Former Chief of Defence Force Carey Adamson was farewelled at a funeral with full military honours in Wellington today.

Air Marshal (Retired) Adamson, also a former Chief of the Air Force, died on May 10 aged 76.

His funeral, attended by his family, Defence Minister Ron Mark and a large contingent of military figures, was held at St Paul's Cathedral this afternoon.

Air Marshall Carey Adamson, who died on May 10. Photo / File
Air Marshall Carey Adamson, who died on May 10. Photo / File

Adamson, who was Defence Force Chief between 1999 and 2001, was escorted to Parliament by a 100-strong procession of all three branches of the Defence Force.

Advertisement
The hearse carrying Air Marshal Carey Adamson is escorted to Parliament. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The hearse carrying Air Marshal Carey Adamson is escorted to Parliament. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Following the service at 2pm, Adamson's casket was carried to a waiting hearse by Air Force personnel for the short procession to Parliament's forecourt, a firing party firing three rifle volleys.

The road was closed to allow the funeral procession to walk uninterrupted across the road from the cathedral to Parliament.

At the forecourt, his family laid poppies on his casket.

While Chief of the Defence Force, Adamson established Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand at Trentham which has overseen NZDF operations and large exercises ever since.

Major-General Peter Cosgrove, now Australian Governor-General, and Air Marshal Carey Adamson briefing Defence Minister Mark Burton on East Timor in 2009. Photo / NZDF
Major-General Peter Cosgrove, now Australian Governor-General, and Air Marshal Carey Adamson briefing Defence Minister Mark Burton on East Timor in 2009. Photo / NZDF

He was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1979 and Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999. He retired in 2001 after 41 years in the military.

A Defence spokesperson said military funerals with full honours were usually reserved for those who had attained top posts in the Defence Force. The last was for Air Marshal Sir Richard Bolt, also a former Chief of Defence Force, in August 2014.

Air Marshal Carey Adamson is carried by a Royal New Zealand Air Force bearer party after his funeral. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Air Marshal Carey Adamson is carried by a Royal New Zealand Air Force bearer party after his funeral. Photo / Mark Mitchell