What is the Defence Policy Review?

A Defence Policy Review is being undertaken to ensure that New Zealand’s defence policy, strategy, and planned capability investments remain fit for purpose. It will provide a road map for the future.

Image of NZ Army personnel.

The review is important to make sure future investments are fit-for-purpose in a dynamic security environment, with a Pacific region grappling with climate change and the intensification of strategic competition.

A comprehensive strategy will inform advice and decisions, enabling Ministers to make investment decisions within the context of a whole-of-force approach.

Defence is currently preparing two documents for Cabinet:

  1. Defence Policy and Strategy Statement

This will express defence policy interests, objectives, priorities and high level strategy. It will outline desired policy outcomes, including elements of strategic planning for the employment of the current and future force.

  1. Future Force Design Principles

These principles will help shape the future New Zealand Defence Force so that it is enabled to undertake activities that may be required of it. It will build on the long term trends and issues identified in the Defence Policy and Strategy Statement by identifying the future broad capability choices in order to achieve the strategy and prioritise identified.

Ministerial Advisory Panel

In October, Minister of Defence Peeni Henare announced the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Panel to provide independent advice throughout the Defence Policy Review. Read about the Panel membership here

Next steps

Defence has commissioned Kantar Public to develop an online survey (now closed). A summary of all feedback will published on this website later this year.

If you have completed the survey, and have more to say, please email us at engage@defence.govt.nz. Detailed submissions will be accepted until 5pm 30 April. Note that all feedback is subject to Official Information Act. 


Why review defence policy?

Defence policy is one aspect of national security policy, alongside foreign policy and other overlapping and mutually supporting policy areas.

Learn more