New Chiefs of Navy and Army announced

New Chief of Navy and Chief of Army (WN09-0025-50)
New Service Chiefs, Rear Admiral Tony Parr (left) and Major General Rhys Jones (WN09-0025-50)

6 April 2009

The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae has welcomed the appointment of a new Chief of Navy, and Chief of Army.

“Commodore Tony Parr’s promotion to Rear Admiral and Chief of Navy marks another step in an exemplary career with the Royal New Zealand Navy. From his first command of the Patrol Craft, HMNZS PUKAKI, through to his commands of the frigates HMNZS WAIKATO and HMNZS TE MANA Commodore Parr has demonstrated an ability to successfully lead his officers and crew and commands the respect of all he has served with. I expect him to bring these skills to what looks like being an exciting year for the RNZN,” said Chief of Defence Force, LT GEN Mateparae.

Commodore Parr says he’s looking forward to the challenges ahead. “I‘m absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the Navy and look forward to the challenges that the job will bring. We have six new ships coming into service in the months ahead and it is up to the Navy to demonstrate to the New Zealand public how these vessels will contribute to keeping our country safe and secure as well as allowing us to successfully operate with our defence partners.”

In a second major announcement CDF welcomed the appointment of Major General Rhys Jones to the position of Chief of Army.

“Major General Jones is presently Commander of Joint Forces based at Trentham and is responsible for the operation of all of NZDF’s offshore deployments. He has been tremendously successful in this pivotal role and I expect him to bring the same qualities of calm leadership matched with an understanding of the strategic goals that all in defence are aiming towards, to his new position as Chief of Army.”

Maj Gen Jones said he’s honoured to be selected as the Chief of Army. “It is humbling to be selected to head an Army that is world class in the quality of its people and has a strong reputation going back over one hundred years. I would like to thank those people who have supported me, taught me what I know professionally and been examples of what I should be.

“We will need to transform the Army to what it needs to be for the future under difficult financial circumstances. This will require prudent management of the Army’s resources.”

Both men will take up their positions from 1 May this year and the NZDF will shortly begin the process of filling the vacancies created by the appointments.


Commodore Tony Parr was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 4 August 1955. He was raised in Fiji and attended New Plymouth Boys High School as a boarder. Having graduated from Waikato University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Social Science in politics and after completing the first year of a Bachelor of Law degree in 1979, he joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in January 1980 in the rank of Sub Lieutenant in the Seaman Branch. In 1983 he was appointed Command of the Lake Class Patrol Craft, HMNZS PUKAKI
In 1986 Captain Parr served with the Australian Defence Forces on HMA Ships WATSON, ADELAIDE and PARRAMATTA. In November 1991 he was appointed as the Executive Officer, HMNZS WAIKATO until November 1993 when he was appointed as the Deputy Officer Training School Officer, HMNZS TAMAKI. 1995, Commodore Parr was appointed Commander and Commanding Officer, HMNZS WAIKATO.
He became the first Commanding Officer of the ANZAC Class frigate HMNZS TE MANA on 17 August 1998.

In January 2003 Commodore Parr was deployed as the Senior National Officer, National Planning Element, Headquarters, US Central Command, Tampa.
On 13 April 2006, Commodore Parr was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Navy. On 30 November 2007, Commodore Parr was appointed The Maritime Component Commander, Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand at Trentham.
He is married with two children


Major General Rhys Jones was born in Timaru, New Zealand on 2 May 1960. He was educated at Wanganui Boy’s College

He enlisted into the New Zealand Army in December 1978 and attended the Royal Military College, Duntroon Australia from 1979 to 1982

He has attended staff college at Fort Leavenworth, USA, and higher defence college at the Australian Defence College.  He has also attained a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from La Trobe University (Melbourne) as well as a Diploma in Qualitative Futures.

Major General Jones has had operational duty in the Middle East with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation, as an observer, then Operations Officer with the Observer Group Lebanon.

During his career Major General Jones has held a variety of command appointments, including Commanding Officer of New Zealand’s armoured regiment; Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles (QAMR).  He has also commanded at Formation level, commanding 3rd Land Force Group based in the South Island of New Zealand.

He was the Land Component Commander within Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand before becoming Commander Joint Forces New Zealand in October 2007.

Major General Jones is married to Debbie and they have three children. His hobbies include reading history, war gaming and black powder shooting.

For further information please contact Commander Shaun Fogarty (04) 496 0299, (021) 441 493.

This page was last reviewed on 5 November 2010.