Defence Capability Plan overview

Work is underway on options for a new Defence Capability Plan (DCP). This will provide investment options to Government, including indicative timing and cost, based on the policy set out in the Defence Policy and Strategy Statement and Future Force Design Principles.

The threats that New Zealand faces are becoming more complex and challenging. Concurrently, the Defence Force is facing high levels of attrition, lower retention, and aging equipment and infrastructure.

It is expected over the next 15 years NZDF will need to deploy more often and in a greater variety of situations. To do so it will need to have the combat capability and resilience to act in many situations and environments, including doing this concurrently. It is also expected Defence will need greater flexibility to both protect against and utilise new technologies.

Work is underway on an integrated plan which will outline what capabilities are required to meet those challenges. It will include consideration of supporting functions and their costs, as well as people and assets required.

Once approved, a new Defence Capability Plan will signal the Government’s capability intentions for Defence from time of publication until 2040.

An updated DCP will be indicative, and for major projects business cases will be developed for consideration before any funding is committed.

The Defence Capability Plan process

The process for developing a Defence Capability Plan will include:

  • Information gathering via processes such as the maritime domain market research. This is to ensure Defence has a good understanding of what capabilities and options are available in the market.

  • Developing option sets for decision making. This will refine the information gathered in the first phase and develop options for the ways Defence can deliver on Government expectations over the next 15 years – this will include people, asset and through life support. Defence may require more detailed information from the material gathered in first phase.

  • Development of a detailed and integrated Defence Capability Plan which, once approved, will signal the Government’s future investment intentions for Defence until 2040.

  • Once approved, planned investment will be staged and individual business cases will need to be developed as usual for major capability procurement.

For more information, email