Major General (Rtd) Louis Gardiner, ONZM
21 July 2015
Major General (Rtd) Louis Gardiner, ONZM (1952- 2015) died peacefully on Saturday 18 July, surrounded by his family.
Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating said there was widespread sadness within the Army, the wider Defence Force and internationally among the many people MAJGEN Gardiner had known.
“The Army family has lost a General with a sincere and common touch and our thoughts and condolences are with Lou’s family.”
MAJGEN Gardiner joined the New Zealand Army in 1971 and entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Australia before joining the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps in 1975. He completed a number of appointments in New Zealand as well as courses at Fort Lee in the United States and a two-year posting to Army Office in Canberra, Australia as a Major, before being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer of the 1st Base Supply Battalion.
MAJGEN Gardiner served at the United Nations Operations in Somalia, and was promoted to Colonel on his return to assume the appointment of Chief of Staff, Support Command. In 1997, MAJ GEN Gardiner attended the Australia College of Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra, Australia and during 1998 he attended the Harvard Business School.
In December 1998, he was promoted to Brigadier and assumed the appointment of Deputy Chief of General Staff before becoming Land Commander. During this time he oversaw support to the New Zealand Police for APEC and NZDF activity in East Timor.
In July 2000, he was appointed Chief Military Observer in United Nations Transitional Authority East Timor (UNTAET) for twelve months, before becoming NZ Defence Advisor to Australia in December 2001.
MAJGEN Gardiner was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his operational service in East Timor in 2004. In November 2004 he was promoted to Major General and posted as Commander Joint Forces New Zealand.
On 1 May 2006 MAJGEN Gardiner was appointed Chief of Army, a position he held until 1 May 2009.
MAJGEN Gardiner was the loved husband of Judith, father to Matthew, Erin and Benjamin, and poppa to Melanie.
On leaving the NZ Army, MAJGEN Gardiner was Chief Executive of Crimestoppers New Zealand.
MAJGEN Gardiner's funeral will be held at 11am on Thursday 23 July at Our Lady of Grace, Upper Hutt followed by a private burial. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Te Omanga Hospice or Wellington Free Ambulance.