as Operations Officer in HMNZS WAIKATO he was posted to Hawaii in December 1974 for exchange service with the United States Navy on the staff of the Commander Third Fleet.

He returned to New Zealand in 1977 to serve in Defence Headquarters before being posted to HMNZS CANTERBURY as the Second in Command. An appointment in Naval Staff, Wellington, followed before he was appointed Commanding Officer of HMNZS WAIKATO in 1983. He became Commanding Officer of HMNZS SOUTHLAND in December 1984.

From December 1985 to January 1987 he served as Fleet Operations Officer and Queen's Harbour Master on the staff of the Commodore Auckland. He was then posted to Defence Headquarters in Wellington and in March 1988 assumed the post of Naval Development Studies Director, associated with the ANZAC Ship Project.

In September 1989, he commenced a 12 month course at the Canadian National Defence College and following his return was posted as Commanding Officer and Captain Naval Training at HMNZS TAMAKI.

He was promoted to the rank of Commodore and appointed Deputy Chief of Naval Staff in March 1991.

In March 1993 he assumed the new appointment of Maritime Commander New Zealand and was awarded the CBE in the 1993 New Year's Honours List.

He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and posted as the Deputy Chief of Defence staff at Headquarters, New Zealand Defence Force, Wellington, in April 1995.

Rear Admiral Wilson is married with a son and daughter.