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NZDF General discussion thread

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by NZLAV, Apr 14, 2007.

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  1. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    I suspect that part of the reasoning behind what the current Vote Defence size has been is due to some Kiwis perceiving that is all that can be afforded, while others perceive that is all that is needed.

    IMO the reality is a bit different from the perception, and I suspect that the specific perception has been deliberately cultivated to a degree.

    One of those 'deliberate cultivations' that I am referring to is also the actual size, in real terms, of the NZ Vote Defence. Now I did go looking through the current Vote Defence to see if I could locate the Capital Charge and I did not see it, but I would not be surprised if was still around in a slightly different or perhaps renamed form. It definitely has been in past Vote Defence budgets and IIRC was typically around 23% of the Vote Defence budget but did not represent actual funding Defence received and could use/expend on operations, upgrades, or acquisitions. I am not going to keep banging on about it (people have periodically complained over the years) but there have been times when gov't was basically claiming that the NZDF budget was 1% GDP, but the actual amount of funding to cover personnel costs, acquisitions, support, operations, etc. was only ~0.67% GDP after accounting for the GST and Capital Charge.

    Just keeping the NZ Vote Defence at 1% GDP but completely eliminating the Capital Charge would be the equivalent of a ~23% increase in the NZDF budget and would work out to some NZD$400+ mil. more p.a. available for defence spends.
     
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  2. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    A very good article discussing NZDF's force mismatch. The premise is that the govt's expectations of NZDF missions are not backed up by the level of funding required. This mismatch is a very large gap between expectations and funding.

    The Price of New Zealand's Strategy-Force Mismatch
     
  3. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The most honest and realistic article written within the NZ Defence and Security context for years. His articles need to be published widely in the MSM.
     
  4. friend

    friend New Member

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    All country have budges for defense and it is the first item in a budget that is reduced and then the defense is told to sell surplus land to make up the reduction.

    My observation of NZ political defense discussions is they want a defense force but can not afford to maintain a good level eg the last natural disasters have placed greater pressure on the nations coffers.

    • The NZ defense force is a good territorial and UN peacekeeping force and is a credit to the leadership to archive this with the budget they are given.
    • The airlift , fast jet,mid air refueling,helicopters just to name a few are in need of major expenditure.
    • The navy is struggling for coastal patrols with in their EEZ, the frigates are hitting their economical / force projection capabilities use by date.
    • The army need to reequip across all sectors.
    This all comes at a price that a nation the size of NZ can not afford but they have been trying to achieve this by reducing the quality of their purchases to some extent.

    To achieve a nation ability to protect their citizens they need to be able to protect their EEZ , patrol beyond and meet international agreements. New Zealand will have to form even closer ties with Australia.

    A possible goal to achieve their nation Aims:

    Navy
    1. Pay Australia to patrol the outer EEZ , patrol the international area the NZ patrol now ( this would save on the frigate replacement costs, shore facilities, access to a sub fleet, heavy lift ships and possible new fleet oilers. The inner EEZ would be handled by a UK / US style coastal command. All NZ navy personnel may be able to inter-transfer between to two navies.)
    2. All Navy training is conducted in Australia. (this frees up shore facilities and training staff)
    Air force
    • Once again a deal with Australia to provide airlift and fast jets to patrol NZ airspace and EEZ ( NZ may need to supply a base on North and South island. All flight training by RAAF, inter service transfers.
    Army
    • The money saved with the Navy, Air force and rationalization of land asserts would most probably cover the army modernization plus new coastal patrol boats med and long range.
    These a just a few of the observation I have observed regarding smaller nations, it not meant to be critical but a constructive view on how New Zealand could enhance the Nations ability to protect her EEZ and maintain their national sovereignty.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 2:02 AM
  5. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    NZ is a wealthy developed nation whose economy has performed solidly over the last few years, she does not need to outsource any part of her sovereignty to her near neighbour.

    I know you don’t mean to but the theme of your post is slightly disparaging to NZ .
    If the NZ people wish to spend more on defence they could but much to the chagrin of the NZ members on this forum they have not chosen to do so.

    NZ also has a commercial accrual accounting system for defence which prices in a “capital charge” for all defence assets, ie the cost of providing such things as military bases, dockyards and other assets is calculated as a cost forgone by the people and is thus added to the defence budget (see link) eg under this system the percapita cost of defence $392 or around 1.4% of GDP but if measured using the standard NATO system it’s $295 or 1.09% of GDP
    By way of comparison Australia spends $1100 per capita. (All reduced to common dollars)

    So there is capacity but again, the will of the people prevails.

    https://www.victoria.ac.nz/hppi/cen...ns-archive/strategic-briefing-papers/NZDS.pdf

    My answer is hiding in the quote starting with “I know you....” but my editing skills have deserted me. Can one of the Mods please help!

    EDIT: Fixed. NG.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2018 at 6:02 AM
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  6. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Oh boy, here we go...

    For starters, many of the suggestions individually amount to ceding an element of Kiwi sovereignty to Australia. When the suggestions are aggregated, it is basically advocating for Australia to assume defence responsibility for (and therefore control of) New Zealand.

    Now, I am not opposed to a union between Australia and New Zealand for a number of reasons, but that IMO should only happen with the overwhelming support of the leadership and even more importantly the citizenry of both nations, like a national referendum where 2/3rds of the eligible voters of each nation vote in favour of uniting.

    As a side note, consider the advantages and despair caused by a united Australia and New Zealand in both international cricket and rugby...

    Now with respect to New Zealand's ability (or perceived inability) to afford a proper defence force, that IMO is errant nonsense. The size of the NZ defence budget (Vote Defence) has been between 0.67% and 1% GDP for some time because that is what the powers that be have wanted the defence budget to be, and not because NZ could not afford a higher allocation of funding for defence.

    The powers that be have, IMO gotten away with cutting defence back as far as they have because the ideologues behind the cutbacks managed to sell the (again, IMO) false notion that NZ "was in a benign strategic environment" with no threats to NZ sovereignty or interests, and by also managing to make the size of the Vote Defence appear inflated using some accounting trickery.

    Current examples of that sort of ideology which had led past gov'ts to let the NZDF get into the sort of shape it currently is in can be easily found looking at commentary coming from the Green Party defence spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman in response to the recent P-8A Poseidon announcement for the RNZAF. Me being me, I have a hard time understanding how a person who claims to advocate for a rules-based system of international order and has volunteered to work as part of the defence teams for war criminals before UN tribunals, could not also understand that there are times when people will refuse to abide by those same international rules, and force could be required to force compliance, or even just to defend against the rule breakers.
     
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  7. Womble 47

    Womble 47 New Member

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    It is totally a non starter ,Australia's interests are sometimes not quite allinged to NZ so if something happens any resources deployed would be recalled very fast. Also if I understand your post correctly NZ will pay for the services provided ,if this train of thought is followed through NZ should bid out parts of it's Defense commitments worldwide ,perhaps China would be the lowest bidder.
    Hopefully the govt of NZ is starting to wake up to the fact it is a big bad world out there
     
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  8. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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  9. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    I am not sure that would be a good approach in the NZ context, as it seems that the non-defence roles as the ones most often highlighted. Where that can become a problem, especially for NZ is that the importance associated with SAR and/or HADR roles is that people then seem to start advocating for giving the non-defence roles even greater priority in terms of resources and funding, at the expense (literally) of the defence/military roles.

    The P-3K2 Orion upgrades come to mind as an example, where the aircraft were re-winged but the wiring harness was not upgraded to the then current MIL-STD so that precision munitions could not be carried, or the fact that there were no upgrades to enable a continued ASW role.

    Having been looking through the commentary on a Kiwi-specific aviation forum, it does seem to be or have been the case that many participants felt that the SAR role was of prime importance, to the point that it was the perception of many that the P-8A Poseidon would be the 'wrong' aircraft because it would not or could not do SAR operations low and slow.
     
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  10. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Active Member

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    Just a minor clarification - the capital charge isn't specific to defence, but applies to capital expenditure by all government departments. It just happens that defence requires more expensive tools of the trade than most other ministries.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018 at 7:28 PM
  11. Massive

    Massive Member

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    Interestingly looking at this the loss of 2 frigates from the Navy is relatively modest compared to the dramatic reduction in the RNZAF and in the support arms in the Army.

    Regards,

    Massive
     
  12. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    What you consider modest I don’t think is the right mindset 50% if the surface combat fleet is not modest in its own right until you consider 100% of the Air Combat Wing, in reality it’s mindblowing. Imagine the reaction in Australia if someone suggested that.