White Paper signals new era for Defence

  • Wayne Mapp

The Defence White Paper launched by the Prime Minister today sets out the Government's plan for a modern Defence Force to meet our security needs for the next 25 years, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says.

"The New Zealand Defence Force has a range of roles. It must protect New Zealand's territory and citizens. It must conduct and lead missions in the South Pacific. It must enable New Zealand to be a strong partner in regional and international security.

"The Navy, Army and Air Force serve New Zealand well, and the White Paper will develop and enhance them.

"The combat effectiveness of the land forces will be augmented. Air and sea transport capabilities will be maintained and improved. We will invest in the ANZAC frigates to ensure they continue to add value to coalition operations. 

"NZDF resources will be redistributed to sustain and build front-line capabilities. We will identify new ways of doing business.

"We have addressed financial issues in detail. We must plan now to replace the strategic air transport and air surveillance fleets, and the Naval Combat Force.

"The White Paper also introduces a new approach to managing the NZDF's workforce. The goal is to put people with the right skills into the right jobs. This means employing military personnel in military jobs, and having civilian staff in roles which do not require military skills.

"The White Paper sets the overall direction for the coming decades. We will review progress after five years to ensure that our policy and capability is matched to our strategic situation.

"This White Paper delivers on the Government's campaign promise to ensure that we have a strong, effective Defence Force to meet the needs of our security environment now and in the years ahead.

"This is the beginning of a new era. The time for reviewing is over. Now is the time for implementation."