New Zealand's military is a relic of British military tradition which has nothing much to do with its diplomatic, social, political, or economic role. It sees itself as an eternal adjunct to larger forces, a department for those who seek state funded adventures to far off places, at minimal benefit for the taxpayers who foot the bill.
New Zealand taxpayers can't afford a $3 billion a year club which wastes money on unused assets, has chronic sex abuse and alcohol problems, and is largely concerned with securing offshore postings for no discernible return. If we are going to have a military force it must be one that generates benefits proportional to its very high costs not just at force level but at unit level. Nobody would run a $3 billion a year business any other way, so why should the military get off the hook?
A large part of the problem with our military is its lack of accountability and the timidity of its civilian masters in applying simple common sense logic to deep seated structural issues.
This is not to say that the personnel is the defence force are stupid or largely out of touch with 21st century reality (although some of them definitely are). Many do an excellent job more in spite of the organisation they work for than because of it. Others have become so defined by traditional narrow minded concepts of their role that the very notion that employing them to repel non existent enemies is a waste of money is completely beyond their comprehension.
This section will examine the deep seated structural problems with our military as it exists today and identifies a potential to save:
Airforce: $380 million per year
Navy: $260 million per year