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What is the defence force for?
source NZDF
The purpose of this section is to address the overall function of the force in terms of the New Zealand Government and the risks it must manage.
We commence by addressing all possible hazards to the people and state of New Zealand. Then we examine the legal role of the military under the Defence Act 1990. Next we address the question "what is a defence force?", "what is one for?", what social and cultural roles does such an organisation play? What economic role does a defence force play?  and what other models exist in the world. Finally we briefly examine the history of the New Zealand armed services and their development to date.
The conclusion is that the defence force is distinguished by:
  1. A most unusual employment contract stipulated in legislation
  2. The operation of some extremely capital intensive vehicles, ships and aircraft
  3. An accepted role as a self-insurance policy for the sovereignty of Government
  4. An acceptance that ideally the force is not needed because sovereignty is not in doubt
  5. A unique role in international diplomacy
  6. A backstop role to all other organs of Government
It is also clear that the defence force itself has been more influenced by the ANZUS treaty and its own Australian derived doctrine than its own government. It has read far more into the ANZUS treaty than is actually in its text and its doctrine is not necessarily aligned to its statutory role.