Author(s): Denis McLean
Sir Howard Kippenberger is widely acknowledged as the ideal of a New Zealand citizen-soldier and our foremost soldier-scholar; a country lawyer and provincial intellectual who became a national figure as New Zealanders made the transition from colonials to a forthright nationhood. As a military leader, editor and author he was one of the prime movers in that process. His democratic style of leadership reflected the ethos of a new nation - active, competent and engaged in the world in its own right, no longer a dependency of Britain A second-generation New Zealander, born in 1897, his military career was probably unique in that he was a 19 year old private soldier in one war and emerged in the next as the commander of choice of what was in effect a national army - the 2nd NZ Division.
Denis McLean has had a distinguished career in the public service: Dept of External Affairs/Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 21 years; posted to Washington, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, London (Deputy High Commisioner, 1972-77); Secretary of Defence, Wellington, 1979 - 88; New Zealand Ambassador Washington, 1991 - 94. He is also a writer and military historian, was a Rhodes Scholar, and is the author of four books