Current Force

Current ForceĀ 




There is little point in rehearsing a full history of the New Zealand Defence Force here. Ian McGibbon has a useful links page for those seeking a proper history.

In brief the force began as a colonial occupation force which by the end of the 19th Century was contributing to the military security of the British Empire. For the first 50 years of the 20th century it is difficult to discern any strategic difference between New Zealand military forces and those of the Imperial motherland. The collapse of the the British Empire following World War Two (no matter what gloss what placed on it by the British the fact remains that the period 1945-1953 represents nothing more than a strategic retreat under American pressure) New Zealand's military replaced "Mother England" with "Uncle Sam" as the primary influence. The result was New Zealand's participation in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. But democratic dissatisfaction with the failure of the US military in Vietnam ( due largely to unclear aims) led a new generation of New Zealand politicians to question the tradition of colonial obedience and during the 1980s New Zealand disengaged from the ANZUS military alliance to pursue a policy of semi-autonomy. This has led to a schism in Australia/New Zealand defence ties with Australia joining the US-led coalition in Iraq and New Zealand declining to participate.

Unfortunately the political trend toward a form of neutrality which began in the mid-1980s was not translated into any serious review of New Zealand's military. As a result the military recieved mixed messages. Not equipped as well as Sweden or Switzerland to pursue full armed neutrality the military remained tied into the Australian armed services to such an extent that the RNZAF was essentially an extension of the RAAF, the RNZ Navy an extension of the RAN and the Army a rather tragic hotch-potch which would attach itself to anyone (usually the British) who would take pity on them.

The Clark Labour Government has done more than any previous administration to rebuild our military. It has done so symbolically by placing emphasis on New Zealand's military heritage, and practically by reviewing and re-equipping the military. It has, however retained a strictly military interpretation of defence which allows it to be led by military preoccupations rather than an all-hazards risk-based assessment.

Total Ministry of Defence Acquisitions $4,549 million

System NZD Budget($m) Source
B757 acquisition $221MoD
C130 life extension $226 MoD
Direct Fire Weapon $15MoD
NH-90 TTH $771MoD
A109M training $110MoD
Light Armoured Vehicle$574MoD
Light Ops Vehicle$91MoD
Medium AT Missile$24MoD
P3 upgrade$352MoD
AA Missile$14MoD
Kaman Seasprites$338Wikipedia
Te Kaha$563Stats NZ
Te Mana$631Stats NZ

Useful links:

Vote Defence Force 2006 (PDF)

NZ Defence Force

NZDF Doctrine

New Zealand Army