Hamilton Branch Meeting - Procurement Matters and the Challenges of Defence Projects

DATE: Wed 25 September 2019
TIME: 19:30 hrs / 7.30pm sharp
VENUE: Glenview Club, Peacockes Road, Glenview, Hamilton.
GUEST SPEAKER: Mr Kevin McMahon, advisor to the MOD
SUBJECT: Procurement Matters and the Challenges of Defence Projects

Kevin McMahon has recently retired from the Ministry of Defence but still provides a part time service to the organisation as a consultant, currently under contract to the NZ Ministry of Defence in the role of Acquisition Specialist.

Kevin has spent more than 40 years involved in Defence procurement – including everything from ANZAC Ships (Frigates) to F-16s and NH90s. This will be an audio visual presentation lasting approx one and a half hrs,and with a question time probably at the end. For more details of this presentation please refer to the separate attachment.

Kevin McMahon is almost certainly the most experienced Defence procurement professional in New

Kevin began his career in the NZ Electricity Department, the Treasury and the State Services
Commission. In 1979 he joined the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as Deputy Director of Supply
responsible for procurement of specialist military equipment and services. In 1982 he formed the
Defence Contracts Organisation in which he filled the position of Defence Contracts Officer.
After the reorganisation of Defence in 1983 Kevin was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defence, responsible for contracting, movement of personnel and freight, the National Codification
Authority, supply system development, disposal of assets, research and development relating to
clothing/personal effects as well as the administrative and personnel functions for the Division.
In 1987 he was appointed Special Adviser (NZ) to the joint Australia/NZ ANZAC Ship Project, based
in Canberra, to facilitate bilateral liaison with Australian Defence, Government and Industry officials.
He acted as NZ’s principal Contract Negotiator and Deputy Leader of the AU/NZ Negotiating Team.
In 1990, Kevin returned to the MOD Acquisition Division in Wellington as Project Manager for the
replacement Jet Trainers for the RNZAF. He has subsequently held several appointments in the
Division, including Project Manager: Air & Joint Projects, Director of Air Capability and Project
Director. His projects have included the C-130 Life Extension, P-3 Mission Systems Upgrade,
Training/Light Utility Helicopter (A109), Medium Utility Helicopter (NH90), Seven Vessel/three class
Naval Project and the B757 Aircraft Acquisition and Conversion.

Kevin was Assistant Secretary of Defence (Acquisition) and Deputy of the Division 1998 – 2016. His
roles included review and development of Acquisition Policy, maintaining the Division’s ISO 9000
Certification, Chairing the Peer Review Committee reviewing all projects at predetermined stages,
including plans, RFT’s, tender evaluation plans, tender evaluation results and recommendations, draft
contract development and negotiating contracts.

He remained a Project Director for several important projects, including some of those listed above.
In March 2016, Kevin transferred to the position of Acquisition Specialist following the implementation
of the Defence Capability Change Programme. He continues in this role as a Contractor advising
MOD on procurement matters and conducting Peer Review of documentation and decisions.
Kevin is also a Gateway Reviewer under contract to the Treasury Gateway Unit as a part of the
Government’s Better Business Case requirements.

Kevin attended the Australian Joint Services Staff College in 1985.

Kevin’s presentation will cover the challenges and lessons learned in delivering complex Defence
projects over several decades.

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