Defence Capability Plan

The Defence Capability Plan describes the Government's investment in Defence capability to industry, international partners and the New Zealand public.

Work is underway on options to inform a new Defence Capability Plan as the next phase of the Defence Policy Review.

Current plan

The Defence Capability Plan 2019 sets out the indicative planned investments in the New Zealand Defence Force out to 2030, while further identifying potential investments to be made after 2030. Delivering on these investments will provide the Defence Force with the capabilities required to give effect to the Government’s policy intentions, outlined in the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018.

The Plan describes specific investments planned for major capabilities, within the air, maritime, land and information domains. Providing the purpose, timing and estimated cost range of each investment, the Defence Capability Plan 2019 offers a transparent, informative indication of Defence priorities to the New Zealand public, and to our Defence partners overseas. Providing an outline of planned investments also ensures that Defence is well situated to work with industry to deliver on this Plan.

This Capability Plan builds on earlier versions, including the Defence Capability Plan 2016, incorporating changes necessary to deliver the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018. Significant changes include:

  • the inclusion of enhanced sealift capabilities, to provide improved support to the Pacific Reset
  • additional maritime surveillance capabilities, to improve New Zealand’s maritime domain awareness
  • increasing the size of the New Zealand Army to 6000 personnel by 2035, to provide greater sustainment for operations.

The timing, description, and cost of capability investments provided in this plan are indicative, and subject to approval by Cabinet. Investment intentions out to 2030 are subject to individual business cases justifying the investment, and funding being available through the budget process, taking into account other Government priorities. Indicative investments planned for commitment between 2030 and 2035 have been included to allow for considered, long-term planning for the Defence Force’s future needs.

The Defence Capability Plan 2019 has been jointly prepared by the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force. A broad range of other Government agencies have provided input and assurance.