Post 2035 Force

Recommendations from this Study

This study posits a hypothetical counterfactual force against the existant force and concludes that in terms of the primary missions defined in the methodology  the hypothetical force meets the requirements better than the existant force.

To some extent this can be regarded as tautological in that the existant force was not designed to meet the requirements of the primary missions. All of this comes back to the philosophical question of whether the Defence Force should be tasked with meeting the needs of all hazards or not.

As discussed in the methodology section if all hazards are not included in the Defence Force task requirement then the defence force is roughly twice as large as it ought to be.

Rather than slash the defence force this study recommends that Amendments be made to:

1. Defence Act 1990

2. Biosecurity Act 1993

3. Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002

4. Police Act 1958

to require the Defence Force to contribute to civil defence management.


The restructuring of the defence Ministry and Force posited in this Study is naturally recommended.

In particular:

1. Amalgamation of Airforce into Navy and Army
2. Merger of the Ministry and NZDF HQ
3. Separation of hazard assessment toward DPMC advice.
4. Restructuring of Army toward Special Forces and Emergency Management
5. Restructuring of Navy toward coastguard functions
6. Increased contribution to research.
7. Redevelopment of NZDF doctrine towards civil defence
8. Restructure toward command-only ranking, integrated command titles and education based pay-scale.


As noted at the outset a number of important decisions have already been made which are essentially irreversible. These include:

  • ANZAC Frigates
  • LAV III armoured vehicles
  • NH-90 helicopters
  • Pinzgauer LoV

However others are still outstanding. These include:

  • C-130H refurbishment
  • P-3K refit.

This study believes that the beggaring of the Airforce due to politics is very poor capital management for the entire force and recommends that consideration be given to:

1. replacing the C-130Hs with a combination of aircraft
2. replacing the P-3Ks with a combination of aircraft

Both these systems are crucial to achieving the primary missions of this report and arguably more important than other projects the Ministry has favoured already.

Another very important issue is the design of a new infantry uniform and networked information system.

Post 2035

Consideration should begin as to the design of a post-2035 force based on some of the findings of this study.


This study has shown that comparison with a counterfactual force option underlines the assumptions built into defence planning. These assumptions will not meet all hazard threats. While the author is willing to allow for his own errors in the proposal of the hypothetical force this does not invalidate the fundamental hypothesis of this study.