The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
For services to the New Zealand Defence Force
Captain Gabrielle Gofton served as the Force Engineer Project Officer and Second-in-Command of the New Zealand Contingent with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai, Egypt from May 2016 to May 2017.
At a time of significant change in the level of operational threat to the MFO, Captain Gofton (then as Acting Major) project managed the relocation of the Force Headquarters and the New Zealand Contingent from their original bases in the north of Sinai to a new camp in the south of the peninsula. This became the largest building programme undertaken since the establishment of the MFO in 1982 and involved a new headquarters building, individual accommodation units, vehicle maintenance facility, aircraft hangers, and security infrastructure. She was responsible for designing and managing the construction of the perimeter fences and key security sites for the new camp. She managed the sensitivities that existed within the multi-national staff of the Force Engineering Office, which was undermanned and ill-equipped to carry out the under-resourced relocation programme. In this environment she maintained the delivery of key individual projects such as the relocated MFO Command and Control function. Captain Gofton showed determination and moral courage in managing an, at times, resistant organisational culture in order to progress the relocation programme.