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Air Commodore Daniel (DJ) Hunt

Deputy Chief of Air Force

The Deputy Chief of Air Force is responsible for governance and strategic plans that ensure the RNZAF meets its obligations to the New Zealand Government. The Deputy Chief of Air Force is also responsible for capability advice and assurance, oversight of recruitment and training, health and safety and overseeing Technical Airworthiness, Air Force Museum and the International Commitments Programme.

Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Hunt enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) in 1995, completing his initial Officer training as the top overall student. In 1996 he graduated as an Air Navigator from the Royal Australian Air Force School of Air Navigation.

AIRCDRE Hunt has spent the majority of his flying career on No.5 Squadron (P-3K Orion), culminating as the Commanding Officer from 2015 to 2017. Between March 2003 and December 2005 he completed an exchange posting with the Royal Air Force, flying with No. 201 Squadron on the Nimrod MR2.

AIRCDRE Hunt has filled a number of staff roles including the Maritime Patrol Force Staff Officer (2009), the Executive Officer to the Air Component Commander at Headquarter Joint Forces New Zealand (2012-2013) and commanding the RNZAF’s test and evaluation unit (2013-2014).

As well as deployments in flying roles, AIRCDRE Hunt has deployed with the United Nations (East Timor, 2001), was the New Zealand Liaison Officer to the Combined Air Operations Centre (Al Udeid, 2010), and held the Chief Plans role in the Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters as well as being the New Zealand Liaison Officer to US Navy Central Command (Bahrain, 2014).

AIRCDRE Hunt was promoted to Group Captain (2017) and appointed Base Commander, RNZAF Base Auckland.

In 2019 AIRCDRE Hunt attended the United States National Defence University where he studied at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy. He gained a Master of Science Degree with distinction, and was the top overall international student.

On return to New Zealand AIRCDRE Hunt was seconded to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Enterprise where he was the General Manager (Operations) for NZ Government Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ).

Post this role, AIRCDRE Hunt was the Director of Capability Portfolio Planning within HQNZDF Capability Branch.

AIRCDRE Hunt was promoted to Air Commodore in September 2023 and is appointed the Deputy Chief of the Air Force from November 2023.

AIRCDRE Hunt is married to Lisa and has two adult children.  He enjoys all sports, particularly basketball, rugby and golf.