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Pacific priority: New Zealand outlines future defence posture

At Exercise ‘Talisman Sabre', which took place in Queensland, Australia, in July and August 2023, the NZDF participated in joint drills incorporating activities including air combat and maritime operations, amphibious landings, and ground force manoeuvres. (Tim Fish)

New Zealand's first National Security Strategy (NSS) was released on 4 August alongside the first two parts of a new defence review that highlight the threats the country faces and how it plans to respond.

The NSS is a cross-governmental analysis of the challenges that face New Zealand. These encompass internal security concerns as well as external sources of danger and instability.

The NSS is supported by the Defence Policy and Strategy Statement (DPSS) and Future Force Design Principles (FFDP). These documents, released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), are focused on the implications of the challenges identified by the NSS and provide a framework for the development of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), respectively.

At the launch of the documents, New Zealand Defence Minister Andrew Little said, “The domestic and international security environment has changed, and our preparedness needs to change too – to be clear-eyed on risks and to put in place the right capabilities to be effective.”

Andrew Bridgman, secretary of defence and chief executive of the MoD, added, “For decades, our policy has largely been framed around being ready to respond to events as they arise and contributing to collective security where we can. That approach was appropriate for the benign world we enjoyed over the previous decades but will not best serve New Zealand's interests today and into the future.“

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