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New Zealand decreases defence budget by 20%

The cut in New Zealand's 2024–25 military expenditure is one of the deepest in the country's annual defence spending since the start of Janes Defence Budgets records in 2005. (Janes Defence Budgets)

New Zealand has announced a 2024–25 defence budget of NZD5.88 billion (USD3.60 billion), a decline of about 20% against the final budgeted expenditure of NZD7.37 billion in 2023–24.

The total budget consists of a β€˜Vote Defence Force' allocation of NZD5.04 billion and a β€˜Vote Defence' appropriation of NZD839.8 million. The former declines by 16% in the new budget and the latter by more than 36%.

Vote Defence Force covers salaries, training costs, capital expenditure, and military preparedness. Vote Defence is allocated for managing procurement and sustainment activity and policy advice.

The budget for New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) capital expenditure in 2024–25 is NZD1.09 billion, a decrease of about NZD425.5 million or 28%, while its capital injection allocation falls by almost 90% to just NZD85.9 million.

The Vote Defence Force budget document attributed the reduction to declined spending on major capital projects including the Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF's) acquisition of five Lockheed Martin C‐130J‐30 Super Hercules transport aircraft, which was announced in 2019, and four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), announced in 2018.

In 2024–25 the C‐130J‐30 programme is allocated NZD70.3 million. Deliveries of the C‐130J‐30s to replace the RNZAF's C-130H aircraft are scheduled to start later in 2024, with all aircraft expected to be in country by the end of the year.

The RNZAF received its fourth and final P-8A in July 2023. The fleet replaces the P-3K2 Orion fleet that retired from service in January 2023.

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