Budget 2022 sees significant resources made available for the Defence Force to maintain existing defence capabilities as it looks to the future delivery of these new investments, Defence Minister, Peeni Henare said today.
“Since taking office, this Government has committed approximately $4.5 billion to 12 major defence capability projects – the largest capability investment Defence has ever received,” the Minister said.
“These investments will support the Defence Force to continue to deliver for New Zealanders across the full range of their requirements, including maritime patrol, search and rescue, and disaster response.”
The first of four P8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is due to be delivered later this year.
In addition, production is starting next calendar year on the C130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft – five of which have been ordered – and good progress is being made on all of the other projects, the Minister confirmed.
“The NZDF delivers for our country, and has been very busy in the last two years responding to contingencies and emergencies such as the conflict in Ukraine and natural disasters in the Pacific and at home, on top of its contribution to the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Mr Henare said.
“Last year, I announced my priorities and principles for Defence, which put a strong focus on our people, infrastructure, and the region we live in – the Pacific. This Budget boost is an example of these priorities put into action.
“The significant funding boost for depreciation expenses will ensure that the Defence Force’s existing capabilities are maintained and support its people and infrastructure. What we are funding today is the regeneration and strengthening of our Defence Force.”
Mr Henare said $90 million over four years would go to improving the pay of lower-paid Defence Force staff.
“We have seen throughout the COVID-19 response that some of New Zealand’s lowest paid workers can be some of our most essential, so I am proud that Defence is doing its bit to boost pay for those on lower incomes, delivering them greater economic security,” he said.