Chief of Navy

Rear Admiral John Martin, ONZM

Chief of Navy RADM John Martin, ONZM

Rear Admiral (RADM) John Martin took up the role of Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) on 30 November 2015. During his three-year tenure the Navy will celebrate its 75th Anniversary, generate enhanced combat capability and prepare itself for the delivery of new vessels that will enable the Navy to conduct maritime tasks in the 2020s and beyond. RADM Martin also sits on the boards of the Whole of Government Radio Network and the Customs Investment Board.

Until 30 November 2015, John Martin was the Assistant Chief Capability on the staff of the Chief of Defence Force. In this role he served as the capability sponsor for the Defence Force, managing the capability lifecycle from definition to disposal. Additionally, he acted as the deputy director for the 2014 Defence Assessment, a strategic review of the security environment and the deputy director of the Defence White Paper 2015 - a document that will set the defence force tasks, capability and fiscal requirements out to 2035.

John was the commander of the RNZN Fleet as Maritime Component Commander (March 2011 - Sep 2013). In that role he was responsible to the Chief of Navy for readiness of the Fleet and specialist teams to deliver on the Navy's mission, outputs and outcomes and also responsible to the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand for the command and conduct of marine operations and provision of the naval contribution to Joint Outputs.

John joined the RNZN in 1979 as a radar plotter. During his career he has served in the RNZN, Royal Navy and US Navy ships fulfilling the functions of bridge watch keeper, maritime air traffic controller instructor, frigate navigator, warfare officer and commander. He has held a number of operational staff appointments and was involved in the preparation and deployment of Naval units to the Arabian Gulf and Mururoa Atoll. At this time he was awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM). More recently he enjoyed a number of appointments within the New Zealand Defence Force encompassing senior level management, leadership development, portfolio management, operational planning and capability development.

A career highlight was his time in command of HMNZS TE KAHA from 2001 until August 2003. The ship undertook a number of deployments to Australia, South East Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. Following a mission to the Gulf of Oman for Maritime Interception Operations, Rear Admiral Martin was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

An enthusiastic fly fisherman who also enjoys tramping, walking and sailing, he is a graduate and fellow of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (Canberra), and has a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration.

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This page was last reviewed on 19 November 2018, and is current.