Prime Ministerial Foreword

I am pleased to introduce the Defence White Paper 2016, which sets out the Government’s expectations for Defence over the coming decades.

The 2016 White Paper reflects the Government’s commitment to a more regular cycle of defence policy updates.

This is important for the security of New Zealand, its citizens and wider national interests. New Zealand’s strategic environment continues to evolve, sometimes rapidly, and our defence policy needs to adapt to these changes.

This White Paper therefore builds on and, where necessary, adjusts the Government’s defence policy priorities. Underlying these adjustments is a steadfast commitment to making independent policy decisions consistent with New Zealand’s values and interests.

The earthquakes that devastated Christchurch and its surrounding areas underline the importance of national resilience, and the critical role the Defence Force plays alongside other government agencies in responding to national disasters.

The Defence Force will continue to work with other government agencies to protect and advance our national security interests in New Zealand, the South Pacific and around the world. The protection of Southern Ocean resources and supporting our civilian presence in Antarctica also feature more prominently in this White Paper than in the past.

Recent terror attacks are a tragic testament to the fact that terrorism remains an enduring global problem.

The deployment of a military training team to build the capacity of the Iraqi Army in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reflects our determination to protect New Zealand and to contribute to international peace and security.

The Government has provided the Defence Force with a degree of funding certainty that enables it to plan with confidence out to 2030 and beyond. The Defence Force is well placed to continue contributing to New Zealand’s national security now and into the future.

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

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