Three Services as one force, being the best in everything we do  

Recipients of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) obverse view

Corporal Gerald Stewart FENTON (K55577), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - date of act: 10 August 2000; location of acts: East Timor; year of award: 2005

Lance Corporal John Frank Manila LUAMANU, Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers - dates of acts: 4 August 2012; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2015

The late Lance Corporal Rory Patrick MALONE, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - dates of acts: 4 August 2012; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2015

Squadron Leader (then Flight Lieutenant) Benjamin Mark PRYOR (R1001757), Royal New Zealand Air Force - dates of acts: 22 April 2012 and 23 May 2012; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2013

Staff Sergeant (then Acting Warrant Officer Class Two) Dean Maurice RENNIE (D993143), Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own) (Retired) - years of acts: 2010-2011; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2013

Warrant Officer Class Two Denis Joachim WANIHI (D771492), Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York's Own) - year of acts: 2010; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2011

One member of the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Group - year of acts: 2004; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2007

Five members of the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Group - year of acts: 2011; location of acts: Afghanistan; year of award: 2014

Citations

Corporal Gerald Stewart FENTON (K55577), Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - New Year's Honours List 2005

Citation

On 10 August 2000, Corporal Fenton was attached to a Nepalese platoon in East Timor, as a Signaller. While carrying out a patrol on the border between East and West Timor, part of the platoon came under fire from a militia group and sustained casualties. The Nepalese platoon commander immediately responded by moving the remainder of the patrol towards the contact site. As this was taking place, they too came under fire. As the only English-speaking signaller on the scene, Corporal Fenton provided the crucial communications link to both the Battalion Headquarters and to the helicopters called in to evacuate the Nepalese casualties. That this evacuation was successfully completed, was in no small part due to the effective communications maintained by Corporal Fenton.

Despite the immediate threat to his life during this incident, Corporal Fenton remained focused on his job. He remained in close proximity to an English-speaking officer, so that he could obtain information quickly and relay it immediately to New Zealand and Australian operational staff of the Battalion. Throughout the incident, the language barrier made his personal safety precarious and also made his task much more difficult to carry out.

Corporal Fenton showed considerable courage and presence of mind throughout this incident and carried out his duties in a thoroughly professional manner.

Image used for separation of news items

Lance Corporal John Frank Manila LUAMANU, Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers - Special Honours List 3 December 2015

Citation

On 4 August 2012, KIWI Company of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team were tasked with assisting a unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security near the village of Baghak [Afghanistan]. Shortly after midday nine of the company’s vehicles, spread out over 400 metres on a narrow road, came under heavy small arms fire from concealed insurgent positions on the high ground on both sides of the road. Lance Corporal John Luamanu was travelling in a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) that was part of a separate three-vehicle patrol, positioned to the south of the vehicles which had come under attack.

As the battle with the insurgent forces intensified and KIWI Company sustained a number of casualties, the three patrol vehicles moved north to assist. Approaching the contact site, the lead patrol vehicle came under heavy fire from high ground to the north-east and west of their position. As the lead vehicle came to a halt, the patrol's second in command Sergeant Duncan moved forward and recovered a New Zealand casualty, bringing him to the rear of the lead vehicle for treatment by the Company’s Nursing Officer. As Sergeant Duncan returned to his own vehicle he received a gunshot wound to his right leg and fell to the ground. Lance Corporal Luamanu assisted a comrade to move Sergeant Duncan to the rear of the LAV.

Orders were then received to move Sergeant Duncan to another vehicle that had other casualties on board for evacuation to the Casualty Clearing Post. Lance Corporal Luamanu picked up Sergeant Duncan and carried him 20 metres over open ground, exposed to insurgent fire, to the rear of the designated casualty evacuation vehicle. On arrival they found that it was already full and the only alternative transport was the third vehicle of their own patrol, which meant retracing their steps over the open ground they had just crossed. Without hesitation, Lance Corporal Luamanu picked up Sergeant Duncan once again and carried him safely to the rear of the third patrol vehicle to be transported to the Casualty Clearing Post for treatment.

Lance Corporal Luamanu displayed both gallantry and comradeship in twice carrying a wounded colleague over open ground and under enemy fire to ensure his safety.

Related Gallantry Awards:

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Sergeant David John DUNCAN, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps.

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to the late Lance Corporal Rory Patrick MALONE, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

Also see the media statements:

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

The late Lance Corporal Rory Patrick MALONE, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment - Special Honours List 3 December 2015

Citation

On 4 August 2012, KIWI Company of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team were tasked with assisting a unit of the Afghan National Directorate of Security near the village of Baghak [Afghanistan]. Shortly after midday nine of the company’s vehicles, spread out over 400 metres on a narrow road, came under heavy small arms fire from concealed insurgent positions on the high ground on both sides of the road. At the time the attack began, Lance Corporal Rory Malone was providing observation and cover at the front of his vehicle, as the Company Commander was being briefed at the same vehicle by one of his officers.

As the insurgents began firing at his vehicle from both the north-east and south-west, Lance Corporal Malone returned fire at the group that was firing from the south west. The Company Commander then sustained a gunshot wound and fell to the ground. Working with another officer, Lance Corporal Malone assisted in dragging the Company Commander to the rear of the vehicle where he might receive treatment for his wound. While the officer treated the Company Commander inside the vehicle, Lance Corporal Malone remained outside in a relatively exposed position providing cover and engaging insurgent positions to the south-west. It was at this time that he was struck in the right hip by a bullet that failed to penetrate his body armour.

As soon as the Company Commander had been stabilised, the driver of Lance Corporal Malone’s vehicle prepared to leave the contact site for the Casualty Clearing Post. There was no room in the rear of the vehicle, so Lance Corporal Malone had to move down the exposed west side of his vehicle to reach the passenger door. As he opened the door he was struck in the chest by an insurgent bullet and killed.

Throughout this incident, Lance Corporal Malone displayed both gallantry and comradeship in providing assistance and covering fire to his wounded Company Commander while in positions that were exposed to insurgent fire.

Related Gallantry Awards:

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Sergeant David John DUNCAN, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps .

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to Lance Corporal John Frank Manila LUAMANU, Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers.

Also see the media statements:

Image used for separation of news items

Squadron Leader (then Flight Lieutenant) Benjamin Mark PRYOR (R1001757), Royal New Zealand Air Force - Special Honours List 20 April 2013

Citation

During April and May 2012, Squadron Leader Pryor (then in the rank of Flight Lieutenant) served as a helicopter pilot on secondment to the Royal Air Force in support of the British Forces in Afghanistan.

On 22 April 2012, Squadron Leader Pryor was captain of the lead aircraft (a Chinook medium-lift helicopter) of an eight-ship aviation assault with the Special Forces Support Group. During a complex multi-ship formation landing in very challenging environmental conditions, with almost-zero visibility at times, his aircraft came under intense enemy fire. Squadron Leader Pryor abandoned his initial approach after his aircraft was hit three times in the vicinity of the cockpit, but elected to make a second approach in order to get his troops onto the ground in support of their colleagues. Showing remarkable courage in the face of extreme danger, he landed the aircraft in the same area and effected the safe disembarkation of his troops whilst directing effective suppressive fire from the aircraft’s weapon system.

During May 2012 Squadron Leader Pryor took part in a number of casualty evacuation missions. One in particular took place on 23 May 2012, when he was required to conduct the emergency evacuation of a casualty who had suffered a traumatic gunshot wound to the neck during a fire-fight in the Green Zone of the Southern Helmand province. While the casualty was being prepared for evacuation, the Chinook came under heavy enemy fire at the emergency landing site. Despite this, Squadron Leader Pryor kept the aircraft on the ground until the medical team was able to recover the casualty onto the aircraft. After informing the crew of his intentions, he directed the number two crewman to engage with the enemy with one of the aircraft’s weapon systems. While still under sustained fire, Squadron Leader Pryor extracted the aircraft from the landing site, and returned the casualty to the safety of medical facilities at Camp Bastion. This was the second time in as many months that Squadron Leader Pryor had displayed calmness, courage, and professionalism in a situation of intense pressure and while under enemy fire.

Related media statement on the presentation of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal and the Governor-General's speech:

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Staff Sergeant (then Acting Warrant Officer Class Two) Dean Maurice RENNIE (D993143), Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own) (Retired) - Special Honours List 20 April 2013

Citation

From October 2010 to April 2011, Staff Sergeant Rennie (then in the acting rank of Warrant Officer Class Two) served in Afghanistan in the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell at Regional Command-East situated at the Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost Province. He was the only non-US serviceperson attached to the US Brigade that operated from this base. This was Staff Sergeant Rennie’s second tour in Afghanistan.

Staff Sergeant Rennie was heavily involved in dismounted patrols supporting special coalition task forces deployed from the Base in searches of high risk compounds. His particular role was to provide advice on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and, where a device had been activated, to determine its type, construction, and means of initiation, from the results of the explosion and the recovered components. He attended many incidents of this type and often came under enemy fire. From the information he gathered on these patrols, which included over 450 individual pieces of evidence, he was able to identify individual builders of IEDs by their different construction methods, and the different patterns of placing these devices. This intelligence led to the detention and prosecution of many insurgents for possession of illegal weapons and IED construction materials, and the lessons learned were able to be shared throughout the theatre.

Staff Sergeant Rennie frequently took part in route clearing patrols. These dangerous missions were specifically designed to locate and deal with IEDs, and on numerous occasions his patrol was struck by these devices or came under direct fire from insurgents. In one of the most active IED environments in the world, and in one of the most dangerous appointments in the theatre, Staff Sergeant Rennie constantly placed himself at risk in order to protect Coalition forces and local civilians, and to disseminate potentially life-saving intelligence about insurgent operations in Afghanistan.

Image used for separation of news items

Warrant Officer Class Two Denis Joachim WANIHI (D771492), Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York's Own) - Special Honours List 1 October 2011

Citation

Warrant Officer Class Two Wanihi (then in acting rank) served in Afghanistan during 2010 in a supervisory role with a multi-national team dealing with and responding to incidents involving Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and Explosive Ordnance Devices (EOD) in Khowst and Patika provinces. He received, processed and shipped evidence for over 259 IED incidents that occurred in these provinces and participated in over 30 Focused Targeting Force operations, involving joint ventures with Special Operations Force units. As a site exploitation expert, he was responsible for the recovery of evidence that was used to implicate insurgents detained on operations. Part way through his tour, a United States colleague with whom he had been sharing responsibilities was withdrawn. By working extremely long hours, he managed to continue to provide the same standard of service that was expected. On 28 August 2010, he was with a team that responded to the discovery of a vehicle in which an IED had been placed for use in an attack against Forward Operating Base Salerno. The vehicle was located in a high density housing area and posed an imminent threat to both Coalition Forces and the local population. He was involved in neutralising the threat. On the same day, he provided assistance to members of two other EOD teams to recover and dismantle 12 suicide vests worn by insurgents. The insurgents had been killed before they were able to detonate their vests. This operation provided useful intelligence on the working components of the vests and how best to deal with them in any future encounters. On 19 September 2010, he was the EOD vehicle gunner on a route clearance patrol to Bak District; this particular patrol often encounters small arms fire and indirect fire, as well as numerous IED finds or detonations. After 14 hours spent patrolling, his vehicle came to a sudden stop when an IED was spotted within two metres of the left rear of the vehicle. He quickly scanned for threat elements and reported the potential danger to the patrol commander, who then made the decision to discontinue the patrol and to return to Forward Operating Base Salerno.

Warrant Officer Class Two Wanihi as a member of the Counter-IED team, 717th EOD Company, carried out his duties in a high threat environment. Many of the IEDs he encountered were notoriously volatile and he was exposed to stressful and dangerous situations on a regular basis.

Photo of the presentation of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal: See 7 September 2012 - Governor-General presents Awards to New Zealand Defence Force personnel

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

One member of the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Group, Special Honours List 2 July 2007

year of acts: 2004; location of acts: Afghanistan.

- For security reasons, the name of the recipient of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal has not been released by the New Zealand Government. 

- This NZGM was awarded for 'gallantry and the application of firm and timely leadership'.

- The 2 July 2007 media statement announcing this award can be viewed here.

Image used for separation of news items

Five members of the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Group, Special Honours List 9 December 2014

year of acts: 2011; location of acts: Afghanistan.

- For security reasons, the names of the recipients of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal have not been released by the New Zealand Government. 

- The 9 December 2014 media statement announcing these awards states:

  • - Two of the awards are to men who displayed bravery at the incident at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and two are to men who attended the incident at the British Council Office Compound in Kabul in 2011.
  • - The fifth recipient demonstrated gallantry in exposing himself to direct fire to assist a wounded comrade and another exposed himself to enemy fire to provide medical support to a wounded comrade.

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

 This page was last reviewed 12 January, 2018 and is current.