Govt delivers on Defence White Paper reforms

  • Jonathan Coleman
Budget 2012 Defence

The New Zealand Defence Force is to retain about $142 million a year in operating savings it has freed up to improve its military capability, delivering on the Government’s promise in the Defence White Paper.

The 2010 Defence White Paper signalled that existing Defence Force resources should be redistributed to deliver a well-equipped and modern Defence Force.

By 2014/15, the Defence Force will identify $350 million to $400 million a year in ongoing operating savings that will be retained for redistribution to frontline capabilities.

“As a result of the White Paper process, it was clear the Defence Force could deliver modern, relevant, military outputs without significant new funding,” Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says. “This required shifting spending from support areas to frontline capabilities.

“Budget 2012 confirms that Defence Force reforms are on track. The reprioritised spending is part of the Government’s promise to the Defence Force that if it achieved the reforms, then the freed-up resources would be reinvested in military capability.

“The Defence Force has achieved these results by looking across its operations. It deserves praise for its focus on the force it is constructing for the future.

“The sailors, soldiers and airmen and women who make up the Defence Force are among the best in the world. It is a priority to ensure these people have the latest available, technologically advanced and battle-tested equipment to cope with hostile environments.

“Budget 2012 confirms that such a future force is achievable, but not without change,” Dr Coleman says.