An independent inquiry into how the Air Force deals with sex assault complaints will be headed by a top lawyer and is expected to have implications for the entire Defence Force.

NZME News Service has learned details of the inquiry are set to be announced tomorrow.

The probe was sparked by a vocal group of victims who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of former Sergeant Robert Richard Roper during the 1970s and 80s.

In February, he was jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of 20 charges following an Auckland District Court trial and his daughter Karina Andrews made the very rare decision to have her automatic name suppression lifted.


She hoped her bravery would encourage other victims to come forward.

After lobbying by Ms Andrews and others, Air Force bosses confirmed in July an independent inquiry would take place.

It is understood Karen Clark, QC, will be announced tomorrow as the head of that inquiry.

The former deputy solicitor-general has a wealth of legal experience and was involved in the coronial inquest for those who died in the CTV Building and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River Coal Mine tragedy.

Ms Clark has been asked to make recommendations which will have implications for the entire New Zealand Defence Force, it is understood.

Her inquiry will last up to six months.

Ms Andrews said she could not disclose the terms of reference on which Ms Clark's work would be based but confirmed victims had been consulted and were satisfied with its scope.

"It's been a process but it's been quite positive. They've listened," she said.


Ms Andrews, who was abused by her father from the age of 6, said she was not looking for a mea culpa from the Air Force.

"The thing is, they've already admitted they wronged us," she said. "Their inaction definitely helped him with his offending."

Even with Roper behind bars, the police's investigation into his behaviour continues.