Defence diplomacy

The Ministry of Defence works with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to shape New Zealand’s relationships with foreign militaries and security organisations. We provide advice to Government and direction on defence relationships to maximise New Zealand’s security and broader interests. Having a network of strong international relationships serves to protect and advance our interests.


We support Ministers and defence principals in their overseas engagements – we ensure that decision-makers are well briefed, up-to-date and understand the key issues. We also host and support visits to New Zealand by international defence leaders. The Ministry provides briefing, advice and analysis to support these activities.

Our schedule of defence diplomacy activities includes bilateral talks with a diverse range of partners, strategic dialogues such as the Shangri-La Dialogue, and participation in multinational exercises. These activities provide the opportunity to advocate New Zealand’s position on security matters and establish priorities for future defence engagement.  

We use the overseas network of New Zealand representatives at Embassies and High Commissions, including NZDF’s defence attachés, to support this programme of work and maintain interoperability with close partners.