Chief of Defence Force (New Zealand)

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Chief of Defence Force
Tim Keating

since 1 February 2014
Member of New Zealand Defence Force
Reports to Minister of Defence
Term length Three years (renewable)
Inaugural holder Vice Admiral
Sir Peter Phipps
Formation 1 July 1963

The Chief of Defence Force (CDF) is the appointment held by the professional head of the New Zealand Defence Force. The post has existed under its present name since 1991. From 1963 to 1991 the head of the New Zealand Defence Force was known as the Chief of Defence Staff. All the incumbents have held three-star rank.

The current Chief of Defence Force is Lieutenant General Tim Keating.[1]


The following list chronologically records those who have held the post of Chief of Defence Force or its preceding positions, with rank and honours as at the completion of the individual's term.

Rank Name Postnominals Service Term began Term ended
Chief of Defence Staff
Vice Admiral Sir Peter Phipps KBE, DSC & Bar, VRD RNZN 1 July 1963 July 1965
Lieutenant General Sir Leonard Thornton KCB, CBE Army July 1965 1971
Lieutenant General Sir Richard Webb KBE, CB Army 1971 1976
Air Marshal Sir Richard Bolt KBE, CB, DFC, AFC RNZAF 1976 1980
Vice Admiral Sir Neil Anderson KBE, CB RNZN 1980 1983
Air Marshal Sir Ewan Jamieson KBE, CB RNZAF 1983 1986
Air Marshal David Crooks CB, OBE RNZAF 1986 1987
Lieutenant General Sir John Mace KBE, CB Army 1987 1991
Chief of Defence Force
Vice Admiral Sir Somerford Teagle KBE RNZN 1991 1995
Lieutenant General Anthony Birks CB, OBE Army 1995 1999
Air Marshal Carey Adamson CNZM, AFC RNZAF 1999 2001
Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson DCNZM, OBE, AFC RNZAF 2001 30 April 2006
Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae ONZM Army 1 May 2006 23 January 2011
Lieutenant General Rhys Jones CNZM Army 24 January 2011 31 January 2014
Lieutenant General Tim Keating MNZM Army 1 February 2014 Incumbent


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2010-12-15.