New Zealand Defence Force
The New Zealand Defence Force (Maori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

: Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa, "Line of Defence of New Zealand") consists of three services: the Royal New Zealand Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

; the New Zealand Army
New Zealand Army
The New Zealand Army , is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946...

; and the Royal New Zealand Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force
The Royal New Zealand Air Force is the air arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

. The Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the NZDF is His Excellency
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain members of an organization or state.Usually, people styled "Excellency" are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, aristocracy, and military, and others holding equivalent rank .It is...

 Rt. Hon. Sir Jerry Mateparae
Jerry Mateparae
Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah "Jerry" Mateparae, GNZM, QSO is New Zealand's 20th Governor-General. He was Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force between 2006 and 2011, the first Māori person to hold the office, and the Director of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau from 7...

, Governor-General of New Zealand
Governor-General of New Zealand
The Governor-General of New Zealand is the representative of the monarch of New Zealand . The Governor-General acts as the Queen's vice-regal representative in New Zealand and is often viewed as the de facto head of state....

 who exercises his power on the advice of the Minister of Defence
Minister of Defence (New Zealand)
The Minister of Defence is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility for the New Zealand armed forces and the Ministry of Defence.The present Minister is Dr...

, Hon. Dr Wayne Mapp
Wayne Mapp
Wayne Daniel Mapp is a New Zealand politician, representing the National Party in the New Zealand Parliament. He has served as the MP for the North Shore electorate since the 1996 elections. Before entering politics, he lectured in commercial law at University of Auckland.-Early years:He gained...

, under the Defence Act 1990. The commander and head of the NZDF is the Chief of Defence Force (CDF), Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones
Rhys Jones (soldier)
Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones is the current Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force.-Early life:Jones was born in in Timaru, the son of Methodist minister Alan Jones and the youngest in a family of nine, six in his immediate family plus three half-brothers including writer Owen Marshall...

, who also acts as the primary military adviser to the Minister of Defence.

New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

's armed forces have three defence policy objectives; to defend New Zealand against low-level threats, to contribute to regional security; and to play a part in global security efforts. New Zealand considers its own national defence needs to be modest, due to its geographical isolation and benign relationships with neighbours. As of September 2008, approximately 600 NZDF personnel served overseas in the South Pacific, Asia and Middle East areas.

Militia (1845–1886)

After the Treaty of Waitangi
Treaty of Waitangi
The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand....

 in 1840 New Zealand's security was dependant on British Imperial Troops
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 deployed from Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and other parts of the empire. By 1841 the settlers, particularly those in the New Zealand Company
New Zealand Company
The New Zealand Company originated in London in 1837 as the New Zealand Association with the aim of promoting the "systematic" colonisation of New Zealand. The association, and later the company, intended to follow the colonising principles of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of...

 settlement of Wellington, were calling for local militia to be formed. In 1843 a local militia had been formed in Wellington without official sanction. This prompted the Chief Police Magistrate Major Matthew Richmond to order its immediate disbandment. Richmond's also dispatched 53 soldiers from the 96th Regiment
96th Regiment of Foot
The 96th Regiment of Foot was a regiment of the British Army from 1798 to 1881, when it became the 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Its lineage is perpetuated by the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, previously the King's Regiment....

 from Auckland to Wellington.

These calls for a militia continued to grow with the Wairau Affray
Wairau Affray
In New Zealand history, the Wairau Affray on 17 June 1843 was the first serious clash of arms between Māori and the British settlers after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the only one to take place in the South Island...

. The calls eventually lead to a Bill being introduced to the Legislative Assembly in 1844. Those present noted their disapproval of the Bill, unanimously deferring it for six months. On 22 March 1845 the Flagstaff War
Flagstaff War
The Flagstaff War – also known as Hone Heke's Rebellion, the Northern War and erroneously as the First Māori War – was fought between 11 March 1845 and 11 January 1846 in and around the Bay of Islands, New Zealand...

 broke out, which proved to be the catalyst for passing the Bill.

In 1844 a Select Committee
Select Committee
A select committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 of the House of Commons had recommended that a Militia, composed of both settlers and native Maori, and a permanent native force be set up.

On 25 March 1845 the Militia Ordinance was passed into law. 26 officers were appointed in Auckland, thereby forming the start of New Zealand's own defence force. Major Richmond was appointed commander of the Wellington Battalion of the Militia. Curiously, the newspaper article of the time notes that Wellington had a mounted Volunteer Corp. The Nelson Militia were formed about the end of May.

In June 1845 75 members of the Auckland Militia under Lieutenant Figg became the first unit to support British Imperial troops in the Flagstaff War, serving as pioneers. Seven militia were wounded in action between 30 June and 1 July 1845. One, a man named Rily later died of his wounds. The Auckland Militia was disbanded in August or early September 1845 because of budgetary constraints. Disbandment of the Nelson and Wellington Militia's followed much to the dismay of their supporters. Those at Nelson under Captain Greenwood decided, regardless of pay or not, to continue training.

Trouble in the Hutt Valley, near Wellington, early March 1846 prompted the new Lieutenant Governor George Grey
George Grey
George Grey may refer to:*Sir George Grey, 2nd Baronet , British politician*George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent *Sir George Grey , Governor of Cape Colony, South Australia and New Zealand...

 to proclaim Martial Law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 and call out the Hutt Militia. Following on from this the local paper noted that the No 1 Company of the Wellington Militia had been called out, while the troops stationed in the town had been in the Hutt. The paper further noted that Grey intended to maintain two companies of Militia in Wellington. As problems continued in the area at least 160 Militia remained. These were supplemented by volunteers, and Maori warriors from the Te Aro pah.

On 28 October 1846, with the passing of the Armed Constabulary Ordinance in 1846, a fresh call was made by Mr Donnelly of the Legislature to do away with the Militia because of its expense. However the cost to Britain of maintaining a military force in New Zealand was considerable prompting a dispatch on 24 November 1846 from Right Hon Earl Grey
Earl Grey
Earl Grey is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1806 for General Charles Grey, 1st Baron Grey. He had already been created Baron Grey, of Howick in the County of Northumberland, in 1801, and was made Viscount Howick, in the County of Northumberland, at the same time as...

 to advise Lieutenant Governor George Grey that
... the formation of a well-organised Militia and of a force of Natives in the service of Her Majesty, would appear to be the measures most likely to be successfully adopted.
Further pressure in the early 1850s from Britain for removing their forces prompted pleas for them to remain as the Militia were deemed insufficient for the purpose.

1854 brought a new threat to the attention of the colony, because up to that time the military focus had been upon internal conflicts between settlers and the native population. War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 had broken out between Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. This war began to involve the major European powers and exposed New Zealand and Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 to a possible external threat from Russian naval forces. Parliament discussed providing guns at ports around the country for use in the event of a war with a foreign power.

By 1858 attention had swung back to local issues with a land dispute in New Plymouth
New Plymouth
New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after Plymouth, Devon, England, from where the first English settlers migrated....

 prompting Governor Thomas Gore Brown to call out its Militia under Captain Charles Brown. A prelude to what was to become the First Taranaki War
First Taranaki War
The First Taranaki War was an armed conflict over land ownership and sovereignty that took place between Māori and the New Zealand Government in the Taranaki district of New Zealand's North Island from March 1860 to March 1861....

 and a period of conflict in the North Island
New Zealand land wars
The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872...

 until 1872.

Parliament revised and expanded the Militia Ordinance, replacing it with the Militia Act 1858. Some of the main changes were clauses enabling volunteer's to be included under such terms and conditions as the Governor may specify. The Act also outlined the purposes under which Militia could be called upon, including invasion. Debates in Parliament had included expressions of concern about Russian naval expansion in the northern Pacific, pointed out that the sole naval defence consisted of one 24 gun frigate, and the time it would take for Britain to come to the colonies aid.

British Imperial troops remained in New Zealand until February 1870, during the later stage of the New Zealand Wars
New Zealand land wars
The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872...

, by which time settler units had replaced them.

The Defence Act 1886, reclassified the militia as Volunteers. These were the forerunners of the Territorials.

Volunteers (1858–1909)

Although there were informal volunteer units as early as 1845, the appropriate approval and regulation of the units did not occur until The Militia Act 1858. Those who signed up for these units were exempt from militia duty, but had to be prepared to serve anywhere in New Zealand. One of the earliest gazetted units (13 January 1859) was the Taranaki Volunteer Rifle Company.

To the Volunteer Rifle Corps were added Volunteer Artillery Corps in mid 1859. The first of these Volunteer Artillery Corps were based in Acukland.

By late 1859 the number of Volunteer units were so great that Captain H C Balneavis was appointed Deputy Adjunct-General, based at Auckland.

Colonial Defence Force (1862–1867)

In 1863 the Government passed the Colonial Defence Force Act 1862 creating the first Regular Force. This was to be a mounted body of not more than 500 troops, with both Maori and settlers, and costing no more than 30,000 pounds per annum. All were volunteers and expected to serve for three years.

Formation of the first unit did not commence until early April 1863, with 100 men being sought at New Plymouth under Captain Atkinson. Hawke's Bay was to have the next unit. By late April, papers were reported few had enlisted in New Plymouth.

Formation of an Auckland unit under Colonel Nixon commenced in July and by the 14th had 30 men.

Authorised units by July 1863

Commander: Major-General Galloway
Location Authorised Actual Commander
Auckland 100 50 Lieutenant Colonel Marmaduke George Nixon
Ahuriri (Hawke's Bay) 100 100 Major George Stoddart Whitmore
New Plymouth 100 - Captain Harry Albert Atkinson
Otago 50 Mr Branigan
Wairarapa 50
Wellington 100 James Townsend Edwards

By October 1863 there was no Wairarapa based Defence force, and 50 were based in Wanganui. The Otago force had earlier been moved to Wellington, with further Otago volunteers heading for the Auckland and Hawke's Bay Units. The total Defence Force numbered 375 by 3 November 1863.

In October 1864 the Government decided to reduce the numbers in the Colonial Defence Force to 75 with three units of 25 members each in Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki. By this time there were about 10,000 British Imperial troops in New Zealand, supplemented by about as many New Zealand volunteer and militia forces. There were calls, particularly from South Island papers, for the British Imperial troops to be replaced by local forces. Parliamentary debates in late 1864 also supported this view, especially as the cost of maintaining the Imperial troops was becoming a greater financial burden on the colony.

Defence review, March 1865

At the request of the Governor in January 1865 a formal statement on the defence of the Colony was presented on 20 March 1865. This proposed an armed constabulary force supported by friendly natives, volunteer units, and militia as the case may require be established to take the place of the Imperial troops. The proposed force was to consist of 1,350 Europeans and 150 Maori - 1,500 in total. They were to be divided in 30 companies of 50 men each based as follows:
Province Location Number
Auckland Queens Redoubt south, between the Waikato and Waipa Rivers 6
From the Bluff to Pukorokoro 3
In reserve at Papakura or vicinity 3
Tauranga 1
Taranaki and Wellington Taranaki and Wanganui Districts 12
Wellington 1
Hawke's Bay Napier 4

The total Defence budget, which included purchasing a steamer for use on the Waikato, Patea, and Wanganui rivers, was 187,000 pounds per annum. The budget's focus was solely on internal conflict. The issue of external conflict did not begin to resurface until the following year, with thought being given again to coastal defences.

The Colonial Defence Force was disbanded in October 1867 by the Armed Constabulary Act 1867. Its members transferred to the Armed Constabulary.

Rangers (1863–1867)

From 1863 to 1867 Forest Ranger volunteer units were formed, tasked with searching out Maori war parties, acting as scouts, and protecting lines of communication. They arose out of the need to prevent ambushes and random attacks on civilians near forest areas.

The Rangers were well armed and more highly paid. These units used guerrilla style tactics, moving through areas under cover of darkness and ambushing war parties. The Forest Rangers were disbanded on 1 October 1867.

Armed Constabulary (1846–1886)

See New Zealand Police
New Zealand Police
The New Zealand Police is the national police force of New Zealand, responsible for enforcing criminal law, enhancing public safety, maintaining order and keeping the peace throughout New Zealand...

Alongside the militia and the British Imperial forces were the Armed Constabulary. The Armed Constabulary were formed in 1846 with the passage of the Armed Constabulary Ordinance. The Constabulary's role was both regular law enforcement and during the New Zealand Wars militia support. From 1867 to 1886 the Armed Constabulary were the only permanent force in New Zealand. In 1886 the militia functions of the Armed Constabulary were transferred to the New Zealand Permanent Militia by the Defence Act 1886.

New Zealand Permanent Militia (1886–1902)

Lieutenant Colonel John Roberts
John Roberts
John Glover Roberts, Jr. is the 17th and current Chief Justice of the United States. He has served since 2005, having been nominated by President George W. Bush after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist...

 was the Permanent Militia's first commander from January 1887 to his retirement in 1888.

Permanent force (1902– ) and Territorials (1909– )

The Defence Act 1909 replaced the Volunteer forces with a Territorial force and compulsory military training, a regime that remained until the late 1960s, with breaks from 1918 to 1921, 1930 to 194?, and 194? to 1948.

Separate services (1909– )

See New Zealand Army
New Zealand Army
The New Zealand Army , is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946...

, Royal New Zealand Air Force
Royal New Zealand Air Force
The Royal New Zealand Air Force is the air arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

, and Royal New Zealand Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

Independent New Zealand armed forces developed in the early twentieth century; the Royal New Zealand Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

 was the last to emerge as an independent service in 1941. Prior to that time it had been the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy. New Zealand forces served alongside the British and other Empire and Commonwealth nations in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


The fall of Singapore
Battle of Singapore
The Battle of Singapore was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of the Second World War when the Empire of Japan invaded the Allied stronghold of Singapore. Singapore was the major British military base in Southeast Asia and nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East"...

 in 1942 showed that Britain could no longer protect its far-flung Dominions. Closer military ties were therefore necessary for New Zealand's defence. With United States entering the war, they were an obvious choice. Links with Australia had also been developed earlier; both nations sent troops to the Anglo-Boer War and New Zealand officer candidates had trained at Australia's Royal Military College, Duntroon
Royal Military College, Duntroon
The Royal Military College, Duntroon is the Australian Army's officer training establishment. It was founded at Duntroon, in the Australian Capital Territory, in 1911 and is situated on picturesque grounds at the foot of Mount Pleasant near Lake Burley Griffin, close to the Department of Defence...

 since 1911, a practice that continues to this day. A combined Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was formed for the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I, and its exploits are key events in the military history of both countries.

The NZDF came into existence under the Defence Act 1990. Under previous legislation, the three services were part of the Ministry of Defence. Post-1990, the Ministry of Defence is a separate, policy-making body under a Secretary of Defence, who is equal in status to the Chief of Defence Force.

Administrative headquarters

A new HQNZDF facility was opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark in March 2007. The new facility on Aitken St in the Wellington CBD replaced the premises on Stout St that had been the headquarters of NZDF for nearly 75 years. The Aitken St facility is home to around 900 employees of the NZDF, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service is an intelligence agency of the New Zealand government.-Purpose:As a civilian organisation, the Security Intelligence Service takes no part in the enforcement of security...

 and the New Zealand Ministry of Defence.

HQNZDF operates as the administrative and support headquarters for the New Zealand Defence Force, with operational forces under the separate administrative command and control of HQJFNZ.

Joint Forces headquarters

The operational forces of the three services are directed from Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand on the opposite side of a road from Trentham Military Camp in Upper Hutt
Upper Hutt
Upper Hutt is a satellite city of Wellington. It is New Zealand's smallest city by population, the second largest by land area. It is in Greater Wellington.-Geography:Upper Hutt is 30 km north-east of Wellington...

. From this building, a former NZ government computer centre that used to house the Army's Land Command, the Air Component Commander, Maritime Component Commander, and Land Component Commander exercise command over their forces. Commander Joint Forces New Zealand (COMJFNZ), controls all overseas operational deployments and most overseas exercises.

Current senior officers

Chief of Defence Force
Lieutenant General Rhys Jones
Rhys Jones (soldier)
Lieutenant General Richard Rhys Jones is the current Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force.-Early life:Jones was born in in Timaru, the son of Methodist minister Alan Jones and the youngest in a family of nine, six in his immediate family plus three half-brothers including writer Owen Marshall...

Vice Chief of Defence Force
Rear Admiral
Jack Steer
Commander Joint Forces New Zealand
Major General Dave Gawn

Chief of Navy
Rear Admiral
Tony Parr
Tony Parr
Rear Admiral Tony Parr MVO is the current Chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy.- Early life :Rear Admiral Parr was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He was Raised in Fiji and attended New Plymouth Boys' High School as a boarder...

Chief of Army
Major General
Tim Keating

Chief of Air Force
Air Vice Marshal
  Maritime Component Commander
John Martin
Land Component Commander
Mark Wheeler
Air Component Commander
Air Commodore
Steve Moore
Chief of Navy

Wayne Burroughs
Chief of Army

Charlie Lott
Chief of Air Force

Air Commodore
Gavin Howse


New Zealand's Army consists of around 4,500 full-time and 2,500 part-time troops. It is a small but well-regarded and professional force consisting of light infantry and motorised infantry equipped with 105 Canadian-manufactured LAV III
The LAV III armoured vehicle is the latest in the Generation III Light Armoured Vehicle series built by General Dynamics Land Systems, entering service in 1999. It is based on the Swiss MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8....

 Light Armoured Vehicles, known as the NZLAV
The NZLAV armoured fighting vehicle is a variant of the General Dynamics LAV III which itself is a variant of the MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8. The New Zealand army purchased 105 vehicles in 2003. It was developed by Canada and is the primary armoured vehicle of the New Zealand military...

. There are also armoured reconnaissance, artillery, logistic, communications, medical and intelligence elements. The New Zealand Special Air Service is the NZDF's special forces
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

 capability which operates in both conventional warfare and counter-terrorist roles. The Corps and Regiments of the New Zealand Army include:
  • Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
    Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
    The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment is the main combat unit in the regular New Zealand Army. It was formed 9 January 1947 as the New Zealand Regiment with a single infantry battalion as part of the newly created infantry corps....

  • Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
    Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps
    The Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps is the overall umbrella grouping of Regular Force and Territorial Force units equipped with armoured vehicles in the New Zealand Army. The corps was formed in 1942 as the New Zealand Armoured Corps, before being given the Royal prefix in 1947...

  • Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
    Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery
    The Royal New Zealand Artillery forms the artillery section of the New Zealand Army. In its current form it was founded in 1947 with the amalgamation of the regular and volunteer units of artillery in New Zealand.-Modern structure:...

  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers
    Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers
    The 2nd Engineer Regiment is housed in Linton Military Camp that is situated approximately 10 km South of the City of Palmerston North. Raised on the 1st of July 1993 the Regiment is the only major military engineer Unit in the New Zealand Army. Linton Camp has been known throughout the Army...

  • Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals
    Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals
    The Royal New Zealand Signals Corps provides, co-ordinates and operates the communications networks of the New Zealand Army.The role of RNZSigs is "To support other Arms by providing Communication Information System required for Command and Control of Units, Formations and Administrative...

  • Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
    Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment
    Formed on the 9th of December 1996, the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment , sometimes known as "the Duke of York's Own", reflecting Prince Andrew's patronage, is the New Zealand Army's main Military Logistics & Combat Service Support element...

  • Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
    Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps
    The Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps is a corps of the New Zealand Army, the land branch of the New Zealand Defence Force. The Medical Corps provides for the medical needs of soldiers, such as diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries...

  • Royal New Zealand Army Nursing Corps
  • Royal New Zealand Army Dental Corps
  • Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police
    Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police
    The Corps of Royal New Zealand Military Police provide military police services to the New Zealand Army, including criminal investigative services. It consists of one major unit, 1st Military Police Company; though members of the Corps are included in other units within the New Zealand Army...

  • New Zealand Intelligence Corps
    New Zealand Intelligence Corps
    The New Zealand Intelligence Corps analyses information from a variety of sources and provides commanders with intelligence on such things as enemy locations, capabilities and intentions. The NZIC is one of the smallest corps in the New Zealand Army. It was formed in 1942, apparently disbanded in...

  • New Zealand Army Legal Services


The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) includes two Anzac class frigates
Anzac class frigate
The Anzac class is a ship class of ten frigates; eight operated by the Royal Australian Navy and two operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy...

, developed in conjunction with Australia, and based on the German MEKO 200
MEKO 200
The MEKO 200 is a frigate design by the Blohm + Voss shipyard of Germany, as part of the MEKO family of warships.-Anzac class :...

 design. Eight other vessels are in use, consisting of patrol vessels and logistics vessels. In 2010, the RNZN completed the acquisition of seven new vessels: one large Multi-Role Vessel named the HMNZS Canterbury, two Offshore Patrol Vessels, and four Inshore Patrol Vessels. All of these new vessels were acquired under Project Protector
Project Protector
Project Protector was an procurement project for the Royal New Zealand Navy that occurred during the 2000s. At the start of the decade, the New Zealand government retasked the New Zealand Defence Force to be equally capable in combat, peacekeeping, and disaster relief, with the RNZN to focus on...

, and were built to commercial, not naval, standards.

Air Force

The Royal New Zealand Air Force consists of 50 aircraft, consisting of P-3 Orion
P-3 Orion
The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or...

 maritime patrol aircraft and Lockheed C-130 Hercules and other transport aircraft. The RNZAF does not have an air combat force following the retirement without replacement of its A-4 Skyhawk
A-4 Skyhawk
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a carrier-capable ground-attack aircraft designed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The delta winged, single-engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated the A4D...

 and Aermacchi MB-339
Aermacchi MB-339
The Aermacchi MB-339 is an Italian military trainer and light attack aircraft. It was developed as a replacement for the earlier MB-326.-Design and development:...

 squadrons. A plan to acquire 28 F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force . Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since...

 aircraft was controversially cancelled by the Labour Government in 2000. The NH90 helicopter has recently been ordered to replace Bell UH-1 Iroquois. The PAC CT/4 Airtrainer is locally produced.

Foreign defence relations

New Zealand states it maintains a "credible minimum force," although critics (including the New Zealand National Party
New Zealand National Party
The New Zealand National Party is the largest party in the New Zealand House of Representatives and in November 2008 formed a minority government with support from three minor parties.-Policies:...

 while in opposition) maintain that the country's defence forces have fallen below this standard. With a claimed area of direct strategic concern that extends from Australia to Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 to the South Pacific
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, and with defence expenditures that total around 1% of GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

, New Zealand necessarily places substantial reliance on co-operating with other countries, in particular Australia.

Acknowledging the need to improve its defence capabilities, the government in 2005 announced the Defence Sustainability Initiative allocating an additional NZ$4.6 billion over 10 years to modernise the country's defence equipment and infrastructure and increase its military personnel. The funding represented a 51% increase in defence spending since the Labour government
Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand between 10 December 1999 and 19 November 2008.-Overview:The fourth National government, in power since 1990, was widely unpopular by 1999, with much of the public antagonised by a series of free-market economic reforms,...

 took office in 1999.

New Zealand is an active participant in multilateral peacekeeping. It has taken a leading role in seeking to bring peace, reconciliation, and reconstruction to the Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

 and the neighbouring island of Bougainville
Bougainville Island
Bougainville Island is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea. This region is also known as Bougainville Province or the North Solomons. The population of the province is 175,160 , which includes the adjacent island of Buka and assorted outlying islands...

. New Zealand maintains a contingent in the Multinational Force and Observers
Multinational Force and Observers
The Multinational Force and Observers is an international peacekeeping force overseeing the terms of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.-Background:...

 and has contributed to United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and other peacekeeping operations in Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and the former Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

. It also participated in the Multilateral Interception Force in the Persian Gulf. New Zealand has an ongoing peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 commitment to East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

, where it participated in the INTERFET, UNTAET and UMAMET missions from 1999–2002, with an infantry battalion which was withdrawn in late 2002. In response to renewed conflict in 2006 more troops were deployed as part of an international force. New Zealand troops currently maintains an infantry company and supporting elements in East Timor. New Zealand has participated in 2 NATO-led coalitions; SFOR in the Former Yugoslavia (until December 2004) and an ongoing one in Afghanistan (which took over from a US-led coalition in 2006). New Zealand also participated in the European Union EUFOR
EUFOR Althea
European Union Force Althea is a military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the military implementation of the Dayton Agreement. It is the successor to NATO's SFOR and IFOR. The transition from SFOR to EUFOR was largely a change of name and commanders: 80% of the troops remained in...

 operation in the former Yugoslavia from December 2004 until New Zealand ended its 15-year continuous contribution there on 30 June 2007.

New Zealand participates in sharing training facilities, personnel exchanges, and joint exercises with the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea , officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands...

, Brunei
Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

, Tonga
Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga , is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over of ocean in the South Pacific...

, and South Pacific states. It also exercises with its Five Power Defence Arrangement
Five Power Defence Arrangements
The Five Power Defence Arrangements are a series of defence relationships established by a series of bilateral agreements between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore signed in 1971, whereby the five states will consult each other in the event of external aggression...

 partners - Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Malaysia, and Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. New Zealand military personnel also participate in a wide variety of training exercises, conferences and visits as part of military diplomacy.

New Zealand is a signatory of the ANZUS
The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty is the military alliance which binds Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area, though today the treaty is understood to relate to attacks...

 treaty, a defence pact between it, Australia and the United States dating from 1951. After the 1986 anti-nuclear legislation that refused access of nuclear powered or armed vessels to ports, the USA withdrew its obligations to New Zealand under ANZUS, and ANZUS exercises are now bi-lateral between Australia and the United States. Under anti-nuclear legislation, any ship must declare whether it is nuclear propelled or carrying nuclear weapons before entering New Zealand waters. Due to the US policy at that time of "neither confirm nor deny", ship visits ceased. Despite the Presidential Directive of 27 September 1991 that removed tactical nuclear weapons from U.S. surface ships, attack submarines, and naval aircraft, ship visits have not resumed. Despite signs of rapprochement in recent years, military relationships with the US remain limited, although senior US officials have been complimentary about New Zealand's contributions to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. New Zealand retains a close bi-lateral defence relationship with Australia.

Due to New Zealand's antinuclear policy, defence cooperation with the U.S., including training exercises, has been significantly restricted since 1986, when the ANZUS treaty defence obligations to NZ were suspended by the USA. However, New Zealand and the USA remain 'very, very good friends'. On 26 July 2008 during a visit to New Zealand, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice upgraded this status and said "New Zealand is now a friend and an ally". The NZDF has served alongside NATO led forces in Afghanistan in recent times, and in 2004 the NZSAS was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation by US President George W Bush for "extraordinary heroism" in action.

New Zealand is a member of the ABCA Armies
ABCA Armies
ABCA Armies is a program aimed at optimizing interoperability and standardization of training and equipment between the armies of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, plus the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Marines...

 standardisation programme, the naval AUSCANNZUKUS
AUSCANNZUKUS is a naval C4 interoperability organization involving the nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

 forum, the Air and Space Interoperability Council (ASIC, the former ASCC, which, among other tasks, allocates NATO reporting names) and other Western 'Five Eyes' fora for sharing information and achieving interoperability with like-minded armed forces, such as The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP).

See also

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