Major-General Tim Keating has been named the new Chief of Defence Force.

Currently Vice-Chief, General Keating will be promoted to Lieutenant-General and take over from Lieutenant General Rhys Jones on February 1 for a three year term.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said General Keating was a strong leader with 32 years of military experience serving New Zealand.

"He has extensive organisational management, leadership, and operational experience, and is well respected within the NZDF, and the international defence community," Dr Coleman said.


General Keating joined the NZ Army in 1982, and has held various command positions, including Commanding Officer 1 NZSAS Group, Commandant Officer Cadet School, and Commander 2nd Land Force Group.

He was deployed to Afghanistan as the Commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Bamiyan in 2005.

General Keating holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, Pennsylvania, and in 2008 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

He was promoted to Chief of Army in February 2011, and appointed Vice-Chief of Defence Force in December 2012.