Deputy Chief of Navy (DCN)
Commodore Mathew (Mat) Williams, MNZM, RNZN
Commodore Mathew (Mat) Williams joined the Navy in January 1989 as a Seaman Officer. He served most of his formative years at sea, including a four-month exchange in the Australian Destroyer BRISBANE and, following Principal Warfare Officer training at HMAS WATSON in Sydney, two years in HMAS ARUNTA as the Air Warfare Officer and Operations Officer.
Returning to New Zealand in 2001, Commodore Williams served as the first Maritime Planner at Headquarters, Joint Forces New Zealand; Operations Officer then Executive Officer and 2nd in command of HMNZS TE KAHA; and Fleet Warfare Officer, Maritime Operational Evaluation Team. During his tenure as 2nd in command of TE KAHA the Ship conducted successful operations in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Commodore Williams’s New Zealand sea-appointments culminated in a three-year command of HMNZS TE KAHA from 2008.
Relinquishing Command of TE KAHA in January 2011, Williams was appointed Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 in the Middle East June-October 2011. Embarked in the United States Cruiser ANZIO, CTF 151 was responsible for Coalition Maritime Force counter-piracy operations throughout the Middle East region.
Subsequent appointments included Deputy Director of Strategy Management at Defence Headquarters; New Zealand Naval Attaché to the United States (NZ Embassy, Washington DC); Assistant Chief of Navy (Strategy); NZDF Performance Improvement Framework Self-review Manager; and Military Secretary to the Minister of Defence. He completed one year of advanced studies at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in July 2017.
Academic qualifications include a Master of Public Management (Victoria University, Wellington; 2009), Bachelor of Business Studies (Massey University, Auckland; 2005), and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (University of New South Wales; 1998). He is waiting conferment of a Master of Arts in International Security and Strategy from King’s College, London. In August 2017 Commodore Williams was promoted to his current rank and appointed as Deputy Chief of Navy.
Commodore Williams was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2007 New Year Honour’s list. He is married to Claire, and they have two teenage daughters.
Commodore Mat Williams - Biography (pdf, 306kb)