State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Major General Dave Gawn as Chief Executive of the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa—Pike River Recovery Agency.

“This is a very important role for New Zealand, the Public Service and in particular the Pike River families who will be front and centre of the new agency’s decisions and actions,” Mr Hughes said.

“I am very pleased to appoint Major General Gawn. He is a highly respected and experienced serving military officer who has led international operations with the New Zealand Defence Force and the United Nations.”

For the last two years Major General Gawn was based in Israel engaged as Head of Mission and Chief of Staff, United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), overseeing peace keeping operations for the five signatories of the 1949 Armistice Agreement.

“Major General Gawn is a high performing, innovative leader with strong stakeholder management skills and will bring a clear, structured delivery focus to the work of the agency,” Mr Hughes said.

“He has extensive experience managing and mitigating risk, including while operating in hazardous environments, and he has an engaging leadership style and is a skilled communicator.

“Major General Gawn has made a significant contribution to the leadership of the defence force and serving New Zealand and I know that he will work constructively with Ministers and in close consultation with the Pike River families and their experts.”

When he starts at the new agency, to be established on 31 January, Major General Gawn will have left the Regular New Zealand Defence Force but will remain in the Standby Reserve. He will no longer use his military rank. He holds a master of strategic Studies from Deakin University in Australia.

Major General Gawn has been appointed for two years.

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A photograph of Major General Gawn is available. Please email grahame.armstrong@publicservice.govt.nz to receive a copy.

Media contact : Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457

Biography

Major General Gawn has enjoyed a distinguished military career spanning 40 years, starting with his enlistment in 1979 and culminating in his appointment as Chief of the New Zealand Army in 2013-15. 

For the last two years Major General Gawn was based in Israel engaged as Head of Mission and Chief of Staff, United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), overseeing peace keeping operations for the five signatories of the 1949 Armistice Agreement.

Prior to his appointment as Chief of New Zealand Army, Major General Gawn was Commander Joint Forces New Zealand from 2011-2013 and Land Commander New Zealand Army from 2007-10.

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