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28 March 2001

Prime Minister presents East Timor medals

Rt. Hon Helen Clark

Prime Minister Helen Clark today presented the newly-created East Timor Medal to New Zealanders from a range of organisations who have served in East Timor.

"This new medal will recognise the outstanding contribution made by many New Zealanders, in both a civilian and military capacity, to the reconstruction of East Timor since June 1999.

"New Zealand personnel in Timor have worked in arduous and dangerous situations, separated for months at a time from their friends and families. The East Timor Medal is a small but significant measure of thanks from the New Zealand Government for their work on behalf of the world's newest nation.

"Initially the East Timor Medal will be awarded to just over 2000 personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force, and nearly 100 from the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Customs Service, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Fire Service, Te Puni Kokiri, and United Nations volunteers and contractors.

"I congratulate today's recipients. They are: Dr Andrew Ladley (civilian legal adviser), Brigadier Martyn Dunne (New Zealand Army), Able Electronic Warfareman Greg Gatley (Royal New Zealand Navy), Lance Corporal Alphoncisse Pryor (New Zealand Army), Flight Lieutenant Heather Peart (Royal New Zealand Air Force), Constable Lance Rollo (New Zealand Police), Mrs Keely Chitty (New Zealand Customs Service) and Mr Mel Tihore (Department of Corrections).

"There will be ongoing awards to those who become eligible."

Helen Clark said that the new medals arrived in New Zealand recently and arrangements are being made for them to be engraved with the other recipients' names before being awarded.

The medal, designed by Herald of Arms Phillip O'Shea, is struck in silvered metal and bears an effigy of the Queen within the inscription "Elizabeth II Queen of New Zealand".

The reverse bears a representation of the head of a kiwi overshadowing a map of East Timor with below the words "East Timor". In the top right of the field is a sprig of olive leaves, the symbol of peace.

The ribbon consists of a wide central green stripe with red, black and white stripes either side. The colours are those of New Zealand (black and white) and East Timor (green and red).


Background information

Those eligible for the East Timor Medal include members of the New Zealand Defence Force, members of the New Zealand Police and New Zealand civilians who have either been posted, attached or who have worked alongside a New Zealand Government contribution to a United Nations mission or an international force.

Other personnel eligible include New Zealand civilians working on a temporary basis with a United Nations mission, New Zealand civilians working on a permanent or temporary basis under the supervision of the New Zealand Defence Force, members of philanthropic organisations or any other persons whom the Governor General and Prime Minister may determine.

Eligible personnel must have had service of one day or more on land in East Timor, 7 days on a ship, completed 7 sorties as aircrew, 7 days as part of a support element to a New Zealand contribution or 30 days as a visitor.

As well as the medal, a silver clasp, to be worn on the ribbon of the medal, will be awarded to those who complete 365 days or more in East Timor.

Full details on eligibility are specified in the Royal Warrant for the East Timor Medal.

Notes on recipients


Dr Ladley was deployed to East Timor from August 1999 to February 2000. He served initially as a legal adviser to UNAMET and then UNTAET. He was involved with the referendum and then details of settling the final result. He was then Head of Mission and Chief Adviser between UNAMET, INTERFET and UNTAET and the Indonesians. He was also involved in the removal of refugees from East Timor. Dr Ladley was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his work in East Timor.


Brigadier Dunne served in East Timor from September 1999 to March 2000. Brigadier Dunne was Commander in the Dili region in October 1999. His command consisted of combat forces from Italy, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, New Zealand and the UK. In addition, Brigadier Dunne was the senior national officer responsible for all New Zealand personnel deployed to East Timor. Brigadier Dunne was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services in East Timor.


AEW Gatley served in East Timor with HMNZS Canterbury from September to December 1999, as the ship supported the INTERFET deployment. During his time there he was able to run his own watch, having recently qualified as an electronic warfare director. AEW Gatley also spent some time ashore in East Timor with working parties helping to improve living conditions for New Zealand soldiers and the local population.


LCpl Pryor served with 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) in East Timor from 15 October 1999 to 27 May 2000. He served as the Commanding Officer's signaller and driver during the battalion's time in Sector West (Suai) and so visited all parts of the battalion's area of operations with the CO.


FLTLT Peart served in East Timor from November 1999 to May 2000 as a helicopter air liaison officer. From 25 Nov 99 to 31 Jan 00 she was in INTERFET HQ in Dili tasking Australian Blackhawks, Russian MI8 and MI26 helicopters and a small amount of NZ Iroquois tasking. From Feb to May she served in HQ Sectorwest in Suai, providing helicopter support, mainly from NZ Iroquois, but also from United Nations helicopters.


Constable Rollo was deployed to East Timor from November 1999 to May 2000 in the second New Zealand Police Contingent. He held the position of Deputy District Commander for the Los Palos District. One of the challenges for this contingent was gaining the trust of the locals and establishing Police Stations with little in the way of infra-structure and support. He was also involved in the investigation of war crimes at mass grave-sites where multiple homicides had been committed.


Mrs Chitty served in East Timor from January 2000 to April 2000 as a member of the Customs Service's first deployment of 5 officers. She has a Customs background involving airport passenger processing, intelligence analysis and investigations. While in Dili she assisted in the capacity building of the East Timor Border Service, including the initial set up of customs functions at the airport and the development and delivery of staff training.


Mr Tihore was deployed to East Timor for 6 months from April to October 2000 as part of a Corrections team rebuilding the prison service and managing its operational requirements. Mr Tihore had specific responsibility for overseeing the building of the prison.

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