The Defence Act
The overall purpose of the Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence is set out in the Defence Act 1990 (the Act)(external link), which provides for armed forces to be raised and maintained for:
The defence of New Zealand and the protection of its interests, whether in New Zealand or elsewhere;
The contribution of forces under collective agreement; and
The contribution of forces to United Nations or other organisations or states for operations in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
The Act also makes provision for the Defence Force to perform any public service or to assist the civil power in a time of emergency – both within New Zealand and elsewhere.
Defence policy is the combination of strategic objectives for national security, the military capabilities required to achieve those objectives, and the funding required.