Captain Peter Arnold joined the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNZNVR) at HMNZS NGAPONA in Auckland as an Ordinary Seaman in 1978. He was promoted to Able Seaman in 1981 and completed his qualifications for Leading Seaman before taking up a commission as a Seaman Officer in the rank of Ensign in 1982.
After several courses and time at sea, he gained his Minor War Vessel Command certificate. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1995. His responsibilities included Operations Officer and Executive Officer before being appointed Commanding Officer of HMNZS NGAPONA in April 2000. Subsequently he was promoted to Commander in June 2000.
In 2003 he was appointed Director Naval Reserve Support, a Naval Staff appointment, responsible to Captain Naval Reserves (CNR) for policy and training of the Sea Service and Administration branches of the RNZNVR. He was also appointed the Naval liaison officer for the Defence Employer Support Program.
In 2003 and 2004 he was appointed Commander Task Group (CTG 648.8) for the annual Reserve SQUADEX exercises held in the Marlbough Sounds. This exercise involved all units of the Mine Countermeasures Forces, the seamanship and navigation-training vessel, and the diving support vessel.
In May 2004 he assumed command of HMNZS OLPHERT, the Reserve division for the Wellington area. In July he attended and graduated from the Canadian Forces College (CFC) Joint Reserve Command and Staff Course. He returned to Canada in November as a member of the N2 strategic review team.
In July 2005 he was promoted Captain and appointed Captain Naval Reserve (CNR), the Naval Reserve Advisor to the Chief of Navy. He is a member of the Naval Leadership Board and Territorial Force Joint Working Group.
Soon after taking up his position as CNR, a project to review the Naval Reserve force was started and as part of that review, Captain Arnold visited Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom and Canada to be briefed on those countries’ Naval Reserve Force.
He returned to South Africa in 2008 as NZ senior officer at the PACIOSWG (Pacific and Indian Ocean Shipping Working Group) conference in Johannesburg and represented the RNZN again at the conference in Australia in 2009.
He has served on HMNZ Ships HAKU, MANGA, KOURA, KUPARU, ROTOITI, TAUPO, and has commanded HINAU, KAHU and KIWI at various times.
In his civilian employment he has lengthy operations experience in the IT outsourcing industry, with exposure to a wide and diverse range of systems, applications and processes for several of New Zealand’s largest companies.
Captain Arnold is currently a civilian in the NZDF working at Headquarters Joint Force NZ (HQ JFNZ) as the Application and Information Manager - J8 Continuous Improvement Branch. His roles includes responsibility for COMJFNZ Monthly, Quarterly and Annual reporting, Annual Planning and Risk Management processes while maintaining a number of applications used within the Headquarters and NZDF. He also is involved with the Lesson Collection Activities conducted by the Continuous Improvement cell which have included Christchurch Quake and RENA disasters, but more recently the TIKI series of Operations.
Captain Arnold was born in Stratford but educated in Rotorua, before moving to Auckland in 1978 to study at Auckland University. He currently resides on the Kapiti Coast, Wellington and is married to Jocelyn. They have 3 sons, Mark, John and Paul.