Sunday, May 19, 2024

$571m locked and loaded for Defence pay, projects

Defence Minister, Judith Collins, has today announced the upcoming Budget will include funding of $571 million for Defence Force pay and projects.

“Our servicemen and women do New Zealand proud throughout the world and this funding will help ensure we retain their services and expertise as we navigate an increasingly unstable environment,” Ms Collins said.

“Of the additional funding, $163 million will go to improving remuneration for New Zealand Defence Force personnel and $408 million to upgrading equipment and infrastructure.

“NZDF personnel are at the frontline of New Zealand’s security but they cannot do their jobs without the right equipment and conditions.”

The additional funding includes $99 million of savings found from within the NZDF budget.

“Subject to Cabinet approval, a project will begin to replace the Unimog and Pinzgauer trucks, the NZDF’s workhorses, and most frequently deployed vehicles. Replacement vehicles will have integrated communications that will enhance interoperability with regional and global partners, such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.”

The other projects for which funding has been allocated through Budget 24, subject to Cabinet approval, are:

  • The next phase of an upgrade to the NH90 helicopter navigation systems and radios;
  • upgrading the regional supply facility and logistics model at Linton Military Camp;
  • modernising devices and productivity tools;
  • upgrading some digital services; and
  • improving national maritime domain awareness.

The Budget will also fund the leasing of 35 homes for Devonport Naval Base personnel.

“Together these remuneration increases and projects will help boost our economy while ensuring New Zealand is ready, willing and – crucially – able to play its part internationally,” Ms Collins says.

“The world is increasingly unstable. We have only to look at events in the Ukraine and Middle East to see how quickly people’s lives can change.

“This Budget announcement is a signal that New Zealand is ready to step up and play its part to protect the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.

“The next step is to consider options for an updated Defence Capability Plan which will shape our future investment decisions around the equipment we need as we step up.”

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