Policy and Planning

We provide advice to the Government on Defence policy matters. Tony Lynch is Deputy Secretary of Defence (Policy and Planning Division). The Division has four branches:



The Policy Branch is headed by Dan Eaton.

We analyse the strategic environment and prepare advice on its implications for New Zealand’s Defence policy. This includes preparing Defence Assessments and White Papers, if required. We also contribute to the development of whole-of-government security and Defence policy in partnership with our security partners, and analyse and give advice on the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) initiatives, proposals and policies, which may impact the long-term delivery and affordability of NZDF outputs.

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The Development Branch is headed by Aaron Matthews.

We work on capability projects and programmes before the purchasing/procurement stage. This includes:

  • defining capability requirements (in conjunction with the NZDF)
  • supporting identification and assessment of on capability options
  • co-leadership of portfolio management for capability investments
  • supporting capability planning, including production of the Defence Capability Plan
  • preparing and analysing business cases for capability projects.


The Executive Branch is headed by Carol Douglass.

We work with the NZDF to support Defence leadership in governance roles relating to capability management and other areas of joint Defence business, and to facilitate the delivery of high quality advice to the Minister of Defence. This is done through our role as the Secretariat for the joint governance bodies, and by co-stewarding the Defence Capability Management Framework. We also provide policy support to wider Ministry objectives and liaise with a range of external stakeholders.

International Branch

The International Branch is headed by Charlotte Beaglehole.

The International Branch leads policy advice and analysis on New Zealand’s deployments, Defence relations, and offshore security issues to Ministers, Defence principals and partner agencies. The White Paper emphasises that New Zealand has an enduring interest in fostering strong international relationships characterised by mutual transparency and trust. Our Defence diplomacy, and support for deployments, enhances New Zealand’s security and broader interests. Team members conduct Defence diplomacy activities globally and support the Minister of Defence and Defence principals in their overseas engagements – this can include bilateral and multilateral meetings, participation in international security dialogues, and supporting visits to where the NZDF personnel are deployed. The Branch operates in close partnership with the NZDF, and collaborates with partner agencies at home and overseas.

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