Adapting to Complex Security Challenges
The New Zealand government has unveiled the first two documents of its Defence Policy Review and the country’s inaugural National Security Strategy.
Prime Minister and Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Chris Hipkins, emphasized the importance of addressing the range of complex and disruptive security challenges faced by the world today.
“In recent years, our country has encountered terrorist attacks, growing disinformation, and cyber-attacks targeting critical national infrastructure.”
“The changing domestic and international security landscape calls for a clear-eyed approach to risks and the implementation of the right capabilities to safeguard our nation.”
Navigating a More Contested World
The Defence Policy Strategy Statement outlines New Zealand’s defence goals and the approach to achieving them, both now and in the future.
The Future Forces Design Principles, on the other hand, serve as a bridge between the new Defence strategy and the required investment options to execute it. This will form the foundation for the new Defence Capability Plan.
The National Security Strategy, named “Secure Together – Tō Tātou Korowai Manaaki,” provides guidance to the wider national security community on navigating the changed environment. The updated 2023 National Security and Intelligence Priorities are aligned with the strategy.
Proportionate and Predictable Security Response
Defence Minister Andrew Little emphasized the need to respond appropriately to the full spectrum of national security threats. The documents released today present assessments and strategies that are closely aligned and interdependent.
The focus of New Zealand’s national security efforts includes investing in a combat-capable defence force and the wider security system. The government is also addressing emerging issues such as disinformation and strengthening efforts in areas with growing threats, such as economic security.
Strengthening Regional and Global Ties
The New Zealand government plans to sustain public engagement in national security by fostering a conversation with the public. This will involve being more transparent about observations and actively listening to New Zealanders to maintain social support for security measures.
Efforts to support Pacific resilience, provide development assistance, and bolster the security capacity of Pacific nations are also prioritized. Additionally, the government aims to enhance security cooperation in the broader Indo-Pacific region.
Upholding International Rules and Norms
The final objective is to maintain and strengthen the global system of rules and norms that have benefitted New Zealand significantly.
With these priorities in mind, work will commence on a new Defence Capability Plan, outlining the required resources, personnel, and capabilities to address future challenges.
2023 National Security and Intelligence Priorities
The updated National Security and Intelligence Priorities are as follows:
- Strategic competition and the rules-based international system,
- Emerging, critical, and sensitive technologies,
- Foreign interference and espionage,
- Terrorism and violent extremism,
- Transnational organized crime,
- Pacific resilience and security,
- Economic, maritime, border, cyber, and space security.
New Zealand government prepares for security challenges, safeguarding interests, ensuring safety, and prosperity for citizens and the region.
Minister Little’s speech to launch this event is available here.