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New Zealand increases defence budget by 6%

New Zealand's total military expenditure is forecast by Janes Defence Budgets to reach the equivalent of about USD5 billion by the end of the decade. The spike in 2019 was caused by a one-off recognition of veterans' entitlements. (Janes Defence Budgets)

New Zealand announced on 18 May a 2023–24 defence budget of NZD6.52 billion (USD4.07 billion), a nominal 6% increase over the allocation of NZD6.15 billion in 2022–23.

In the new budget, the ‘Vote Defence Force' allocation receives NZD5.15 billion, while the Vote Defence appropriation receives NZD1.36 billion. Both represent year-on-year increases of about 6%.

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

The capital expenditure for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), which is sourced from Vote Defence Force, is NZD1.61 billion in 2023–24, an increase of 11% over the allocated NZD1.45 billion in 2022–23.

Vote Defence Force also outlines total funding of NZD2.89 billion for NZDF operations, an increase of 8%. The New Zealand Army receives the biggest share, NZD1.13 billion, a rise of nearly 9%. The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) will receive NZD1.04 billion while the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has been allocated NZD713.9 million, increases of 9% and 6%, respectively.

Vote Defence Force also outlines funding for important NZDF procurement programmes.

The biggest of these include NZD30.4 million for New Zealand's acquisition of five Lockheed Martin C‐130J‐30 Super Hercules transport aircraft, which was announced in 2019, and NZD30.1 million towards the procurement of four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), announced in 2018.

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