The Government has today released the first two documents of the Defence Policy Review and the nation’s first National Security Strategy.
The Defence Policy Strategy Statement sets out New Zealand’s Defence goals and how we seek to achieve them, now and into the future.
The Future Forces Design Principles is a bridge between the new Defence strategy and the options for the investment required to deliver it. It will be the basis for a new Defence Capability Plan.
“The world today is contending with a range of complex and disruptive security challenges,” said Prime Minister and Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Chris Hipkins.
“In recent years our country has experienced terrorist attacks, growing disinformation, and cyber-attacks on critical national infrastructure.
“The domestic and international security environment has changed and our preparedness needs to change too – to be clear-eyed on risks and to put in place the right capabilities to be effective.
“The earlier we act, the more secure New Zealand will be for our children and grandchildren.
“As we scan the international horizon, we need to keep our eyes wide open to the emerging issues and threats to New Zealand and our interests.
“These emerging threats do not require an entirely new foreign policy response. Our independent position, coupled with targeted investments and strengthened ties with partners and allies puts us in a strong position to face the future.
“These plans represent an important step in how we are protecting our national security and advancing our national interests in a more contested and more difficult world,” PM Hipkins said.
The National Security Strategy, Secure Together – Tō Tātou Korowai Manaaki, is the government’s direction to the wider national security community on how to navigate the changed environment. The updated 2023 National Security and Intelligence Priorities align with the Strategy.
“We take the world as it is, not how we would like it to be. It is essential to respond appropriately to the full range of national security threats to New Zealand and our interests,” said Defence Minister, Andrew Little.
“That is what forms the assessments and strategies in the documents released today, all of which are tightly aligned and interdependent.
“We are investing to modernise our capabilities across land, sea and air, and are strengthening our relationships with friends and partners in the Pacific and beyond.
“As we work to safeguard our national security we will be proportionate, predictable and avoid unnecessary securitisation,” he said.
The set of documents outline where the Government will be focusing its national security efforts, including:
- Investing in a combat-capable defence force and the wider national security system;
- Tackling emerging issues like disinformation, and undertaking more concerted efforts in areas where threats are growing, like economic security;
- Building and sustaining a public conversation on national security, by being more upfront about what we are observing as well as listening to New Zealanders, in order to grow and maintain social license for efforts to protect our security;
- Supporting Pacific resilience, providing development assistance, and continuing work to bolster the security capacity of Pacific nations;
- Strengthening security cooperation and ties in the broader Indo-Pacific region; and
- Working to maintain and strengthen the global system of rules and norms that have served New Zealand so well.
The Ministers said work will now commence on a new Defence Capability Plan which will outline what resources, people and capability, are required to meet the challenges ahead.
The updated National Security and Intelligence Priorities are:
- Strategic competition and the rules-based international system,
- Emerging, critical and sensitive technologies,
- Foreign interference and espionage,
- Terrorism and violent extremism,
- Transnational organised crime,
- Pacific resilience and security, and
- Economic, maritime, border, cyber and space security.
Minister Little’s speech to launch this event is available here.