Future Force Design Principles

The Future Force Design Principles [PDF 2.2MB] (FFDP) identify the requirements of the future Defence Force to respond to the strategic environment and approach set out in the Defence Policy and Strategy Statement 2023.

It is expected that over the next 15 years New Zealand Defence Force 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.

To achieve this, stabilisation of the forces is the immediate focus, followed by growth in personnel and the capabilities to support them.

Eleven principles and four assumptions have been identified to guide future force design and capability requirements that will help Defence to address future challenges.

What this means

Defence needs to increase its capacity to act concurrently and with a greater level of resilience. This will allow the Defence Force to respond to the increasingly challenging strategic environment, and will offer Government more options to act effectively, both alongside partners and independently, when required.

In the short-term, investment is needed to stabilise the Defence Force to ensure it can continue to meet current demands.

In the medium to long-term, Government will need to invest in the Defence Force so that it can continue to protect and promote New Zealand’s interests. Personnel must be equipped and trained for a range of operations from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to armed conflict.

Further analysis is needed to determine the specific capabilities required for the evolving environment. That is why work is now underway on options for a new Defence Capability Plan, covering both equipment and workforce.

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 that is already underway.