History of the Ministry of Defence
New Zealand has had a Ministry of Defence since 1967. The 1967 Ministry of Defence included the functions that today make up the Ministry and the New Zealand Defence Force.
In 1989 Defence was separated into two bodies – the Ministry of Defence headed by the Secretary of Defence, the senior civilian advisor, and the New Zealand Defence Force (external link)(external link) headed by the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) (external link)(external link), the senior military officer. Each is also the chief executive of their organisation and they are answerable to the Minister of Defence.
This separation ensures that the Government can have strong advice from both a civilian and a military perspective about its armed forces.