Defence Policy and Strategy Statement

The Defence Policy and Strategy Statement 2023 [PDF 7.4MB] will guide Defence’s planning, operations, engagements and investment to ensure that Defence is fit-for-purpose in an increasingly challenging and complex world.

Our environment

New Zealand is facing a more challenging strategic environment than for decades, with increasing threats to our security.

New Zealand’s updated approach to defence emphasises a deliberate, proactive and strategy-led approach to the promotion and protection of New Zealand’s defence and wider security interests.

Defence will act early and deliberately to shape our security environment, focusing in particular on supporting security in and for the Pacific.

Our strategy

New Zealand’s new defence strategy emphasises three mutually reinforcing themes:

  • Understand – Defence has increased awareness of our strategic and operating environments by maximising the use of defence capabilities and technologies;

  • Partner – Defence improves and enhances partnerships within and beyond New Zealand to support collective security approaches to shared challenges, and maximise interoperability with security partners; and,

  • Act – Defence is more ready and able to promote and protect New Zealand’s interests by shaping our security environment and maintaining a credible, combat-capable, deployable force able to operate across the spectrum of operations (from humanitarian assistance through to combat).

What next?

The Defence Policy and Strategy Statement will be used alongside the Future Force Design Principles to inform future decisions, including the development of options for a new Defence Capability Plan. Work on this is already underway.