$20 billion modernises our Defence Force

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

The latest Defence White Paper signals the Government’s ongoing commitment to the defence and security of New Zealand through a $20 billion, 15-year investment to modernise our Defence Force.

Modernising the Defence Force will ensure it is able to meet the country’s security and defence challenges now and into the future. The challenges include awareness of, and being able to respond to, activities in our Exclusive Economic Zone, supporting our interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and protecting Defence information networks against increasing cyber threats.

The White Paper outlines current plans to replace or enhance existing major capabilities such as the Anzac frigates as well as strategic and tactical airlift capability. It also signals investment in new capabilities.

The major point of difference from the last White Paper in 2010 is an increased focus on cyber threats and cyber security issues. As the world changes, the use of technology and the internet as a sinister tool will only increase. That’s why the White Paper includes new cyber support capabilities to improve the protection of our Defence Force’s information networks.

Additional defence intelligence personnel will also be trained to better support current and future operations. New Zealand has never shied away from playing its part on the international stage, and among the areas where its presence is most felt in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

As we look to increase our presence and responsiveness to operations in the South Pacific and Antarctica, investment will focus on ice-strengthening the planned third offshore patrol vessel and a new naval tanker to better support operations in these areas. The Government will also invest in a new vessel to enable the Defence Force to respond faster to humanitarian and other incidents in the South Pacific.

 The investment in new and enhanced capabilities outlined in the White Paper will ensure our Defence Force is equipped to continue its good work at home and abroad.

 New Zealand has carved out an enviable reputation on the world stage. We have led the way on free trade, playing our role as peacemaker and standing alongside our allies in conflict zones. Upskilling our personnel and improving our technology means New Zealand continues to pull its weight on the world stage.

Jami-Lee Ross
Member of Parliament for Botany