Assessing our future strategic environment

For New Zealand to have a Defence Force that meets the challenges of an unstable and uncertain security environment, Defence decision-makers need reliable and thorough advice that enables them to plan well in advance. They need a clear picture of the international strategic environment, what this will look like in the future, and its implications for Defence. Our Policy Branch leads the provision of this advice.

We work closely with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to analyse and provide advice on Defence Force proposals and policies that support long-term delivery and affordability of, for example, Defence estate and personnel issues.

Our leadership role in Defence Assessments and Defence White Papers means we are well placed to contribute to a range of policy initiatives led by agencies across the wider intelligence and security sector, from space policy to maritime and cyber security.

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Defence Assessments

We collaborate with the NZDF, other agencies in the national security community, and New Zealand’s international partners to undertake regular assessments of the international strategic environment (called Defence Assessments). Supported by in-depth research, our Defence Assessments consider major strategic trends, and identify emerging and evolving issues that could affect New Zealand’s national security interests.

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Defence White Papers

Defence Assessments form the basis of Defence's advice to the Government on whether or not a new White Paper is needed. Defence White Papers are a government's highest-level statement of Defence policy. They are a public expression of New Zealand's view of the international strategic environment.

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