NZDF General discussion thread

Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
Hmm, well that sounds a little more encouraging I guess.
In essence they are still cutting it back on their watch, just not overall, apparently. Pushing things out further...
Much of the equipment that needs and will need replacing are already past the replacement date ... are they saying replacement of the frigates now to 2040-2045. Are they saying replacing the Sea Sprites 2035 instead of 2028.

Some things just won't last that long. Take the Sea Sprites as an example. They are an old design spare parts are already getting harder to get and with more decks that require the helo that is more flying hours ... The are pushing to it keeping them flying up to 2028...

Then in 3 years time things all could change again with a new government and go either way... A lot of that will rely on world politics and what is happening... How far China is pushing and who is starting to push back.

Interestingly,
New Zealanders overwhelmingly back promoting human rights in China, even if it damages economic ties.
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/07/new-zealanders-overwhelmingly-back-promoting-human-rights-in-china-even-if-it-damages-economic-ties-research.html

As for the % of GDP on defence... that just irks me as there is way more to it than that...
 
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kiwi in exile

Active Member
Within, there is a relevant reference to Simon Ewing-Jarvies writings: "... can accept, also, that the New Zealand public is naïve and complacent about threats to this country and choose to do something about that. Not everyone loves Kiwis."
https://unclas.wordpress.com/2020/11/11/the-long-handshake/
THE LONG HANDSHAKE

"The final battle in the defence of New Zealand will be fought on the northern shores of Australia."

Don't think I had read this 2020 piece before. Found it refreshing and direct in its tone. The authors is well informed and willing to think critically and outside the box. I agree that the 3 branches of the NZDF need to be restructured, reorientated and reequiped for fighting 21st century battles, the likes of which we havn't really seen yet. Further delays on allready long procurement cycles doesn't bode well for adapting our force structure to changing technologies and capabilities of threats and global environment. Haven't listened to his podcasts yet...
 

swerve

Super Moderator
....

Yes measuring defence expenditure as a % / GDP is a tad blunt tool, but it appears to be the most commonly used metric. Some argue that PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) is a better metric to measure it by and it first glance I would agree. However I have seen an argument that states that for some countries with smaller or larger economies either metric shouldn't apply because it would give a distorted measure of defence expenditure requirements. In a country with a small GDP the 2% metric or equivalent PPP, most likely would not provide enough funds to provide an adequate defence force, so a greater expenditure of GDP will be required in order to provide an appropriate or desired defence force. Conversely a country with a large GDP may not need to expend 2% GDP or equivalent PPP on defence because the amount is more than adequate to provide for its defence needs. I believe Germany currently fits this criteria.
Percent of GDP at PPP has a problem. PPP over the whole economy does not necessarily match the PPP for military spending. Imported jet fighters, missiles, ships, etc. will cost the same everywhere. Military buildings & pay will vary enormously from country to country.

It could give an exaggerated figure for a poor country which imports most of its kit, for example.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Percent of GDP at PPP has a problem. PPP over the whole economy does not necessarily match the PPP for military spending. Imported jet fighters, missiles, ships, etc. will cost the same everywhere. Military buildings & pay will vary enormously from country to country.

It could give an exaggerated figure for a poor country which imports most of its kit, for example.
To me it is quite simple and that is how much value do you place on your Freedom and sovereignty?
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
Percent of GDP at PPP has a problem. PPP over the whole economy does not necessarily match the PPP for military spending. Imported jet fighters, missiles, ships, etc. will cost the same everywhere. Military buildings & pay will vary enormously from country to country.

It could give an exaggerated figure for a poor country which imports most of its kit, for example.
I wrote an article putting that in to basic language :) ... there is so much more than just saying 2% of GDP, actual GDP of said country to buying power of said dollar, what that money is spent on from pay, exercises, to equipment. Does said country have their own defence building industry etc...

It irks me we I here people say Singapore has a similar population and a much bigger Defence force... There GDP is 315 odd Billion compared to NZ's 205 Billion so right off the bat at 2% they have more money. The Singapore Dollar slightly stronger than the NZD giving more buying power with said dollar... They have there own Defence industry and as you said other things pay of said troops and how many buildings and bases's do they operate, how many operations and exercises etc
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I wrote an article putting that in to basic language :) ... there is so much more than just saying 2% of GDP, actual GDP of said country to buying power of said dollar, what that money is spent on from pay, exercises, to equipment. Does said country have their own defence building industry etc...

It irks me we I here people say Singapore has a similar population and a much bigger Defence force... There GDP is 315 odd Billion compared to NZ's 205 Billion so right off the bat at 2% they have more money. The Singapore Dollar slightly stronger than the NZD giving more buying power with said dollar... They have there own Defence industry and as you said other things pay of said troops and how many buildings and bases's do they operate, how many operations and exercises etc
Hence why there has been commentary that %GDP is a "blunt" way to measure and compare national resources allocated to defence.

It would take some pretty deep diving into the details of the defence budgets of specific nations, in order to attempt something of an accurate and specific comparison. Frankly, I would be thrilled if Kiwis would just take a detailed look at the NZ defence budget, as that might enable some to realize just how poorly resourced the NZDF is and has been for at this point a few decades.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
"It would take some pretty deep diving into the details of the defence budgets of specific nations, in order to attempt something of an accurate and specific comparison. "
Absolutely. You'd need a fairly detailed breakdown of spending, & have to price lots of categories of it. In some cases you might be able to use general prices (e.g. for food), but a lot would be military-specific.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It appears that the government attitude towards the PRC and the US is crystallising. Foreign Minister Mahuta gave a speech in Dunedin over the weekend to the 55th Otago Foreign Policy School. She said that:

"New Zealand would continue to work with coalitions of like-minded countries on issues of common interest, “including the principles of open markets, liberal democratic norms, human rights and collective security”, she said. “We decide which countries – or non-state actors – we partner with depending on the issue at hand and driven by how we can most effectively advance our interests and values.”
But there was strong praise in particular for the United States, which Mahuta described as “an essential security and defence partner, an important economic partner, and a leading source of the innovation and technology we need to keep improving the standard of living for all peoples. We continue to work closely with the US to protect and promote the core ideals and interests we share as liberal democracies. Mahuta said New Zealand’s relationship with China was “one of our most significant”, and she had discussed joint work on climate change and further strengthening the trade and economic relationship during a recent phone call with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi while also raising concerns about Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang province. We have moved beyond a relationship of firsts with China into new territory, where we are defining the maturing nature of our relationship," she added, referring to New Zealand's status as the first Western country to have supported China on a number of issues in the past.” ...
"In a question and answer session following her speech, Mahuta said she was happy that the US had “signalled that it’s back in town” following the change of administration, and believed America’s image in New Zealand and elsewhere could be improved as it started contributing again to international institutions. “Over time, certainly actions will follow words, and that in itself will lead to an increased confidence that not only are they back in town, you know, we're all in a shared space of making sure we're making a difference in areas where there is the greatest benefit.” She said New Zealand was concerned about China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, and appeared to answer in the affirmative when asked whether the Government could work more closely with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a US-led grouping of four nations largely seen as a counterweight to growing Chinese influence."​

My read of that is that they have moved slowly from sitting astride the fence to a position to where they are coming down on the side of the west. It is pleasing to note that they welcome the return of the US to international institutions and diplomacy. It is interesting that she appeared to acknowledge the we may work more closely with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. That in itself is a change because previous Labour governments would've avoided that like the plague. However it could also just be a ploy to get Jacindarella an invitation to a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House.

 

Nighthawk.NZ

Well-Known Member
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MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
Tell us how you really feel... don't hold back... :eek:

On another note Jacindarella doing what Jacindarella does best distancing herself

To be fair I was surprised she shut Labour MP Louisa Wall down ...

Satire that hits the mark.

I have a feeling you like her more than I do... ;)
You have a feeling. No Nighthawk you have evidence. NG's psychological projection regarding Bikini's and Jacinda as manifested on post #5830. ;)
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
On another note Jacindarella doing what Jacindarella does best distancing herself

To be fair I was surprised she shut Labour MP Louisa Wall down ...
Big ups to Louisa Wall for speaking out on it. She's a wahine toa for doing that and she'll have made a few enemies within the NZLP and Labour caucus for it. Quite a few of the loopy lefties will be frothing at mouth about her too. Great entertainment.
 

kiwi in exile

Active Member
Big ups to Louisa Wall for speaking out on it. She's a wahine toa for doing that and she'll have made a few enemies within the NZLP and Labour caucus for it. Quite a few of the loopy lefties will be frothing at mouth about her too. Great entertainment.
https://ipac.global/ipac-new-zealand-calls-for-no-extradition-to-china/
IPAC New Zealand MPs call for no extradition to China - Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China

Her and Nats Simon O'Connor have be working together as members of IPAC.
Surprised there aren't members from other parties involved
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The Prime Minister has laid out the government's views on the Indo-Pacific region. It's the first time that they've officially used the title that I am aware or.

Relevant excerpts from her speech today to the NZ Institute of International Affairs Annual Conference:

"Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, the environment in which we are making our foreign policy decisions has changed, but the values we use to make those decisions have not.

I want to spend a bit of time today talking about that environment and how we steady our ship in what often feels like ever turbulent seas, with a particular focus on your area of interest – the Indo-Pacific.

To start- I have a question for you. Where do you see our place in the world?

If you were to ask me, I would give you a very literal answer. The Pacific. This is our home. It is the region we most squarely identify with. We very literally share a population base.

That’s why, when we came into office, we focused immediately on lifting New Zealand’s engagement with the Pacific region, delivering greater investment and building long term partnerships. Looking forward, we are focused on long-term resilience, with a high degree of Pacific ownership and innovation.

But the Pacific itself is an increasingly contested region.

And so, to understand that complexity, and respond to it, we also see the Indo-Pacific as central to our interests.
We have embraced the concept of an Indo-Pacific as the wider home for New Zealand, locating Aotearoa in a larger ecosystem of nations and regions that includes East Asia, the Pacific, the Indian sub-continent and the Pacific Rim.

Māori tūpuna (ancestors) voyaged through the region. More recent waves of migration have further entrenched this connection.
It is a region where the rules-based international order has already supported huge improvements in human conditions, but is a region of deep diversity.

The Indo-Pacific includes highly advanced economies Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and United States and Canada.

China remains an engine of global growth and one of our most significant, but also one of our increasingly complex relationships
Australia – New Zealand’s indispensable partner and ally with a strong track record of contributing in the region – sits at the intersection of both the Indian and Pacific oceans.

The rapidly growing and demographically young countries of ASEAN have 650 million people and a rapidly expanding middle class.
With all of this regional diversity, New Zealand is not alone in adopting an Indo-Pacific outlook.
The ten countries of ASEAN plus Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Germany have also referred to an Indo-Pacific region in reaction to more challenging geopolitics.

But while we welcome the concept of an Indo-Pacific region, we do so based on the principles that have served New Zealand well and are consistent with our values.

From New Zealand’s perspective, these fundamental principles include:
• Respect for rules: consistency with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, freedom of navigation and overflight
• Openness: that the region is open for trade, investment, and the movement of people to support prosperity and open supply chains
• Inclusivity: that all countries in the region can participate
• That sovereignty is upheld and respected
• Transparency: that states are honest about their foreign policy objectives and initiatives beyond their borders

In our view, the Indo-Pacific region will need to conduct its affairs in accordance with these principles if it is to successfully address common challenges.

Here, the principles of openness and inclusivity are especially key for New Zealand. Often language and geographic ‘frames’ are used as subtext, or a tool to exclude some nations from dialogue. Our success will depend on working with the widest possible set of partners.
And so, as a region, what are the challenges that lie ahead of us, and how can we use these principles that are core to New Zealand’s foreign policy approach to resolve them? ...
Our relationship with ASEAN gives New Zealand a seat at the region’s top table for strategic discussions – the East Asia Summit, and is the convening body for regional diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific.

And the proof is in the pudding. ASEAN has helped keep members at peace with one another since the end of the Vietnam War.
Our partnership with ASEAN is also a case where New Zealand can pursue cooperation that is principled and pragmatic. The trajectory of political development in South East Asia is uneven, with democracy in retreat in some places and grave human rights abuses occurring around the region.
We are concerned for instance by the trampling of democracy by Myanmar’s military – the Tatmadaw. We have expressed our condemnation of the coup and have taken steps to pressure Tatmadaw leaders towards the return to civilian government.
New Zealand sees it as critical that the regime releases those people arbitrarily detained since the coup, including foreign nationals and political prisoners.

We also have serious concerns over the situation in the South China Sea, including artificial island building, continued militarisation, and activities which pose risks to freedom of navigation and overflight.
"​

She excluded naming the PRC in certain important points where she listed countries within the region such as the highly advanced economies, and has only mentioned it once. Yet she's twice directly referred to its actions in the SCS; the first time in the bullet point list:
"Respect for rules: consistency with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, freedom of navigation and overflight
• Openness: that the region is open for trade, investment, and the movement of people to support prosperity and open supply chains
• Inclusivity: that all countries in the region can participate
• That sovereignty is upheld and respected
• Transparency: that states are honest about their foreign policy objectives and initiatives beyond their borders"

which even a blind person could see who that was aimed at, and then she really reinforces it later with "We also have serious concerns over the situation in the South China Sea, including artificial island building, continued militarisation, and activities which pose risks to freedom of navigation and overflight.".

I would suggest that this is a deliberate pivot towards the US policy wise. She went on to say "We look forward to working with the Biden Administration on regional issues. New Zealand’s relationship with the United States has deep roots, built over many decades of cooperation. We share values and have common interests in how the region operates." Whilst she paid lip service to NZ’s independent foreign policy, "An independent, principled foreign policy is a powerfully simple concept. As Norman Kirk described it, “we want New Zealand’s foreign policy to express New Zealand’s ideals as well as reflect our national interests”. That means that while New Zealand must work with the region as it is, we are also clear on what we stand for: the rule of law, human dignity, and universal human rights." It really means very little but words because regardless of what our pollies may believe, our foreign policy often reacts to what the great powers are doing in in the great game.

I hope that this is a positive sign but given the track record of Jacindarella and her crew of misfits I will not be holding my breath because the next focus group probably will change their minds due to no Māori, Pasifika, and LGBGT+ engagement and funding.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I hope that this is a positive sign but given the track record of Jacindarella and her crew of misfits I will not be holding my breath because the next focus group probably will change their minds due to no Māori, Pasifika, and LGBGT+ engagement and funding.
This is all diplomatic double speak, saying something but committing to nothing.
The best message she could have given is;
Chinese hegemony has made the region unstable, and;
NZ recognises the danger and must make changes, diversify trade, better prepare our sovereign capabilities in both defence and cyber security and nurture defence relations with other democratic Indo Pacific neighbours
 

Gibbo

Well-Known Member
This is all diplomatic double speak, saying something but committing to nothing.
The best message she could have given is;
Chinese hegemony has made the region unstable, and;
NZ recognises the danger and must make changes, diversify trade, better prepare our sovereign capabilities in both defence and cyber security and nurture defence relations with other democratic Indo Pacific neighbours

Yep... complete hollow waffle... not a mention of the word Defence! The more some people talk, the less they say!
 

Hone C

Active Member

The latest 'Indefensible New Zealand' podcast is out. Looks at red teaming a hybrid attack on NZ, primarily cyber and physical destruction or denial of critical national infrastructure. Lack of resilience in key areas such as energy, communications and transport are key factors explored.


Related to the resilience issue is NZ's upcoming loss of domestic refining capability, with an overwhelming shareholder vote to cease refining at Marsden Point and convert to an import terminal.

Hard to argue against from the financial viewpoint, with narrow margins in refining and energy transition/climate policy on the horizon.

No accounting for geopolitical risks, such as supply disruption. The decision will probably result in reduction of coastal POL shipping and loss of between a quarter and a third of NZs overall fuel stocks.
 
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