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

2013 Archived MEDALS NEWS

NZ Defence Service Medals presented at Parliament on 14 April 2011.

2013 News Items

Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

20 December 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group has presented its final report.

The Government will consider the report in 2014.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

13 March 2014 - The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Police praise New Zealand Bravery Honours recipients

2 December 2013

New Zealand Police media release (reproduced from http://www.police.govt.nz/news/release/police-praise-new-zealand-bravery-honours-recipients)

New Zealand Police welcome today’s announcement that 17 people, including eight police officers or former officers, are recipients of the country’s highest awards for bravery.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall said he is delighted to see the extraordinary courage of so many people honoured at Royal level.

“The courageous and selfless acts of these men and women, young and old, who risked their lives to save people and in many cases prevent further violence from happening was just outstanding,” Commissioner Marshall said.

“They acted without hesitation knowing that people had been shot and injured, others kidnapped, stabbed or trapped in burning vehicles. Their motivation in helping rescue those whose lives were endangered is inspirational and they fully deserve the gratitude of all New Zealanders.

“Many recipients are humbled by the award and wonder why they have been singled out for special recognition, thinking that they were simply doing their job, responding as good neighbours, or as people do when they see others including strangers, at risk. One officer modestly declined an award for these reasons.

“Whether you’re trained to deal with the unexpected, danger or violence or purely acted out of instinct, the bottom line is that each and every one of the recipients put their lives on the line to help save someone else.”

There are four levels of New Zealand bravery honours. They are the New Zealand Cross for acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger; the New Zealand Bravery Star for acts of outstanding bravery in situations of danger; the New Zealand Bravery Decoration for acts of exceptional bravery in situations of danger and the New Zealand Bravery Medal for acts of bravery.

Police officers have been awarded honours for their bravery in two high profile firearms incidents. These were:
• the 2009 shooting on 22 December 2009 in Papatoetoe when a gunman shot and injured Constable Jeremy Snow four times,
• the 13 July 2010 incident in Buccleugh Street, Phillipstown, Christchurch when an armed offender shot and injured Senior Constable Bruce Lamb in the face, fatally shot his police dog Gage and shot and injured Constable Mitch Alatalo in the leg.

Sergeant Michael Wardle, Nelson Police, New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

On 13 July 2010, during the course of a search and arrest at a house in Phillipstown, Christchurch, an armed offender shot and injured Senior Constable Bruce Lamb in the face, fatally shot his police dog Gage and shot and injured Constable Mitch Alatalo.

One Constable dragged Senior Constable Lamb by his belt down the hallway and out of immediate danger as Constable Alatalo escaped through a window. Sergeant Wardle, who was then a Constable, fired his taser at the offender who attempted to shoot him. The rifle jammed. The offender followed the officers and again aimed his rifle at Sergeant Wardle who stood his ground and maintained a position between him and the other officers giving them time to get to safety.

Detective Gregory Cater, Counties Manukau Police; Constable James Collins, Counties Manukau Police; Detective Constable Edward Michael Luxford (now resigned and living in Australia); Constable Johan Mulder, Counties Manukau Police; Constable Liam Pham (now resigned and living in Australia); Constable Andrew Warne, Counties Manukau and Sergeant Chris Turnbull, Taupo Police (formerly a Constable in Counties Manukau) – all receive the New Zealand Bravery Medal.

Shortly before 4am on 22 December 2009, Constable Jeremy Snow suffered life threatening injuries when he was shot while on patrol with a colleague in Papatoetoe. The officers had stopped to check out a suspicious looking vehicle in a driveway and when Constable Snow approached the car he was shot, collapsing in the property’s yard.

The alarm was raised and police responded in numbers to the scene. An immediate action team of experienced officers was formed, led by Sergeant Turnbull. It included Detective Cater, Constable Collins, Detective Constable Luxford and Constables Mulder, Pham and Warne.

They rapidly approached in two vehicles, positioning them for cover, and then advanced up the driveway on foot to find the seriously injured Constable Snow. Bleeding profusely and with a fractured leg, Constable Snow needed to be evacuated quickly, but it was not immediately known where the gunman had gone.

Constables Collins, Pham and Warne and Detective Constable Luxford carried their wounded colleague 103m to a patrol car and then drove at speed to an ambulance waiting on the street.

Sergeant Turnbull, Constable Mulder and Detective Cater stayed at the property to provide cover while Constable Snow was extricated. The trio stayed observing the property until they were relieved by other officers.

The situation was made more dangerous by the fact that the number and location of offenders was unknown. The gunman was found a short time later by other police.

Commissioner Marshall also acknowledged the courage of members of the public honoured with bravery awards.

These included Ms Georgina Langford, her mother Mrs Jan Boyd and stepfather Mr John Boyd who confronted an agitated gunman who shot another family member at a rural address near Nelson on 21 April 2011.

Two other Christchurch incidents also resulted in bravery honours. Elderly Mrs Lois Kennedy heard her neighbour calling for help early in the morning of 21 January 2011. She knew that her neighbour’s middle-aged son was staying with his mother and that his deteriorating mental state had reached the point where Mrs Kennedy was afraid of him.

Although it was dark, the visually impaired Mrs Kennedy picked up a hearth brush, went outside without the use of her walking frame and approached what she thought was a bundle in the garden. Feeling her way and following the cries for help, she came in contact with the man crouched over his mother and attacking her with a blunt samurai sword.

Responding to the feel of the blade Mrs Kennedy swung the hearth brush at the man, connecting several times. The man kicked at her and, unable to physically stop the attack, Mrs Kennedy returned to her unit and called police for help.

Her neighbour suffered bites, bruising and cuts and Mrs Kennedy’s hand was injured.

On 15 March 2012, construction worker Mr Jade Lynn was on his way to work in Christchurch when he saw a man standing in the middle of the road waving two large knives and threatening members of the public. The man was trying to get into cars and attempted to stab a cyclist. He had already kidnapped two people and had stabbed them both with blood visible on the knives.

Mr Lynn got out of his truck and tried to reason with the man who threatened to kill him and swung at him with one of the knives. He started to walk towards Mr Lynn who fearing for his life, took a steel pinch bar from his truck and confronted the man in an effort to protect other members of the public. During this time he yelled at passers-by to stay away and lock their doors while he continued to engage the man’s attention and distract him until police arrived.

Two Amberley, North Canterbury, men Mark Allen and Ken Reilly climbed into a crashed and burning car to pull free a trapped and injured driver, moments before the front of the car was engulfed in flames. The men had stopped to help the victims of a two car crash on SH 1 in North Canterbury on 2 May 2011.

A crash between a car and light truck near Hastings on 16 October 2010 resulted in Hastings man Colin Wiggins and Wellingtonian Martin Kay stopping their cars and run to save victims.

The truck had tipped onto its side on the road with its 75-year-old driver trapped inside. The car ended up into a ditch with its 17-year-old driver trapped. Both vehicles erupted into flames sending a thick plume of black smoke into the air.

Mr Kay and Mr Wiggins dragged the car driver free, and ran to the truck but could not see the driver because of the smoke. Mr Kay used a hammer to try and smash the windscreen but was blown back by smoke. Mr Wiggins completed smashing out the windscreen and felt around the truck to find the driver. Both dragged the driver to safety before the truck was completely engulfed in flames.

Citations: The award citations for recipients of the Special Honours List 2 December 2013 are available on the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website.

Related media statement about the incident for which Sergeant Michael Wardle, Nelson Police, has been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration:

22 August 2013 - Police dog Gage receives a posthumous award for life saving act

Image used for separation of news items

NZ Navy personnel earn Australian medals for pirate patrol

8 November 2013

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber, Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Josh Tatana, Able Seaman Combat Specialist Dylan Thomas and Australian Defence Attaché Captain Stephanie Moles

Caption: Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber, Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Josh Tatana, Able Seaman Combat Specialist Dylan Thomas and Australian Defence Attaché Captain Stephanie Moles.

 

Three Royal New Zealand Navy sailors have earned the Australian Active Service Medal for their work on pirate patrol in the Gulf of Aden onboard an Australian frigate, the first New Zealand Defence Force personnel to receive this award.

The recipients are Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber, Petty Officer Seaman Combat Specialist Josh Tatana and Able Seaman Combat Specialist Dylan Thomas.

Their medals were presented yesterday at Devonport Naval Base by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Jack Steer, Royal New Zealand Navy and Australian Defence Attaché, Captain Stephanie Moles, Royal Australian Navy.

The presentation recognises their service embarked in HMAS MELBOURNE in 2012 supporting the Combined Maritime Force operations in the Gulf of Aden. The three sailors were part of the ship’s boat crew, performing duties such as seaboat coxswain and boarding operations.

The awarding of the Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with the International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) clasp recognises the significant and longstanding defence relationship between New Zealand and Australia, said Rear Admiral Steer.

“Our Navy people regularly work closely with the services of other countries. I am proud of these sailors and their efforts serving alongside their Australian shipmates. The opportunity to wear an Australian medal offers a unique means of recognising their service.”

Captain Moles said: “The offer of the AASM and ICAT clasp to three Royal New Zealand Navy sailors is an acknowledgment by the Australian Government of the high value placed on the contribution made by NZ Defence Force personnel to the Australian Defence Force.”

“These NZDF personnel receiving these awards are special. They are the first recipients of this Australian award in the New Zealand Defence Force.”

Leading Hydrographic Survey Technician Matthew Barber said it was an honour to wear both the New Zealand and Australian medals. “Hydrographers don’t get many opportunities to deploy that far afield.”

The RNZN and Royal Australian Navy conduct regular exchanges of personnel for training and operational deployments.

Three more RNZN sailors are presently deployed onboard HMAS MELBOURNE supporting Combined Maritime Force operations in the Gulf of Aden.

The three RNZN sailors were also presented with the New Zealand Operational Service Medal, as their service on HMAS MELBOURNE was their first deployment on operational service for New Zealand.

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Gallantry Award for Auckland Air Force Pilot

5 November 2013

Squadron Leader Ben Pryor received his New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special ceremony at Government House

Caption: Squadron Leader Ben Pryor received his New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special ceremony at Government House.

 

Multiple displays of "remarkable courage in the face of extreme danger" whilst deployed to Afghanistan have seen a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot decorated with the New Zealand Gallantry Medal in Wellington today.

Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Ben Pryor received his New Zealand Gallantry Medal from the Governor General, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special ceremony at Government House this morning.

Now based in Ohakea, SQNLDR Pryor was a Flight Lieutenant when he served as a helicopter pilot on secondment to the Royal Air Force between 2009 and 2012, in support of British Forces in Afghanistan.

On 22 April 2012, when captain of the lead Chinook helicopter of an eight-ship aviation assault with the Special Forces Support Group, SQNLDR Pryor’s aircraft came under intense enemy fire.

Despite his helicopter being hit three times, SQNLDR Pryor made a second approach to get his troops safely onto the ground and to direct effective suppressive fire from the aircraft.

A month later, he conducted an emergency evacuation of a casualty. Again his helicopter came under heavy enemy fire, but SQNLDR Pryor kept the aircraft on the ground and engaged the enemy with the aircraft weapons system until the medical team was able to get the casualty safely onto the aircraft to be taken to medical facilities at Camp Bastion.

On both missions SQNLDR Pryor displayed leadership, calmness, courage, skill and professionalism while under intense pressure and enemy fire.

Full Citation. The full citation for the award to Squadron Leader Ben Pryor can be viewed on the Recipients of the New Zealand Gallantry Medal page of our website.

Related news items:

5 November 2013 - Gallantry Investiture - The Governor-General's speech (on the Governor-General of New Zealand's website)

Photos of the 5 November 2013 investiture ceremony (on the Governor-General of New Zealand's website)

20 April 2013 - Gallantry Awards Announced

Image used for separation of news items

Meritorious medal for NZDF and NZ Police

17 October 2013

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman and Police Minister Anne Tolley have today welcomed the introduction of new meritorious medals to recognise outstanding service by personnel in the NZ Defence Force and NZ Police.

“We have some great people in the Defence Force, and it is important to recognise and reward outstanding service,” says Dr Coleman.

“The new Defence Meritorious Service Medal can be awarded in circumstances where personnel demonstrate exceptional performance, commitment or innovation. The medal is open to all Defence Force personnel regardless of rank, length of service or whether they are military or civilian.”

The new Police Meritorious Service Medal can be awarded by the Police Commissioner to any Police employee. It will not necessarily be awarded for acts of bravery which are recognised within existing awards. There is also provision for posthumous awards to be made.

“Our Police staff show courage, dedication and professionalism every single day, and it is fitting that all employees are eligible for this new medal,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Criteria includes high performance, innovation and inspiration, dedication to serving communities and applying sound professional judgement in difficult circumstances.”

The Defence Meritorious Service Medal replaces the New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal which was only available to Regular Force non-commissioned officers and warrant officers who completed 21 years service. There was also a limit on the number of awards available.

“The old meritorious medal carried a number of restrictions which have been lifted under the guidelines for the new medal. The Defence Meritorious Service Medal also fills a gap which has existed for some time in the range of honours and awards available to the Defence Force,” says Dr Coleman.

More information:

14 July 2014 - The inaugural awards of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal

17 October 2013 - Defence Meritorious Service Medal Introduced

including Administration and Nomination Process for the DMSM (updated on 24 April 2017)

17 October 2013 - Meritorious Service Medal introduced for Police

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Defence Meritorious Service Medal Introduced

17 October 2013

Statement by Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, Chief of Defence Force

I’m pleased to announce the introduction of a new medal - the Defence Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM).

The Defence Meritorious Service Medal will recognise outstanding service across the whole of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). It can be awarded to all ranks of NZDF, Regular and Reserve Forces and civilians, regardless of the recipient’s rank, grade, Service affiliation, or length of service. The Medal can also be awarded posthumously.

The DMSM recognises the changing environment that Defence Force personnel work in now and will in the future. It fills a significant gap that has existed for some time in the range of honours and awards available to the NZDF.

The DMSM may be awarded by Chief of Defence Force in recognition of an act, conduct or service that, in the opinion of CDF, is outstanding and worthy of medallic recognition.

In the hierarchy of awards for distinguished and meritorious service, the DMSM comes after the New Zealand Order of Merit and Distinguished Service Decoration and before the Chief of Defence Force and Service Chief’s Commendations.

The DMSM replaces the New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). The MSM continues to be officially recognised and can still be worn by recipients.

The Commissioner of Police, Peter Marshall, will also inform his staff of the introduction of a new Police Meritorious Service Medal which is also being announced today.

New Zealand Police and NZDF worked closely with the Government for approval to be given in a Royal Warrant signed by the Queen, and Regulations that will be signed by the Governor-General to ensure the medals could be struck and awarded.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones
Chief of Defence Force

Images of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal (obverse on the left; reverse on the right)

New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal obverse - frontNew Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal reverse

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal can be viewed as a pdf file (251 kb). The Royal Warrant can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0429/latest/DLM5287201.html (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

Regulations

The Regulations for the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal can be viewed as a pdf file (236 kb). The Royal Warrant can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0487/8.0/whole.html#DLM5694532 (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

About the ribbon

The colours of the ribbon for the DMSM have the following origins and meanings:

Historically, crimson has been used in the design of long service and merit awards since 1830 in the British Army and since the 1887 for distinctive New Zealand military medals, e.g. the New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal (1887-1931), the original and 1985 New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal. The ribbon of the New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal (1887-1931) was crimson with two narrow white central stripes.

The ribbon of the New Zealand Meritorious Service Medal is crimson with a green central stripe. This design has been amended for the DMSM ribbon by the addition of a narrow white stripe either side of the central green stripe and a narrow yellow stripe at each edge.

The colours have been selected to provide a link with the two MSMs awarded in New Zealand and the historic New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal (1887-1931)

Yellow alludes to achievement or brilliance. In heraldry, yellow also often refers to gold.

Green is a colour associated with all three Services (Navy, Army and Air).

Designer

The New Zealand Herald of Arms, Mr Phillip O’Shea, LVO, designed the DMSM and its ribbon. Mr O’Shea has designed most New Zealand awards instituted since 1973 including the Queen’s Service Order and the New Zealand Order of Merit, and campaign medals such as the New Zealand General Service Medal 1992, New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 and the East Timor Medal, as well as the New Zealand Operational Service Medal.

Order of Wear (updated 21 February 2014)

The DMSM will be worn immediately after the MSM.

No Post Nominal

The award of the New Zealand Defence Meritorious Service Medal does not confer a right to use a post nominal.

Administration and Nomination Process (this information was updated on 12 June 2017)

The Directorate of Career and Talent Management, HQNZDF, administers the DMSM on behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force.

To submit a nomination please complete a MD592 form (Note: This link to the NZDF Forms page will only work on the NZDF intranet). This is the same process as for the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

For any questions on the nomination process or eligibility criteria for this award please contact Mr David Baguley, Manager Honours and Awards - DTelN 349-8814. (Note: This phone number will only work within the NZDF telephone system).

Related media statements and CDF announcements:

14 July 2014 - The inaugural awards of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal

17 October 2013 - Meritorious medal for NZDF and NZ Police

17 October 2013 - Meritorious Service Medal introduced for Police

Image used for separation of news items

 

Meritorious Service Medal Introduced for Police

17 October 2013

Statement by Police Commissioner Peter Marshall

Meritorious Service Medal introduced for Police

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall today welcomed the announcement from the Ministers of Police and Defence that Royal approval has been given for a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) to be introduced.

“The MSM is the culmination of extensive research and consultation within Police, Defence and at Government level. It’s a wonderful new Medal that as Commissioner I can award to staff who are providing an outstanding service and achievement to New Zealand Police and the communities in which they work.”

Commissioner Marshall expects to present the first Police recipients within six months.

“This is a prestigious new medal which fills a gap between existing internal Awards and higher Royal Honours including New Zealand Bravery Awards.

“There is no set number of New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medals to be awarded each year, but the numbers won’t be high to reflect the special value they hold within Police. This Medal is an award to aspire to –and may be awarded to any Police employee irrespective of their rank or role or powers.

The silver medal features the profile of the Queen on the obverse, and the New Zealand Police crest on the reverse. The ribbon has two crimson stripes the same as the New Zealand Police Long Service and Good Conduct ribbon, a Prussian Blue stripe which is a traditional Police colour – and four yellow gold stripes signifying excellence.

Images of the Police Meritorious Service Medal (obverse on the left; close-up of the reverse on the right)

New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal obverse - frontNew Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal close-up of reverse

The images are courtesy of the New Zealand Police National Headquarters.

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal can be viewed as a pdf file (251 kb). The Royal Warrant can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0430/latest/DLM5287301.html (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

Regulations

The Regulations for the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal can be viewed as a pdf file (231 kb). The Royal Warrant can be viewed as text / html at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2013/0486/latest/whole.html#DLM5694402.html (on the Parliamentary Counsel Office's New Zealand Legislation website).

Designer

The New Zealand Herald of Arms, Mr Phillip O’Shea, LVO, designed the NZ Police MSM and its ribbon.

Order of Wear (updated 21 February 2014)

The NZ Police MSM will be worn immediately after the NZ Defence MSM.

No Post Nominal

The award of the New Zealand Police Meritorious Service Medal does not confer a right to use a post nominal.

Related media statements:

17 October 2013 - Meritorious medal for NZDF and NZ Police

17 October 2013 - Defence Meritorious Service Medal introduced

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Update on the Long Service Awards Review

30 September 2013

A review of medals awarded for long service has been under way for some time. New Regulations for the long service awards are currently being drafted.

During the drafting process a number of potential additional improvements to the long service awards system have been identified. Senior NZDF management will soon consider these additional changes, and if supported, the additional changes will be forwarded to the Government for their consideration.

Once final decisions have been made on the potential additional improvements the draft Regulations will be modified, and submitted to the Minister of Defence and the Governor-General. An announcement is expected early in 2014.

Also see:

Image used for separation of news items

Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

23 September 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group has completed its additional archival research on naval service from 1950 to the 1970s.

One of the positive outcomes of the extra research has been the location of some of the instructions given to Royal New Zealand Navy Ships.

These documents will be important in the final decision-making process and we have now forwarded our findings to the Royal New Zealand Navy for comment.

Once they have provided feedback on the findings, we will finalise this report along with the main report on service in South-East Asia. Both reports will then be submitted to the Minister of Defence for his consideration.

The Joint Working Group expects to present its final report to the Government before the end of 2013.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

13 March 2014 - The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

20 December 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Over 54,000 NZ Defence Service Medals issued so far

23 September 2013

As at 23 September 2013, more than 44,100 NZ Defence Service Medals have been issued to ex-Service persons. In addition, more than 9,900 NZDSMs have been issued to currently serving NZDF military personnel.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

Image used for separation of news items

Police dog Gage receives a posthumous award for life saving act

22 August 2013

New Zealand Police media release (reproduced from http://www.police.govt.nz/news/featured/police-dog-gage-receives-posthumous-award-life-saving-act-video)

Christchurch Police dog Gage, fatally shot three years ago when defending the life of his handler and other officers, was today (22 August) presented posthumously with the PDSA Gold Medal - the animals' equivalent of the George Cross, or the New Zealand Cross for outstanding bravery and exceptional dedication.

Senior Constable Bruce Lamb, Gage's handler, received the award on Gage's behalf from His Excellency, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae in a moving ceremony at Christchurch Police Station.

The Governor General paid tribute to Gage's selfless actions, saying they "typified an unwavering bond that generates an unselfish dedication, service and courage to a mate". He thanked all New Zealand Police for their work and service in keeping communities safe.

Acting Commissioner Viv Rickard and Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles also praised the bravery of Gage and all officers who responded to the 13 July 2010 incident.

The final word went to Senior Constable Lamb: "Thanks to the PDSA, the guys who were there on the day, and everyone who helped out. Lastly Gage, without him I simply wouldn't be here."

More information:

For details about the PDSA Gold Medal, the award to Gage, go to the following pages of the PDSA (The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals - a UK veterinary charity) website:

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/pdsa-gold-medal

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/gage

http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/gold-medal-dogs

On the NZ Police website is a video in which Senior Constable Bruce Lamb recounts the incident that led to the fatal shooting of Police dog Gage. Go to http://www.police.govt.nz/news/featured/police-dog-gage-receives-posthumous-award-life-saving-act-video

Related media statement about the award of the New Zealand Bravery Decoration to Sergeant Michael Wardle, Nelson Police for his actions during the 13 July 2010 incident:

2 December 2013 - Police praise New Zealand Bravery Honours recipients

Other awards by the PDSA:

The PDSA Dickin Medal - http://www.pdsa.org.uk/about-us/animal-bravery-awards/pdsa-dickin-medal

Image used for separation of news items

Afghan interpreters receive NZ medals

14 June 2013

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman welcomes today’s presentation of New Zealand operational medals to the 30 Afghan interpreters who have resettled in New Zealand.

“I am very pleased that our Afghan interpreters who served with our troops and police in the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan are being awarded these medals today,” says Dr Coleman.

“As New Zealand residents, it is appropriate that they receive the same medallic recognition as the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police personnel they served alongside.

“The interpreters played a vital role in the operation of the NZPRT. They risked their lives to help New Zealanders, and we are very grateful for their service.

“Today the group is resettling in Hamilton and Palmerston North, and I’m sure they will be warmly welcomed by the local community. It is great to see that they are starting their new lives in New Zealand with their families. I wish them the very best for the future.”

Chief of Army, Major General Dave Gawn, is presenting the group with the New Zealand General Service Medal (Afghanistan) Primary Operational Area (NZGSM) and the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM).

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Six NZDF Personnel named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

3 June 2013

Six New Zealand Defence Force personnel have been named in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. They will all receive the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

The six Queen's Birthday Honours recipients are:

Warrant Officer Combat Systems Specialist James Ernest Harper, Royal New Zealand Navy

Based in Devonport W/O Combat Systems Specialist Harper has had a 33 year career in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), specialising in underwater warfare.

Lieutenant Colonel Robin Michael Hoult, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, NZ Army

Based in Christchurch, LTCOL Hoult led a project to develop and implement the NZ Army Leadership Framework over a five year period to improve the way formal leadership training was delivered at each rank level.

Lieutenant Colonel Stefan John Michie, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, NZ Army

Based in Canberra, LTCOL Michie was Commanding Officer (CO) of 2/1st Battalion, on 22 February 2011 when a major earthquake occurred in Christchurch. His Battalion established the initial cordon around the central business district and maintained a security presence on the cordon for three months.

Sergeant Lindsay Norriss, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Based in Woodbourne, SGT Norriss has managed, on a voluntary basis and in his own time, the ‘In Loco Parentis’ (ILP) scheme at RNZAF Woodbourne since 1996. The ILP provides young trainees with multiple experiences to explore their abilities, learn about teamwork and sow the seeds of an active lifestyle.

Major Brent John Quin, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps, NZ Army

Based in Trentham, MAJ Quin served in Afghanistan from September 2010 to April 2011.

Petty Officer Diver Scott Matthew Treleaven, Royal New Zealand Navy

Based in Devonport, Petty Officer Diver Treleaven is a senior member of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Operational Diving Team. He lead the team two during tragic accidents where both operations were conducted in isolated locations, under extremely challenging environmental conditions, and with the presence of grieving family members.

---

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

Related media statements:

7 January 2013 - NZDF personnel named in New Year Honours list

4 June 2012 - NZ Defence Force personnel named in Honours List

10 January 2012 - New Year Honours awarded to five NZDF personnel

4 June 2011 - Defence personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours

5 January 2011 - New Year Honours for NZDF personnel

Image used for separation of news items

Defence Minister welcomes Bomber Command, Arctic Star awards

2 June 2013

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman welcomes two new United Kingdom awards for service in Bomber Command and the Arctic Circle during World War II.

13 Bomber Command Clasps and an Arctic Star are being presented today to a group of Kiwi veterans at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Hall of Memories at an event organised by the Bomber Command Association.

“It is great to see these veterans being awarded the recognition for their service during WWII. It is fitting that they were able to receive their awards today, marking the annual Commonwealth Bomber Command Day celebration,” says Dr Coleman.

“These awards recognise the great bravery of those who contributed to two highly significant campaigns. Personnel who served north of the Arctic Circle and the aircrew in Bomber Command faced many dangers. A significant number of New Zealanders died whilst serving their country during WWII. We pay tribute to the sacrifices of so many and remember those who never returned home.”

In February this year the UK Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans announced the institution of the Bomber Command Clasp and the Arctic Star. The awards are the first new Commonwealth WWII awards since the late 1940s when the original medallic recognition system was finalised.

Up to 6,000 NZ Armed Forces personnel served as aircrew in Bomber Command and up to 1,000 former Royal New Zealand Navy or former New Zealand Merchant Navy personnel served north of the Arctic Circle during WWII.

The UK Ministry of Defence is supplying the awards free of charge and the NZ Defence Force will administer them. The NZ Defence Force estimates that around 2,000 applications may be received for the Bomber Command Clasp and around 300 applications for the Arctic Star. The awards can be issued to veterans or to the next of kin of those who are deceased.

More information, images and how to apply:

See our 30 May 2013 news item - Applications open for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command Clasp

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Applications open for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command Clasp

30 May 2013

The Arctic Star (obverse visible) in its presentation box The Bomber Command Clasp (with the ribbon for the 1939-45 Star) in a presentation box

Applications are now open for the Arctic Star and the Bomber Command Clasp.

Many New Zealanders who served on the Arctic convoys, or north of the Arctic Circle on other war duties, or who flew with Bomber Command during the Second World War - or their family members - are entitled to apply for these awards. A Summary of the Eligibility Criteria for the Arctic Star and for the Bomber Command Clasp is provided below.

To apply please complete NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals Form No. 1 - MD 1050. This form can be completed by living NZ military veterans, living NZ Merchant Navy personnel and by family members of deceased NZ military veterans and NZ Merchant Navy personnel. The form can be downloaded from our Application Forms page, or paper copies can be requested via our Online Contact Form or by phoning (04) 527 5280.

NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals is acting as the agent of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (UKMOD) for persons whose records (military and Merchant Navy) are only held in New Zealand. The UKMOD will supply the medals and clasps to the NZDF Medals Office in batches for issue to eligible New Zealand veterans and their widows (with urgency) and to other family members of deceased personnel (starting towards the end of this year). The UKMOD is managing the issue of these awards across the Commonwealth, and have specified the priority order for issue and the timelines.

Applications from living NZ military veterans or widows of deceased NZ military veterans will be processed with urgency. There may be a few weeks delay while additional medals and clasps are sourced from the United Kingdom.

Applications from other family members will be processed as quickly as possible, however stocks for families of the medals and clasps are not expected to start arriving in New Zealand until towards the end of this year.

Notes:

Depending on your eligibility, the following application processes apply. Veterans fall into four categories, and the application process that is recommended for each is:

1. NZ/Commonwealth veterans who served as attested members of the NZ Armed Forces or in the NZ Merchant Navy: The NZDF is now accepting applications for the awards from living ex-Service persons and the relatives of deceased ex-Service persons. (This includes Merchant Navy personnel).

2. British veterans who emigrated post-Second World War: Applications should be sent to UK Ministry of Defence (UKMOD) Medal Office for assessment and dispatch. Via the process and application form specified at http://www.veterans-uk.info/arctic_star_index.htm

3. NZ/Commonwealth veterans who only served with British Armed Forces: Applications should be sent to the UKMOD Medal Office for assessment and dispatch. Via the process and application form specified at http://www.veterans-uk.info/arctic_star_index.htm

4. NZ/Commonwealth veterans who served with other Commonwealth nation's forces: Applications should be through the respective country's medal application processes. Further information to be added in due course on the process.

Summary of the Eligibility Criteria for the Arctic Star

The Arctic Star recognises operational service of any length (i.e. one day, or part of, or more) north of the Arctic Circle (66 degrees, 32’N) between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 (VE Day). This includes:

a. Service by personnel of any Service on the ‘Russian Convoys’;

b. Service in RAF Coastal Command, other RAF Squadrons and Fleet Air Arm crew who flew at least one sortie north of the Arctic Circle;

c. Army personnel who took part in land operations north of the Arctic Circle;

d. Army and Royal Marines personnel who served in His Majesty’s ships or Merchant ships north of the Arctic Circle; and

e. Merchant Navy personnel other than the Russian Convoys, who served north of the Arctic Circle.

Order of Wear of the Arctic Star

Advice from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence is that the Arctic Star will be worn between the Air Crew Europe Star and the Africa Star.

This is because Second World War theatre stars are worn in chronological order of the start date of the operations in the theatre that the Stars represent. Royal Navy ships were at their war stations in the Atlantic the day the War started. The first Royal Air Force bombing sorties took place over Germany on 4 September 1939, the second day of the War. Chronologically, therefore, it is appropriate that the Atlantic Star takes precedence over the Air Crew Europe Star in the Order of Wear. Operations north of the Arctic Circle (not least the April-June 1940 Norway campaign) took place before operations which qualified for the Africa Star began on 10 June 1940.

The correct order of wear in New Zealand for Second World War medals will consequently be: 1939-1945 Star, Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Arctic Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Burma Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, New Zealand War Service Medal.

For more information on the Order of Wear see The Wearing of Medals in New Zealand page of our website.

Summary of the Eligibility Criteria for the Bomber Command Clasp

The Bomber Command Clasp (which is worn on the 1939-45 Star) recognises those who between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 (VE Day) who:

a. Served as aircrew on a Bomber Command operational unit for at least 60 days, or completed a tour of operations; and

b. Flew at least one operational sortie.

Note 1: The above criteria mean that eligible personnel will have already qualified for the 1939-45 Star.

Note 2: Special Cases - The clasp will usually also be issued in respect of Bomber Command aircrew who do not meet the above qualifying criteria but:

(1) had their service brought to an end by death, wounds or other disability due to service; or

(2) received a gallantry award for their Bomber Command service; or

(3) were taken as a prisoner of war.

---

Links:

NZDF Application Forms

The 1939-45 Star - information on the 1939-45 Star (on the NZDF Medals website)

http://www.defence.gov.au/medals - The Directorate of Honours and Awards, Australian Department of Defence

http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/mainmenu - Canadian Military Medals and Decorations section of the Veterans' Affairs Canada website

Information on medallic recognition for Merchant Navy personnel. (added on 21 June 2013)

Image used for separation of news items

Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group has nearly finished its archival research. This has been a challenging review because of its extensive scope. Research on the range of issues and questions raised has required far more time and effort than was first expected.

One of the positive outcomes of the extra research has been the location of some of the instructions given to Royal New Zealand Navy Ships. These documents will be important in the final decision-making process.

The Joint Working Group expects to present its final report to the Government by July 2013.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

13 March 2014 - The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

20 December 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

4 March 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

North Shore Army officer decorated for service in Afghanistan

29 May 2013

Lieutenant Jordy Gale receives his New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor General

Caption: Lieutenant Jordy Gale receives his New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor General.

 

Lieutenant (LT) Jordy Gale had more than his fair share of close calls in Afghanistan. On 23 May the former Long Bay College student was invested with the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) for his leadership and tactical skills whilst serving in Afghanistan from March to September 2011.

LT Gale commanded a patrol which worked in the NZ Defence Force’s Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV). They would regularly patrol through areas known for insurgent activity, always working to keep the province safe. LT Gale’s patrol was attacked by insurgents on two separate occasions during his tour. He says the fact that he and his soldiers left Afghanistan relatively unscathed was due to the team he had and the way his soldiers reacted.

"I was pretty blessed to have the guys I did in my group."

The first attack he experienced was while his patrol moved through the Bamyan Province’s Shikari Valley and his LAV was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED).

"I knew instantly we’d struck an IED as we lurched and there was dust, sand and rocks everywhere. I dropped down from the turret and made sure the guys in the back were OK. I was worried about my two crewmen on the side where the IED had gone off, and I thought my driver had been killed. When he told me he was okay I felt a massive flood of relief."

The insurgents continued their attack with rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), but the Kiwis fought back and the insurgents were forced to withdraw. LT Gale says he was "pretty stoked" with how his soldiers applied their training during the incident.

Two and a half months later he was patrolling in Bamyan’s troubled north-east when he suddenly heard a huge explosion. The rear vehicle in their patrol had narrowly been missed by an IED and again they were subjected to rocket attacks.

"My first thoughts were, ‘here we go again’. It was exactly the same as last time. The RPGs came sailing in and my sergeant turned our LAV turret and unleashed some rounds. We were all OK, and cordoned off the area and did everything we had to do."

On 8 September his patrol was sent to an area to support the local Afghan National Police. Their vehicle had been ambushed and five police officers had been shot dead.

"We had a look at the site and while we were there, one of the soldiers found a ball of rolled up wire and a container of homemade explosive and a firing device hidden and ready to be used." The equipment was for an IED and his patrol had managed to prevent another likely attack.

LT Gale says he felt honoured to receive the Distinguished Service Decoration from the Governor-General, Lieutenant General the Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, at Government House. He praised his patrol and said the award was as much theirs as it was his.

"We had worked together for two years before deploying and were a pretty tight group. You need to know that when something goes down you can trust each other to do what you are trained to do."

LT Gale is married to Lauren and the two have an 18-month old son. LT Gale is currently a member of the Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles based in Linton Military Camp.

Related media statement:

7 January 2013 - NZDF personnel named in New Year Honours list

Image used for separation of news items

Wearing family member's medals with pride on Anzac Day

23 April 2013

The New Zealand Defence Force is pleased that so many members of the public will join them wearing medals on Anzac Day, and have provided some guidance about how medals can be worn with pride.

The rules governing medal wearing in New Zealand, known as the Order of Wear, specifically allows family members to wear medals of deceased ex-service personnel on the right side of the chest for national days of memorial. This includes Anzac Day and Remembrance Day (11 November), as well as other notable events.

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General (LTGEN) Rhys Jones says: "Each year I am delighted to see a large number of New Zealanders wearing their relatives' medals at Anzac Day services.

"By doing so they are honouring the memory of their relative by wearing the medals ‘on parade with their mates’ again. We encourage this practice within the dress conventions agreed to.

"Serving members of the NZ Defence Force are allowed to wear their deceased relatives' medals while in uniform on this day, under the same convention."

Conventions for wearing a relatives' medals include:

• Civilian members of the public should only wear one set of medals. The medals should be either:

1) those of a direct relative, for example, should have belonged to a brother or sister, dad or mum, grandfather or grandmother; or

2) those of a relative whose medals you have inherited.

In all cases these medals are worn on the right chest.

Note: It is very common for military personnel who died in the First and Second World Wars to have no children, and for their great nephews and great nieces and other family members to inherit their medals through the parents, brothers and sisters of the deceased military Service person. Family members who have inherited medals can wear these medals on Anzac and/or Remembrance days or give permission for another member of the deceased's family to wear these medals.

• Only service medals and decorations mounted on a medal bar (full-size or miniature) can be worn by a relative. It is acceptable to wear a family member’s miniature medals mounted on a medal bar if preferred.

• Royal Honours insignia such as neck badges, sashes, sash badges, or breast stars cannot be worn by anyone other than the original recipient. The same rule applies to any Unit and Personal Commendations that the deceased wore on their right chest.

• The wearing of relatives' medals is permitted on Anzac Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November). In addition, it may be appropriate for next-of-kin and other relatives to wear relatives' medals on an occasion where either the relative's service or the unit in which they served is being commemorated.

Lieutenant General Jones reminds ex-service people that their medals should be mounted and worn in exactly the same manner as if they were in uniform, on the left chest.

"On Anzac Day we commemorate the efforts of ordinary New Zealanders in the service of their country. The wearing of medals is a tradition that links our past, with those serving today."

Further information:

For more information see the Wearing medals page of our website.

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Gallantry Awards Announced

20 April 2013

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration (NZGD) obverse view The New Zealand Gallantry Medal (NZGM) obverse view

Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve New Zealand Gallantry Awards to the following three New Zealand Defence Force personnel for their service in Afghanistan:

The New Zealand Gallantry Decoration to Lance Corporal Leon Kristopher SMITH (T1002840), 1 New Zealand Special Air Service Group (Deceased);

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to Squadron Leader (then Flight Lieutenant) Benjamin Mark PRYOR (R1001757), Royal New Zealand Air Force; and

The New Zealand Gallantry Medal to 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).

Related news item:

5 November 2013 - Gallantry Award for Auckland Air Force Pilot

1 October 2011 - Defence Force personnel receive awards for gallantry

Image used for separation of news items

Over 49,000 NZ Defence Service Medals issued so far

5 March 2013

As at 5 March 2013, more than 39,500 NZ Defence Service Medals have been issued to ex-Service persons. In addition, more than 9,500 NZDSMs have been issued to currently serving NZDF military personnel.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

4 March 2013

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group received 68 submissions on service in South-East Asia. After considering the submissions, the Joint Working Group submitted an interim report to the Minister of Defence in November 2011.

The Joint Working Group is currently undertaking further archival research and will then finalise its report and recommendations. The Joint Working Group expects to present its final report to the Government in April 2013.

The Government's decisions on the recommendations from the Joint Working Group will be widely publicised, including in the RSA Review and on the Breaking News page of the NZDF Medals website.

For further information see the South-East Asia review page of our website.

Related news items:

13 March 2014 - The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group: Service in South-East Asia 1950-2011 - Announcement of the decisions on the recommendations in the Final Report

20 December 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

23 September 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

30 May 2013 - Update on the South-East Asia 1950-2011 Review

12 July 2011 - Consultation begins on medals for military service in South-East Asia 1950 to 2011

Image used for separation of news items

Recognition for the 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Rescue and Recovery Operations

12 February 2013

Since the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes the government has given considerable thought to the ways in which those who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts might be recognised. The government would like to recognise, through the existing Honours system, those individuals who played a significant role in the rescue and recovery efforts and those who displayed intensive and sustained leadership. Acts of bravery will be recognised with New Zealand Bravery Awards. The government is also encouraging agencies to proceed with their own forms of internal recognition.

On 26 June 2012, the Commissioner of Police announced that a “2011 Canterbury Earthquake Citation” will acknowledge approximately 3,200 members of the NZ Police who worked in or were deployed to Christchurch during the state of emergency period of 22 February to 30 April 2011. The Citation will be worn by Police personnel as a dress distinction on the right side of their uniform.

NZDF will not be introducing a Citation to recognise NZDF personnel who were in Christchurch during the state of emergency. While NZDF personnel were on the ground in the affected areas, many others supported the rescue efforts in various ways; by manning and maintaining the ships and aircraft delivering aid materials, by working in kitchens and medical facilities, and by performing additional duties covering for those who had been deployed on earthquake support tasks. It could be argued that all members of the NZDF contributed in some way to the Canterbury relief effort, and as such it is inappropriate to recognise only those who were physically in Christchurch during the state of emergency.

Some NZDF personnel may receive a Police Citation in recognition of their work with the Police in the affected area. If they are also a member of the Police they may wear the Citation on that uniform, however the Citation is not to be worn on NZDF uniform. The same conditions apply to any similar forms of recognition that might be issued in the future by other agencies present in Christchurch, such as the Order of St John and the New Zealand Fire Service. This decision is consistent with the NZDF policy of only military or whole-of-government citations being given permission to be worn on NZDF uniform.

I again take this opportunity to thank all personnel of the NZDF - military, civilian or contractors - who contributed to rescue and recovery efforts in Canterbury.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones

Chief of Defence Force

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

NZDF personnel named in New Year Honours list

7 January 2013

Five New Zealand Defence Force personnel were among the New Zealanders named in this year’s New Year Honours.

The recipients of the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) are:

Lance Corporal Anatoliy Valerievich Derepa, Royal New Zealand Dental Corps

Lance Corporal (LCPL) Derepa was sent to Christchurch following the February 2011 earthquakes as part of the initial Police led Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) Response Team. In the mortuary he worked in an emotionally stressful and intellectually complex and demanding environment as a forensic dental assistant. Here he combined his practical skills as a Dental Technician, knowledge of information technology, and initiative, to provide critical support to all groups within the DVI team. In particular, he established the IT systems that enabled the work of identifying earthquake victims to proceed without delay; he developed the operating procedures for forensic radiography, and adapted dental tools that greatly enhanced the quality of radiographic results. His ability to grasp the requirements of the specialists with whom he was working and develop innovative technical solutions to meet them, meant that he was held in high esteem by DVI team members across a wide range of disciplines. Lance Corporal Derepa displayed innovation and competence well above his rank and made an outstanding contribution to the identification of earthquake victims.

Group Captain Athol James Forrest, MNZM, Royal New Zealand Air Force

Group Captain (GPCAPT) Forrest currently holds a unique position as the first New Zealand Defence Force officer posted to the role of Deputy Chief of Staff to the Headquarters Papua New Guinea (PNG) Defence force in Port Moresby. Since October 2009 he has worked closely with Brigadier Francis Agwi, Chief of the PNG Defence Force, providing policy advice and coordinating the work of the Defence Headquarters, which included the challenging task of preparing the PNG Defence White Paper, as well as project plans and budgets. His appointment has coincided with a tumultuous period of contested political leadership that has created rifts in Papua New Guinean society and placed its Defence Force under considerable pressure. As a direct result of the counsel he provided to Brigadier Agwi, the PNG Defence Force did not take sides during many constitutional challenges taking place, especially at the end of 2011. As a consequence, the PNG Defence Force was able to provide a stabilising influence within the country.

GPCAPT Forrest was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in the New Year Honours 1998.

Lieutenant Arthur Jordan Gale, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant (LT) Gale served with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, from March to September 2011. On two occasions while operating in the highest risk area in the north-east of the province, his patrol was attacked by insurgents using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In the first attack on 28 April, his vehicle was immobilized by an IED blast, while the remainder of the patrol’s vehicles came under attack from rocket propelled grenades. Through excellent leadership and tactical skill he gained control of the situation, calling in close air support that disrupted the attack. He then linked up with another patrol to secure the area and recover the damaged vehicle without sustaining any casualties. In the second attack on 18 July, a large IED exploded and narrowly missed destroying a patrol vehicle. Again, through his tactical skill, he was able to secure the area overnight and a later search of the surrounding area yielded valuable information on insurgent activities. In September, he led a patrol search at the scene of a fatal attack against an Afghan Police patrol, discovering an IED that had been hidden by insurgents for future use, as well as valuable information on their tactics. Throughout his tour, Lieutenant Gale displayed outstanding leadership and tactical skill while operating under stressful conditions in the most dangerous area of the province.

Major Shane Ruane, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

When an earthquake struck Christchurch on 22 February 2011, Major (MAJ) Ruane was sent to the city as Civil Defence Liaison Officer. As the crisis unfolded he was re-assigned as the Liaison Officer to the Mayor of Christchurch, a position he held for five weeks. In this role, he displayed outstanding diligence and devotion to duty, working extremely long hours and without respite, supporting the work of the Mayor and his team by providing links to Civil Defence, Police, Fire Service and other agencies, as they dealt with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. He was then re-assigned to command the New Zealand Defence Force Security and Cordon Reduction Planning Cell. In this role he worked with and co-ordinated the activities of a number of agencies to develop civil defence multi-agency action plans for the reduction of the central city cordon, as well as introducing a cordon access policy that became the focal point for the entire security operation around the Christchurch CBD. Throughout the weeks that he was involved in these operations, Major Ruane was a key NZDF representative who played an important and leading role in coordinating the activities of all the agencies that dealt with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

Lieutenant Colonel Brett Lockwood Wellington, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant Colonel (LT COL) Wellington served as the Senior Military Advisor with the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, from August 2011 to April 2012, and commanded the 129 New Zealand personnel in the PRT. He consistently demonstrated sound professional judgement and the tactics adopted under his leadership helped ensure that the PRT was able to sustain effective operations in those parts of the province that were under the greatest threat. They also disrupted the insurgent networks and reduced their ability to mount attacks or threaten the local population. He devoted considerable time to the implementation of a plan to transition responsibility for the security of the province to Afghan Security Forces and to withdraw the PRT from Afghanistan. Under his energetic guidance, an Afghan National Police Quick Reaction Force was formed, trained to a high standard and deployed on operations. It now provides local security forces with greater capacity to resist insurgent threats. The commendable performance of the PRT during this period and the fact that Bamyan Province remained one of the more secure parts of Afghanistan, was due in no small part to the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Wellington.

The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) recognises distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the New Zealand Defence Force, including command and leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations.

Related media statements:

29 May 2013 - North Shore Army officer decorated for service in Afghanistan

4 June 2012 - NZ Defence Force personnel named in Honours List

10 January 2012 - New Year Honours awarded to five NZDF personnel

4 June 2011 - Defence personnel named in Queen's Birthday Honours

5 January 2011 - New Year Honours for NZDF personnel

Image used for separation of Breaking News articles

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