In April 1969 he became Commanding Officer, HMNZS Philomel followed by Chief of Staff to the Commodore Auckland from May 1970 to January 1972. On 16 April 1980 he was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and was appointed to be Chief of Defence Staff.
Vice-Admiral Sir Neil Anderson KBE, CB
Vice Admiral Sir Neil Anderson was born in Hastings and educated at Hastings High School. He joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1944 as a Special Entry Cadet, training at the Royal Navy College at Dartmouth, and HMS Frobisher. He was awarded the King’s telescope for the best all-round cadet. Returning to New Zealand as a Lieutenant he joined HMNZS Rotoiti, serving in her from November 1949 to April 1951, a period which included Korean War Service. He returned to the UK for further training and served in HMNZS Lachlan and Pukaki before moving to Naval Staff. In June 1960 he was promoted to Commander and in December of that year he took command of HMNZS Taranaki. From command of Taranaki he was attached to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence from December 1962 to October 1963 before joining HMNZS Wakefield as Head of the Defence Secretariat in October 1963 and as Director of Plans in February 1966. After a short period as Staff Officer Intelligence (Navy), he was appointed in command of HMNZS Waikato in April 1968 and then promoted to Captain and was posted Captain of the Eleventh Frigate Squadron. He organised the celebrations at Gisborne for the Cook Bicentenary in 1969.
In April 1969 he became Commanding Officer, HMNZS Philomel followed by Chief of Staff to the Commodore Auckland from May 1970 to January 1972. He attended the Royal College of Defence Studies in the remainder of 1972 before being promoted Commodore and taking the appointment of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff in January 1973. He was appointed Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Support) in August 1974. In August 1967 he became Deputy Chief of Defence Staff. He was awarded the CBE in the 1977 New Year’s Honours List. He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral on 14 December 1977 and on that date took up his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff. On 16 April 1980 he was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and was appointed to be Chief of Defence Staff. He retired on 17 April 1983.