Our story

We are the Government’s lead civilian advisor on defence. Our purpose is to give civilian advice on defence matters to enhance the security and interests of New Zealand and its people.

We also purchase major equipment which becomes a capability when it is used by service men and women of the New Zealand Defence Force.

To carry out our role, we:

  • provide long-range advice (20-30 years) on New Zealand’s defence interests and challenges

  • advise the Government on how our Defence Force can meet current challenges (such as potential deployments) and possible future challenges

  • purchase major defence equipment for use by the New Zealand Defence Force as a defence capability

  • build and maintain strong Defence relationships internationally

  • advise on Defence’s performance and effectiveness as a system.

We work closely with the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and other agencies to carry out these activities. We also build and maintain strong defence connections with other governments, including our ally Australia, so New Zealand can contribute to the security of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as understand and respond to defence and security challenges internationally.