The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Civil Defence Ministry Director Announced


The former Chief of Air Force, Air Vice Marshal (Rtd) John Hamilton is to head the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

The Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs, of which the Ministry is a part, Christopher Blake, said John Hamilton was selected from a strong field of more than 40 applicants.

John Hamilton's most recent position was Chief of Air Force, Defence Headquarters. He took up the appointment in February 2002, having previously held the appointment of Air Component Commander in Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.

“The Ministry is now in a better position to lead New Zealand's Civil Defence Emergency Management Sector than ever before,” said Christopher Blake. The new law is now implemented and the first national plan and guide are in use. New government investment is allowing an increase in civil defence staff numbers by more than 60%, and new public education campaigns are getting underway to promote awareness and understanding of the hazards we face and what to do about them.

“The Ministry itself is a small division of the Department, but it leads a sector consisting of the 16 local Civil Defence Emergency Management groups, and as many as 400 other agencies with a role in an emergency.

“John Hamilton has the combination of operations experience, leadership management in a time of change, and experience in building confidence among stakeholders that the Ministry needs to succeed in its role,” said Christopher Blake.

John Hamilton will join the Ministry in August, and take over the statutory responsibilities of Director from the acting Director, Bruce Ferguson on August 31.

Media Contact: Colin Feslier 0274 575 676
Note: John Hamilton will not be available for interview until after he takes up his new role.