The key statutes that govern the roles, functions and procedures of the Ministry and the NZDF are:
- The Defence Act 1990;
- The Public Finance Act 1989.
The Ministry is also governed by the State Sector Act 1988, while the discipline of the Armed Forces is provided for in the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971.
There are also several other statutes dealing with specific defence activities.
The Defence Act 1990 is the principal legislation governing defence matters. It reaffirms the historical prerogative of the Crown to raise and maintain armed forces, and the principle of ministerial authority over the armed forces. The Act sets out the constitution of the NZDF, comprising the armed forces under the command of the Chief of Defence Force and the civil staff employed by him. It also provides for the chief executive of the Ministry of Defence to be the Secretary of Defence.
The Defence Act 1990 defines the respective roles of, and relationships among, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Force, and the Secretary of Defence. The Governor-General, who is Commander-in-Chief of New Zealand, representing the Crown, appoints the Chief of Defence Force who commands members of the armed forces and is the employer of members of the civil staff of the NZDF. Executive power of control, however, is vested in the Cabinet, which exercises authority over the armed forces through the Minister. The Chief of Defence Force exercises command of the Navy through the Chief of Navy, the Army through the Chief of Army, and the Air Force through the Chief of Air Force, together with the command of any joint force through the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand. The Chief of Defence Force may also create a joint force which he can command through the Service Chief of any Service.
The Defence 1990 Act sets out the functions of the Secretary of Defence. The Secretary provides the Government with advice on defence policy, procures major military equipment and arranges for the assessment and audit of the NZDF. The Ministry of Defence and the NZDF report as separate entities to the Minister of Defence, but are required to consult and operate to some degree in an integrated manner.
The State Sector Act 1988 provides the administrative framework for the operation of the Public Service. The Act establishes the accountability relationship between departmental chief executives and their ministers. The Act also devolves responsibility to the chief executives for running their departments and managing departmental resources with minimal central input control. The Act applies to the Ministry of Defence but not the NZDF.
The Public Finance Act 1989 provides for State Sector financial accountability through a standard and comprehensive system of reporting to Parliament Departments are required to produce an annual report based on Generally Accepted Accounting Practice and audited financial statements. Both the Ministry of Defence and the NZDF comply with the Act.
Chief executives and ministers are given delegated authority to spend up to levels specified in the Cabinet Office Manual in respect of expenditure concerning the operation of their departments. The Secretary of Defence is also given additional authority for the acquisition of capital equipment for the NZDF.
The Minister of Defence is responsible for other defence legislation as follows:
- Armed Forces Canteens Act 1948;
- Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971;
- Courts Martial Appeals Act 1953;
- Military Decorations and Distinctive Badges Act 1918;
- Military Manoeuvres Act 1915; and
- Visiting Forces Act 2004
The NZDF is conducting a major review of the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971 in order to achieve greater consistency with international and domestic developments in the law, and in particular the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. An Armed Forces Law Reform Bill is on the legislative programme and authority will be sought in early 2006 to instruct Parliamentary Counsel to draft the necessary provisions for introduction that year.
The Public Finance Amendment Act 2004 marked a major change to New Zealand's public management system when Parliament passed the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill - the Public Finance Amendment Act 2004. The Bill, which resulted in significant amendments to the Public Finance Act 1989, grew out of a desire to improve performance and integration across New Zealand's public sector.
The amendment to the Public Finance Act required several key changes to Estimates documents and Statements of Intent in the 2005 Budget round, and more changes will be required in the 2006 Budget round. Changes include the treatment of GST and capital expenditure, and more detailed requirements under the Government's Managing for Outcomes.
The Minister of Defence has a number of powers enshrined in legislation.
Power of Control
Section 7 of the Defence Act 1990 gives the Minister of Defence 'power of control' over the NZDF, exercised through the Chief of Defence Force, for the purposes of meeting the Minister's 'general responsibility' in relation to the defence of New Zealand.
Powers of Requisition
In accordance with section 10 of the Defence Act 1990, where the Minister is satisfied that there is an actual or imminent emergency involving the deployment of any part of the armed forces outside New Zealand, the Minister may authorise the Chief of Defence Force to requisition any ship, vehicle, aircraft, supplies or equipment to be used in connection with that emergency. In addition, any land, buildings or installation may be similarly requisitioned. The Crown is liable to pay compensation to the owners of any property requisitioned under this process.
Provision of Public Services and Assistance to the Civil Power
Section 9 of the Defence Act 1990 states that the armed forces may be used, in New Zealand or elsewhere, to perform any public service or to provide assistance to the civil power in times of emergency. Key aspects of these powers are:
- Specific written authorisation - The specific written authorisation of the Minister of Defence is required for the use of the armed forces to provide public services in connection with any industrial dispute, and the Minister must inform Parliament of that authorisation;
- Assistance to the civil power in an emergency must be authorised by the Prime Minister, or next most senior Minister - Any assistance to the civil power must be authorised by the Prime Minister, or the next most senior minister, acting on information supplied by the Commissioner of Police or a Deputy Commissioner of Police where it is intended that members of the armed forces exercise powers available to members of the Police. The authorising minister must be satisfied that there is a real or imminent emergency in which any person is threatening, causing or attempting to cause death, serious injury or serious harm to persons, or destruction or serious damage to property that can only be dealt with by granting such powers. Any assistance provided by the armed forces is at the request of the Police, and the authorising minister must inform Parliament of the authorisation.
- Time limit - any authorisation given in connection with an industrial dispute or assistance to the Police lapses after 14 days unless Parliament passes a resolution extending the authority for a period as specified in the resolution.
Delegation of Powers
The Minister of Defence may delegate to the Chief of Defence Force any of the Minister's powers, duties or functions that are delegated to the Minister under the Defence Act or any other enactment.
Armed Forces Canteen Council
The Minister of Defence is the chairperson of the Armed Forces Canteen Council, and appoints the other members of the Council. The Council is empowered to set up and operate amenities in Service establishments. The main purpose of the Armed Forces Canteen Council is to provide quality retailing and cafeteria services for NZDF personnel. The Chief of Defence Force chairs the Council in the absence of the Minister. In recent years this has been the usual practice.
New Zealand Cadet Forces
The Minister of Defence approves recognition of new cadet units and disbands units on the recommendation of the Chief of Defence Force. The Minister also appoints cadet officers, authorises promotions and releases, and approves the award of the Cadet Force Medal.
The Secretary of Defence
Section 24 of the Defence Act 1990 describes the responsibilities of the Secretary of Defence. These responsibilities are in addition to those functions imposed by the State Sector Act 1988, which apply to all chief executives of New Zealand government departments. The Secretary's responsibilities, as detailed in Section 24, are to:
- Be the principal civilian adviser to the Minister of Defence and other ministers of the Government;
- Formulate advice on defence policy in consultation with the Chief of Defence Force;
- Prepare defence assessments 'from time to time' for the Minister of Defence, in consultation with the Chief of Defence Force. The assessments are to include different options capable of meeting the Government's defence policy objectives;
- Procure, replace or repair equipment representing significant military capability for the NZDF; and
- Arrange for the assessment and audit of the NZDF in relation to any function, duty, or project, and of the Ministry in relation to any major capital equipment procurement project.
The Secretary, pursuant to the provisions of the State Sector Act 1988, is employed under a fixed term contract for a term no longer than five years. He may be appointed for further periods.
The Secretary of Defence - Mr Graham Fortune
Graham Fortune has been Secretary of Defence since September 1999.
He began his public service career with the Department of External Affairs, after graduating from Otago University with a Master of Science Honours degree. He was posted to Cook Islands, Canada and Papua New Guinea before spending three years as Director of Management Support with the State Services Commission in Wellington.
Mr Fortune became the Director of South Pacific Division in Foreign Affairs in 1980 and from 1981 to 1987 was Assistant Secretary responsible for Corporate Services and also for the South Pacific.
In 1987 he was appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In this capacity he was also New Zealand Trade Negotiator during the GATT Uruguay Round and Ambassador for Disarmament at the Conference on Disarmament.
In 1990 Mr Fortune became Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs, responsible for security and political affairs, and then served as High Commissioner to Australia from 1994 to 1999. On his return from Canberra he was the Special Ministerial Adviser on East Timor before becoming Secretary of Defence.
The Chief of Defence Force
Under Section 25 of the Defence Act 1990 there are two principal roles of the Chief of Defence Force. First, he is the principal military adviser to the Government. Second, he is responsible for carrying out the functions and duties of the NZDF and its efficient, effective and economic management. Specifically, the Chief of Defence Force is responsible for the:
- Operational planning and deployment of the NZDF or elements thereof on operational service;
- Efficient, effective and economical management of the NZDF;
- Provision of advice on military operational issues and the internal management of the NZDF;
- Procurement of minor capital equipment (that is, equipment with a total purchase price of less than $7 million dollars); and
- Evaluation of military operational effectiveness.
In meeting his responsibilities the Chief of Defence Force has: command of the Navy through the Chief of Navy, command of the Army through the Chief of Army, command of the Air Force through the Chief of Air Force, and command of any joint force through a joint force commander or through the Chief of Staff of any Service. In 2001 a permanent Joint Force Headquarters was established at Trentham as an operational headquarters.
The Commander Joint Forces New Zealand is under the direct command of the Chief of Defence Force and is responsible for the conduct of all joint force operations. Those functions relating to the raising, training and maintaining of the single Services remain with the Chiefs of Navy, Army and Air Force.
The Chief of Defence Force is appointed by the Governor-General. Under new arrangements applying to the appointment of the Chief of Defence Force and Service Chiefs announced in October 2001, the State Services Commissioner convenes an interview panel after seeking advice from the current Chief of Defence Force and Secretary of Defence. The Minister of Defence receives the panel's recommendations and Cabinet then decides on which candidate to recommend to the Governor-General for the appointment. The terms and conditions of that appointment are specified in written Terms of Reference from the Minister of Defence.
Other Duties and Functions of the Chief of Defence Force
The Chief of Defence Force also has the following responsibilities and powers:
- Chairing the Chiefs of Staff Committee;
- The power, in the name and on behalf of the Crown, to:
enter into any contract or arrangement with any other person; and
purchase/ lease/ dispose of/ trade in any goods, services, assets or land under control of the NZDF;
- Fixing the terms and conditions of members of the NZDF regarding:
Defence Force members' remuneration; and
civilian staff personnel policy, including an Equal Employment Opportunity programme and the negotiation of any collective employment contracts.
The Chief of Defence Force may make representations to the Minister of Defence, or, in exceptional circumstances, to the Prime Minister, in respect of the exercise of command by, or the exercise of any functions imposed upon, the Chief of Defence Force.
Unlike State Sector chief executives, the performance of the Chief of Defence Force is not subject to review by the State Services Commissioner because the NZDF is not bound by the provisions of the State Sector Act 1988, as the Chief of Defence Force receives Terms of Reference from the Minister.
The Chief of Defence Force - Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson OBE, AFC
Air Marshal Bruce Reid Ferguson was born in Napier on 14 July 1949 and was educated at Tauranga Boys' College. He joined the RNZAF in 1969 and commenced training on No 53 Pilots Course and then completed a Basic Sioux course, an Iroquois conversion course and commenced his first tour on No 3 Squadron.
Between 1971-73, Air Marshal Ferguson was posted to Singapore for a tour on No 41 Squadron - Iroquois Flight and he subsequently returned to Singapore in 1980 as the Operations Flight Commander, this time accompanied by wife Rosemary. In the intervening years he served as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor-General; completed the Flying Instructors Course at Wigram, instructing on both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft at the Central Flying School; attended the RNZAF Junior Command Staff Course, and was the Commander for 3 Squadron SAR Detachment during 1977.
In the early 1980s he was appointed Officer Commanding Central Flying School where he was also the leader of the RNZAF ‘Red Checkers' formation aerobatic team for two years. After completing a tour in Air Staff as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of Air Staff, he was appointed Director of Air Force Officer Postings and Appointments in 1986, underlying a strong emphasis and affinity on Personnel issues.
Air Marshal Ferguson attended the United States Air Force Air War College (1988-89) at Maxwell Air Force Base and the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London in 1995. He held senior Air Force operational appointments at RNZAF Base Auckland, namely Officer Commanding Operations Wing and, in the rank of Group Captain, Base Commander until 1994. After RCDS he returned to Wellington in 1996 as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Personnel) before being promoted to the rank of Air Commodore in November 1997 and appointed Assistant Chief of Defence Force (Personnel).
After a selection process chaired by the State Services Commissioner, Air Marshal Ferguson was appointed to the position of Chief of Defence Force in the rank of Air Marshal on 25 February 2002.
Air Marshal Ferguson was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in 1977, the Air Force Cross (AFC) in 1984; the New Zealand 1990 Medal; and made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1994.
Air Marshal Ferguson holds a current Black belt in the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. The Ferguson's' have three children; Brooke, Natalie, and Sarah.
Vice Chief of Defence Force - Air Vice-Marshal D.A. (David) Bamfield ONZM
Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was born in the United Kingdom in 1948. He enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Air Force in July 1966 as a Trainee Navigator.
He completed No.45 Navigators Course and No.3 Operational Orientation Course in December 1967 and graduated as a Pilot Officer. Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield's first posting was to Bristol Freighters. After a short tour with No.3 Squadron, in December 1968 he was posted to No.41 Squadron in Singapore, operating Bristol Freighters throughout Asia.
In March 1971, Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was posted to No. 42 Squadron, RNZAF Base Ohakea, and was a navigator on Dakotas. Nearly two years later, he was posted to No.40 Squadron, RNZAF Base Auckland, and completed No.10 C130 Hercules conversion course on 4 May 1973.
In January 1978 he was attached to Air Staff before attending No.26 Junior Staff Course at the RNZAF Command and Staff College. Following this, he returned to Air Staff in May 1978 as the Staff Officer – Navigation, and Project Officer for the Friendship Nav Trainer, and the Boeing 727 acquisitions.
Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was promoted to Squadron Leader on 22 September 1979, while at Air Staff. In 1982, he was posted to the United Kingdom to attend the RAF Staff College, Bracknell, and graduated in December 1983. On his return to New Zealand, he joined the Exercise TRIAD 84 planning team before joining the Directing Staff of the RNZAF Command and Staff College in January 1985.
In January 1986, Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was posted back to the Air Staff Operations Directorate. In July 1986, he was posted to the appointment of Director of Communications – Electronics and promoted to Wing Commander. In January 1988, Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was posted to Australia to attend the Joint Services Staff College (JSSC), at Canberra, which he graduated from in June 1988. On his return to New Zealand, he took up the position of Project Officer Air Staff.
Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was posted back to Canberra in December 1988, to take up the position as New Zealand Instructor JSSC. He was posted to Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) (ACASOPS) in Air Staff, Wellington, and promoted to the rank of Group Captain in December 1991. He remained in that post until January 1996, when he was appointed the Officer Commanding RNZAF Base Woodbourne.
In January 2000, he returned to Air Staff once more as ACASOPS, later ACAS PLANS. He was promoted to Air Commodore and appointed Deputy Chief of Air Staff in July 2000. As Air Commodore he assumed the position of Assistant Chief (Resources) in Defence Headquarters in December 2001.
Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield was included in the 2004 New Years Honours and became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM). On 2 February 2004 he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and took up his present position of Vice Chief of Defence Force from that date.
Air Vice-Marshal Bamfield is married to Sue and they have three children. Home is their vineyard in Marlborough.