Assessing our future strategic environment

For New Zealand to have a Defence Force that meets the challenges of an uncertain future security environment, Defence decision-makers need reliable and thorough advice that enables them to plan well in advance. They need a clear picture of the international strategic environment, an understanding of how this environment will change in the future, and the implications for Defence. Our Policy Branch leads the provision of this advice.

We work closely with the New Zealand Defence Force to develop advice on Defence Force proposals and policies that support long-term delivery and affordability of, for example, Defence estate and workforce issues.

Our leadership role in Defence Assessments and in supporting Government to develop its Defence policy settings mean we are well placed to contribute to a range of policy initiatives led by agencies across the wider national security sector, from maritime security to space policy.

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Defence Assessments

In close consultation with the New Zealand Defence Force and other government agencies, the Ministry develops and produces regular assessments on issues of importance for New Zealand's Defence policy settings. These Defence Assessments consider major strategic trends as well as more in-depth, emerging and evolving issues that could affect New Zealand's national security interests. In addition to providing assessments of future developments, Defence Assessments provide Government with advice on options to achieve Government's Defence policy goals.

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Strategic Defence Policy

New Zealand's formal Defence policy settings are reviewed periodically. The results of these reviews, including Defence White Papers and Strategic Defence Policy Statements, are the highest-level expression of Government's Defence policy settings. The Ministry supports Government to develop and publish these policy documents.

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