The DPF identifies the goals and priorities for Defence. The DPF was substantially guided by, and builds on, the Defence Beyond 2000 Report, released in 1999 by Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. Two supporting official papers were issued alongside the DPF: Strategic Assessment 2000 (External Assessments Bureau) and New Zealand's Foreign and Security Policy Challenges (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade).
The key elements of the policy are:
- New Zealand's defence and security policies will be based on its own assessment of the security environment and the actions it considers to be in New Zealand's best interests.
- Defence is one aspect of New Zealand's foreign and security policy. A comprehensive approach to security is the best way to protect New Zealand's interests and to promote regional stability and global peace.
- The primary reason for maintaining a defence force is to secure New Zealand against external threats, to protect our sovereign interests, and to be able to take action to meet likely contingencies in our strategic area of interest.
- New Zealand will work collaboratively with like-minded partners. In this context, there is no strategic partnership closer than that with Australia. New Zealand will continue to meet its obligations as a member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).
- New Zealand has special obligations to Pacific neighbours to assist in maintaining peace, preserving the environment, promoting good governance and helping achieve economic well being.
- Peace support operations are important for maintaining security and stability. New Zealand will make as full a contribution to such actions as is reasonably possible. New Zealand's global engagement will be based on active support for, and participation in, United Nations (UN) and appropriate multinational peace support operations.
- The Government will continue to maintain a nuclear free New Zealand and protect the integrity of its nuclear free policy. It will also promote a nuclear free South Pacific.
- Except as part of peace support operations, New Zealand will not engage in military cooperation or exercises with the armed forces of states which sanction the use of their armed forces to suppress human rights.
- Effective contributions will be made by the NZDF through the three single services working together (jointness).
- Defence funding will be carefully targeted according to clear priorities.
The DPF sets out five key defence policy objectives in support of this overall approach. These are to:
- Defend New Zealand and to protect its people, land, territorial waters, EEZ, natural resources and critical infrastructure;
- Meet our alliance commitments to Australia by maintaining a close defence partnership in pursuit of common security interests;
- Assist in the maintenance of security in the South Pacific and to provide assistance to our Pacific neighbours;
- Play an appropriate role in the maintenance of security in the Asia-Pacific region, including meeting our obligations as a member of the FPDA; and
- Contribute to global security and peacekeeping through participation in the full range of United Nations (UN) and other appropriate multilateral peace support and humanitarian operations.
The first defence policy objective is a secure New Zealand, including its people, land, territorial waters, EEZ, natural resources and critical infrastructure. The NZDF is required to contribute to direct national tasks such as the protection of our territory and citizens, monitoring and protecting resources in areas that are under New Zealand jurisdiction, countering threats posed by terrorism or acts of sabotage and responding to civil defence emergencies and natural disasters.
The NZDF provides a deterrent effect by demonstrating its ability to operate and respond to threats to New Zealand's sovereignty throughout New Zealand, its offshore islands, its EEZ and the Southern Ocean and Ross Dependency. The NZDF monitors and provides warning of developments and maintains levels of preparedness to meet likely contingencies in this area. This includes the maintenance of capabilities sufficient to demonstrate to others a commitment to national defence and to secure the support of others. The need to conduct operations in New Zealand's immediate maritime environment and to support the efforts of government agencies such as the Ministry of Fisheries, Customs and Police were key determinants of the specifications for the Project Protector fleet and the upgrade of the Air Force P-3 Orions' mission, navigation and communication systems.
Defence has an important role to play in national security assessment, policy and planning. The Secretary of Defence and the Chief of Defence Force participate in the Officials' Domestic and External Security Committee, which is chaired by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and comprises the Chief Executives of security agencies. Defence also participates in a range of subsidiary groups, including interagency crisis watch groups.
A strong strategic relationship with Australia in support of common interests for a secure and peaceful region is the second defence policy objective. Australia is New Zealand's closest and most important defence partner. There is a commonality of interest between New Zealand and Australia and a serious threat to the security of one would be considered a threat to the other. Moreover, the two countries acting together are better able to influence events in areas of mutual strategic interest, particularly in the South Pacific.
The relationship is formalised through Closer Defence Relations (CDR). CDR is underpinned by contact at a number of levels. Defence Ministers meet annually. The Secretaries of Defence and the Chiefs of Defence Force meet at the Australia New Zealand Consultative Committee (ANZCC), held immediately prior to the annual Defence Ministers' meeting. There are six-monthly meetings of the Australia New Zealand Defence Coordination Group (ANZDCG), following which senior officials report to Defence Ministers on progress made against the five CDR outcomes. The day-to-day management of the relationship takes place through a broad range of Defence fora, including frequent working-level meetings, regular joint exercises and training, and personnel exchanges.
Although the relationship is very close, this does not mean that Australia and New Zealand do not, at times, differ in views and approaches to issues. Australia's defence policy is influenced by its size, geography, and alliance with the United States. It places a high priority on protection of Australia from direct maritime approaches by hostile forces and on interoperability with United States' armed forces.
New Zealand shares a common commitment with Australia to regional security and the territorial integrity of the Southeast Asia-South Pacific region. This is reflected in our combined efforts in Timor Leste, Bougainville and Solomon Islands. The Timor Leste mission, in particular, underlined our ability to work together effectively in an operational environment and demonstrated that we have a reasonable degree of interoperability. There have also been efforts in recent years to better harmonise New Zealand and Australia's respective defence assistance programmes in the South Pacific.
The future direction of CDR was addressed in some detail at the June 2003 Defence Ministers' Meeting. Ministers agreed to a joint statement on CDR which provides a contemporary focus for the alliance and security partnership, and states clearly where our shared strategic interests lie.
At their May 2005 meeting, Ministers agreed that considerable progress had been made over the previous twelve months to help achieve CDR outcomes and tasked officials to continue to build on this progress. Ministers also discussed other key CDR issues including capability development; command, control and communications for combined operations; training; exercising; personnel development; and logistics cooperation.
The achievement of the highest possible levels of interoperability between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the NZDF remains a fundamental objective of CDR. The CDR organisational structure is designed to coordinate projects that help to achieve interoperability and working groups ensure that opportunities for collaboration are exploited to offer maximum benefit for both nations.
Levels of interoperability are satisfactory and are being improved. The establishment of HQ JFNZ has greatly enhanced ADF-NZDF interaction at the operational level. Some of the capability-based interoperability gaps that currently exist between Australia and New Zealand are being addressed under the LTDP.
Joint exercises are important for bridging any interoperability gaps. In addition to several regular bilateral exercises that are undertaken on an annual basis, two new exercises have been developed. A bilateral Army field training exercise, Predators Gallop, was held for the first time in Australia in August 2004. This involved the deployment of a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) Company Group to Darwin to participate in an ADF exercise. A major exercise in 2008, Joint Kiwi, will involve a significant number of NZDF and ADF personnel and equipment.
A major impediment to interoperability lies in United States-imposed restrictions on access to Defence and intelligence information. This has led to the exclusion of NZDF personnel from certain exchange appointments in the ADF and hampered operational planning in some instances.
The South Pacific region is New Zealand's third defence policy objective and its second international defence relations priority after Australia. New Zealand has special obligations to its Pacific neighbours. These include assisting in maintaining peace, preserving the environment, promoting good governance and helping achieve economic well-being. Events in Solomon Islands and Bougainville have demonstrated that New Zealand has a role to play in helping keep the peace in our region. This role extends beyond the provision of military support and includes assisting peace processes through diplomacy and mediation. There is an international expectation that New Zealand will play a constructive role in the security of the South Pacific region.
New Zealand's responsibilities to the region reflect the depth of New Zealand's historical, constitutional, political, cultural and family links with the South Pacific. Constitutional obligations for the defence of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau entail an obligation to cooperate with, and assist, these countries with their national defence and security. New Zealand's Treaty of Friendship with Samoa, for instance, brings with it an obligation to consider sympathetically requests for defence assistance. The NZDF provides assistance to regional police and defence forces through the Mutual Assistance Programme. New Zealand has additional international obligations including coordination of search and rescue and undertaking hydrography tasks when requested.
New Zealand's membership of the Pacific Islands Forum also brings with it regional responsibilities for security and defence, including support for relevant Forum declarations. Defence participates in the annual Forum Regional Security Committee meeting. As a member of the Forum Fisheries Agency, New Zealand has a responsibility to provide maritime surveillance and assistance with fisheries protection of South Pacific states' EEZs. New Zealand is also a member of the Convention on Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Central and Western Pacific (2000), which entails a responsibility to provide additional fisheries protection capability when appropriate. New Zealand has assumed responsibility for providing support for emergency and disaster relief. This is reflected in the disaster relief/search and rescue agreement involving Australia, France and New Zealand (FRANZ).
Since the release of the DPF in 2000, there has been an appreciable increase in non-traditional security challenges in the South Pacific. These pose potential risks to New Zealand interests. Civil instability creates risks to the safety of the large number of New Zealand citizens traveling or residing in the region. The rise in international criminal activity, including illegal fishing, illegal migration, drug smuggling and financial crime, threatens to undermine New Zealand's security. While these challenges are not the primary preserve of Defence, there is an increasing requirement to provide military capabilities in the region for maritime patrol, disaster relief, peace support and reconstruction. There is a clear need to work with other New Zealand agencies, including MFAT, Police, border agencies, and the intelligence community.
The NZDF regularly conducts exercises in the South Pacific. Most recently, these have included: the deployment of Army engineers to Niue in May 2005 to conduct humanitarian assistance tasks (Tropic Twilight); two Air Force exercises held concurrently in Fiji in July and August 2005; a helicopter exercise (Tropic Astra); and a communications exercise (Tunex Astra).
The NZDF gains professional benefit from its close relationship with French forces in New Caledonia. This in turn has resulted in increasingly close co-ordination on responses to natural disasters, maritime surveillance and other emergencies in the region.
The fourth defence policy objective is to play an appropriate role in the maintenance of security in Southeast and North Asia consistent with New Zealand's interests and capabilities. New Zealand's economic well-being is tied to the stability of Asia. Inter-state conflict in the region, or intra-state political and economic instability, can affect important New Zealand interests. Bilateral and multilateral defence relations underpin political and economic ties and the security of the region as a whole. New Zealand has a part to play in regional confidence building through maintaining a network of military links, crisis management, and active participation in regional security fora.
New Zealand's two major bilateral security relationships in the region are with Singapore and Malaysia. These relationships are enhanced by the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), a consultative arrangement which provides the basis for continuing defence cooperation among Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Our defence relationship with Singapore - the second most active after Australia - is increasingly strong and balanced. A significant development was Singapore's decision to send combat troops overseas for the first time as part of the New Zealand battalion-group in Timor Leste. The NZDF also assisted with the deployment of Singaporean Armed Forces' helicopters to Timor Leste.
There has also been renewed engagement in the defence relationship with Malaysia. With Singapore and Malaysia, New Zealand conducts annual policy and operational meetings; there are well-developed Mutual Assistance Programmes; and we conduct a range of naval, army, and air force training, exercises and exchanges.
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was set up to provide a forum for working on problems that could threaten regional stability. New Zealand is an active member and is represented by Foreign Affairs and Defence officials at regular meetings. We support greater ARF involvement in the management of regional conflict, but acknowledge that this must proceed at a pace with which other ARF members are comfortable. There is now a welcome understanding of the concepts and principles of preventive diplomacy, and a growing programme of practical confidence building measures. Dialogue amongst defence officials has now been formalised as part of the ARF process.
Since the release of the DPF, an important focus has been on the consequences of international terrorism for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The discovery of terrorist cells with regional links and a purported connection to al Qaeda in Singapore was significant, as was the 2002 Bali bombing. Southeast Asian countries condemned the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and have participated actively in various international responses. But there remain differences of emphasis in their responses.
New Zealand's defence engagement with North Asia has grown considerably in line with the expansion of other areas of our relationships with the region. Defence contacts with China constitute one element of a wide-ranging and increasingly important relationship (China is now our fourth largest trading partner). Modest bilateral defence links have developed quickly over the last few years. This is reflected in the exchange of visits by respective Defence Ministers, high-level officials and senior military officers, the reciprocal hosting of bilateral security discussions, visits by, and attendance at, military educational institutions, and through naval ship visits (for example during 2005 to Russia, China and Japan).
New Zealand's long-standing defence relationship with the Republic of Korea is continuing to develop, with several ministerial and senior officials' visits, political-military talks, on going Korea War veterans' commemorative visits, staff college/Defence University visits, ship visits, and a maritime surveillance exercise occurring in the recent past. The UN Command Honour Guard in Seoul has included NZDF contingents in 2001 and 2003. NZDF officers have also been deployed to the Demilitarised Zone on six-month operational rotations with the UN Command Military Armistice Commission since 2004. These contributions have underscored New Zealand's commitment to a UN mandated multilateral security mechanism to assist address the security problem on the Korean Peninsula, as well as establishing New Zealand as a committed supporter of the Armistice Agreement.
Defence links with Japan are expanding through ministerial and senior officials' visits, the attendance of NZDF personnel at a number of regional conferences hosted by Japan, and the establishment of a resident Defence Attaché in Tokyo.
The ARF process provides an additional forum for a growing defence association with all three countries.
The fifth defence policy objective is to contribute to global security and support New Zealand's place in an international community committed to the maintenance of human rights, and the collective security responsibilities enshrined in the UN Charter. New Zealand's interests can be best secured through an environment of international peace, stability, and shared prosperity. Constructive involvement in global security also contributes to New Zealand's international image and standing in the world. This allows New Zealand a voice in the processes that shape international security developments.
Global engagement is based on active participation in UN and other appropriate multi-national peace support operations. New Zealand has participated in over sixty missions in the last fifty years. It has consistently demonstrated that we are prepared to use our capabilities to defend democratic values, human rights and the principles and obligations enshrined in the UN Charter. NZDF personnel are currently employed in missions in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, as well as North Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.
The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States highlighted the increasing significance of non-traditional security challenges, especially international terrorism. The effects of these challenges are being felt both globally and locally. There has been recognition that the international community must devote increased effort to bring peace and stability to regions of the world where political, economic, social, religious and ethnic issues provide a fertile ground for terrorism to develop. The Balkans and the Middle East are two such regions where the NZDF has made meaningful and longstanding contributions.
In Afghanistan, New Zealand is committed (through, for example, the significant New Zealand commitment to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan) to help ensure that the country does not again become a haven for terrorists by contributing to a broader military effort to bring peace and security to the Afghan people.
Following the passing of UN Resolution 1483 in May 2003, two six-month rotations of NZDF engineers undertook reconstruction tasks in Iraq.
Our involvement in the Middle East has reached the point at which we are considering placing a Defence Attaché in the region. Having a permanent representative in the region would strengthen our relationships, and ensure better coordination and access to senior officials in a region where face-to-face contact is considered essential.
In June 2004 New Zealand endorsed the principles of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). This is an international effort aimed at responding to the growing challenge posed by the global proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related materials. The PSI aims to counter the trafficking of WMD by non-state actors (such as terrorists) and states of 'proliferation concern'. Defence officials have played an active role in supporting New Zealand's participation in the initiative.
The United States remains unrivalled in its global reach and the extent and range of its military capabilities. New Zealand's interests are best pursued through an open, forward-looking and positive relationship with the United States, and wide-ranging contributions to international peace support operations including support for the campaign against terrorism. Working with the United States on terrorism, and on other multilateral issues where we have common interests, is possible notwithstanding bilateral differences about nuclear policy. These differences mean there will continue to be only limited scope for defence cooperation with the United States, particularly in bilateral or multilateral exercises. The exceptions will be when such activities contribute to our participation in an operation in which the United States is either a participant (Afghanistan) or a supporter (Timor Leste).
The long-standing defence relationship with the United Kingdom continues to provide significant political and professional benefits. This is manifested through a wide range of exchange and training programmes, through our mutual participation in the FPDA, and our involvement alongside British forces in the Stabilisation Force, and now the European Union Force (EUFOR), in Bosnia.
The scope and variety of current tasks is likely to persist and reinforces the need for NZDF to be capable of responding to a broad spectrum of operations - from combat through to peacekeeping, maritime surveillance and border protection. Demands on defence resources are likely to intensify