Defence White Paper signals $20b investment plan

  • Gerry Brownlee

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee today launched the Defence White Paper 2016, outlining a 15-year modernisation plan worth nearly $20 billion to ensure the New Zealand Defence Force has the capabilities it needs to meet the country’s security and defence challenges.  

“These challenges include having awareness of, and being able to respond to, activities in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), supporting our interests in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and protecting Defence information networks against increasing cyber threats,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The White Paper outlines current plans to replace or enhance existing major capabilities such as the ANZAC frigates and strategic and tactical airlift capability, as well as investing in new capabilities.

“These include new cyber support capabilities to improve protection of Defence Force information networks, and ice strengthening for a third Offshore Patrol Vessel and a naval tanker as we look to better support our interests in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.”

In addition to maintaining the Defence Force’s existing mix of capabilities, the Government will invest in:

  • better supporting sea-to-shore operations with a littoral operations support vessel that can operate in medium security environments;
  • enhanced air surveillance capability to better enable the Defence Force to undertake air surveillance operations at home and overseas;
  • a cyber security support capability for the protection of Defence Force networks, platforms and people; and
  • additional defence intelligence personnel to support military operations.

“The White Paper has been developed in close consultation with other government agencies, members of the Ministerial Advisory Panel and the public, and it is clear New Zealanders expect the Defence Force to have capabilities that are up to date, interoperable within our suite of assets and with our close partners, and able to respond to a range of contingencies,” Mr Brownlee says.

“The $20 billion investment over the next 15 years signalled in the White Paper provides the Defence Force with a degree of funding certainty that enables it to plan with confidence out to 2030 and beyond.

“What I am signalling today is the Government’s continued commitment to the defence and security of New Zealand through responsible and timely investment in our armed forces.”