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New Zealand faces procurement challenges, report finds

The Royal New Zealand Navy's tanker, HMNZS Aotearoa , was commissioned into service in July 2020. (RNZN)

The New Zealand Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) annual Major Projects Report (MPR) has identified problems with completing some procurement programmes.

The MPR highlighted the progress of 12 procurement programmes under way during 2021–22. It found that the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on supply chains and ongoing staffing issues meant the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the MoD experienced delays in securing ‘Operational Release' for military equipment. Just three of the 12 projects in the MPR were reported as fully on schedule.

Sarah Minson, deputy secretary for capability delivery at the MoD, told Janes, “We need experienced NZDF personnel to help us introduce these capabilities into service and there are less of those people available than there have been in the past and that has an impact.”

Huntley Wright, assistant secretary for capability delivery, told Janes there is additional pressure because “demand spikes” for staff have increased because of the need to manage the Covid-19 response and support New Zealand's contribution to supporting Ukraine.

The MPR measures projects on budget, benefit, and schedule. Minson said two of the three indicators are usually held steady but this affects the third. “Where possible our preference is to hold steady on budget with fixed-price contracts and benefits, which is a measure of quality and scope. That often means the schedule is under pressure, which leads to delay sometimes.”

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