NZDF General discussion thread

Xthenaki

Active Member
Here's the recording of the hearing if anyone wants to comment on it (I haven't fully watched it yet but briefly noticed the DefMin is talking about a new Govt defence assessment, whatever that entails).
Both the DefMin and ChiefofDef agreed that their initial priority lay in improving, recruiting and in certain areas competing for skilled workforce. $90mil has been allocated in the last budget to cover costs over the coming four years. It was agreed that manpower numbers needed to be upgraded first and that new acquisitions would follow as govt directed. It is not intended to purchase items now if the forces are unable to use them.

The above makes sense with the debacle that occurred with the use of military personal over the initial Covid period and the need to regain personal numbers to the operable level required.

It is now essential also that major acquisition orders are selected and placed to allow for the time frames for delivery to be made. Building on what we have so that we increase item numbers, needs to be structured at regular intervals in the future. This means that obsolesence does not occur all at once. Another example would be the acquisition of a couple of SeaGuardian UAVs and setting up the infrastructure and training required to enter active service. More can be added later. If a S Is. naval facility was decided upon then the infrastructure and staffing has to be planned for and funded. With new areas not already covered that will enhance capability - we will have to start the same way. Recruiting and expansion go hand in hand,

Meanwhile we wait for the upcoming report and briefs from Govt.
 

Gooey

Well-Known Member
recce. k1

many, many thanks for your attachments.

Principally the NZ WWII radar history. Excellent stuff which I had no idea about.

"A decision of the Chiefs of Staff Committee to establish sixteen radar coastwatching stations in New Zealand, controlled and manned by the Navy, had been approved by War Cabinet in July 1940."

For the FAD&T select committee link, again many thanks. Although the hope for NZ national security is that this is not the sum of both NZG oversight or knowledge. The whole process, to me, reeked of complacency with all of the participants being far too comfortable with their positions. As I said before, there appears to be no appreciation of the magnitude of the changing strategic environment in the Pacific or our lack of war-fighting capability to contribute to the areas defence. The high/low point being when Minister Henare said that no overseas ministers mentioned NZ expenditure, so it must be about right!
 

Gracie1234

Active Member
An interesting interview on NZ and NATO which is relevant as our PM has been invited.
Of interest is that this meeting will set the strategic direction of NATO for the next decade. The one aspect i am disappointed in is that our media never asked the question....why do we need NATO. They always frame it like NATO are chasing us and making NZ do things when the reality is that we need NATO to protect our interests in the Asia Pacific. China is a real threat to our sovereignty, and we need to encourage them that the price of their current direction is going to be too high.
In my mind, the outcome of what happens in Ukraine will be a model for our region and will either encourage or dissuade China.
I do think that it is good that NATO is showing an interest in our region and starting to work with like-minded countries. Japan, South Korea, Australia and NZ. NATO support would make a huge difference and provides access to some high-end capabilities such as Cyber Defence.
On the plus side, it helps to diffuse the argument that NZ is getting pulled into the USA-China conflict which to me is not the full picture in our region.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Actions of course speak louder than words so I wait in eager anticipation of NZs response to what they themselves admit is an increasingly uncertain and risky geostrategic environment.

I would suggest extra P8s would be a good start. Also start moving on the Anzac frigate replacement. Something decent too, not just OPVs. Really they should consider joining the Hunter program.

UCAVs as well. Perhaps something based around the Ghost Bat.

Not holding my breath on any of this by the way.
The Hunter FFG is pretty expensive and too expensive for NZ. At present even the so called Ghost Bat as a UCAV is still a pipe dream as a UCAV for the ADF. Such a capability is far to risky for the NZG, as is TBH, some of the RAN ambition for the Hunter Class.
I rather think this may be aimed at the Kiwis, amongst others:

It does certainly have it's appeal and also I think that the VARD 7-100-OPV would be another option. I do note that the -125's design draft is 0.6m shallower than that of the -100. The VARD 7-100-ICE-AOPV would of course be the SOPV fleet vessel type. This is the VARD 9-203 that the government was believed to be showing an interest in as a science vessel. It's an icebreaker and research vessel and as such is really a requirement given our Antarctic operations. It should be a whole of government ship being crewed by the RNZN. The Chilean Navy is having one built.
Cost per capability I think the Constellation Class provides more “bang for buck.” Due to total project costs Hunter is around $3 billion NZD a unit and the Constellation 1.4 Billion NZD, the Type 26 2.4 billion NZD. All things being equal I wonder where the RNZN could fit in in each build cycle listed above.
Your figures are out somewhat. The US FFG-62 Constellation Class unit cost is estimated to be US$1.2 billion which currently is NZ$2 billion. The RN Type 26 unit was estimated in 2017 to be £1.2 billion per unit (NZ$2.5 billion) but I have seen later figures which put it somewhat higher. I just can't find the references at the moment. I would suspect that doesn't include GFE - Government Furnished Equipment. At the reference or the FFG-62 unit cost the RCN CSC unit cost is quoted. Take a seat before you click on the link and you'd better have a drink of strong spirits and a lie down afterwards.
Talking hypothetically about the Constellation class (and I agree it ticks many boxes), is the lack of hull mounted sonar an issue?

I know it was fitted to the original FREMM design but does anyone know if it is practical (engineering redesign and cost wise) to fit one to the Constellation class if it wasn't designed for it?
IIRC I think that the Italian non ASW FREMM variant has a hull mounted sonar. There are three FREMM variants currently in service; one French and two Italian. One of the Italian variants is a specialised ASW variant and the other is more an anti air variant.
I like the VLS setup offered to Greece. 36 x Sea Ceptor (via twitter):


It's worth noting that the CAMM ER uses the same launcher as CAMM, just longer canisters for the longer missiles:

No, definitely no to the mushroom cells because they are basically a single use system and takes up to much room. The Sea Ceptor can be launched from a Mk-41 VLS using a ExLS capsule and it's quad packed at the same time meaning 4 missiles per cell. Also ExLS is also a standalone VLS, is non deck penetrating, is available in three cell units, and basically can be mounted any where on the ship. It can hang from an inboard topside vertical surface, or be bolted to any spare deck space topside. The RNZN requires the Mk-41 VLS to be compatible with it's ally, friends and coalition partners in the Indo Pacific, especially the RAN & USN.
 

RubiconNZ

The Wanderer
Good Gracious to the Canadian figures I can’t imagine any incentive for our participation in that. I suppose I was unintentionally disingenuous in quoting the follow on unit cost of the Constellation class rather than the initial unit cost. Though seeing as the CBO is the original source of your linked I feel more inclined to believe that figure.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
My personal view on any equipment theories is we first must ask the question as to what we can afford that gives us the best ability to defend NZ and after that our region. The benign strategic environment which our pollies used as a cloak to excuse the direction they took in regard to defence spending and equipment buying is gone, but there is still a reluctance by some to acknowledge this. The priorities in my opinion must be firstly to defend NZ then the region (this would include working with partners)followed by all the other tasks. If you look up the taskings for the NZ forces , this is how it is mostly written. but they are not supplied or funded to achieve this.
I think we must get our priorities back in the correct order and realize that it our freedom and sovereignty that we must maintain if we are going to do anything else in our region and the question must be on how best to do this effectively within our means.
That is absolute correct in all aspects. Well written post Rob.
I agree but i think it needs to be more specific than that and right upfront in how its presented.
1. Protect nz access to sea lanes and ports and the ships that rely on them (more than tokenistic 2 frigates and 4 P-8's) (given supply chain disruptions now is the easiest time to explain the significance of this)
2. Protect nz sovereign territory (P-8's to acf or frigate abm- unsure what but at least spurs the question of what)
3. Protect new zealanders living abroad - no more Thai 2008 hercules breakdowns again (larger pool of military transport aircraft)
4. Civil assistance/hadr
5. Assist allies and global order in times of crisus or war.

Something like this. As it starts to lay out redlines in terms of minimum capability rather than hiding behind vagaries that we have had before.
This is from the last Defence White Paper in 2016.

Defence Force Roles and Tasks
1.21 The Defence Force must be able to undertake a range of roles and tasks across diverse geographical and operating environments. The principal roles of the Defence Force are to:
Defend New Zealand’s sovereign territory;
  • Contribute to national resilience and whole of government security objectives;
  • Meet New Zealand’s commitment as an ally of Australia;
  • Support New Zealand’s civilian presence in the Ross Dependency of Antarctica, and participate in whole of government efforts to monitor and respond to activity in the Southern Ocean;
  • Contribute to, and where necessary lead, operations in the South Pacific;
  • Make a credible contribution in support of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Protect New Zealand’s wider interests by contributing to international peace and security, and the international rule of law;
  • Contribute to the advancement of New Zealand’s security partnerships;
  • Participate in whole of government efforts to monitor the strategic environment and
  • Be prepared to respond to sudden shifts in the strategic environment.
1.22 Government’s highest priority for the Defence Force is its ability to operate in New Zealand and its Exclusive Economic Zone, followed by the South Pacific and the Southern Ocean. The Defence Force must therefore be prepared to operate independently, or lead operations, in these areas.
the defence white paper.
It is also important that the Defence Force maintains its ability to contribute to operations further afield should the Government require it to do so. Such contributions will most likely be made as part of operations led by New Zealand’s international partners. The ability of the New Zealand Defence Force to operate effectively with others, particularly Australia, will therefore remain an important focus for New Zealand.
1.24 New Zealand will continue to balance its interest in contributing to the rules-based international order, from which it benefits, with the increasing risks posed to New Zealanders deployed beyond the South Pacific.

I haven't included the 2018 Defence Policy Statement because it doesn't carry the same weight as a White Paper. The DWP is the policy document that is the legal foundation for capabilities and everything else within defence because it lays out government policy in the area. It gives defence direction on what the government requires of it and what to plan for. However the problem has always been that defence policy, politicians expectations and politicians willingness to pay for it are in completely different realities. It has been long debated amongst cosmologists, astrophysicists, and philosophers that there may be more than one reality and one universe. Well I think that we have empirical evidence of such a theoretical concept when we look at NZ pollies attitudes towards defence. Maybe I should write a paper on it - might be a Nobel Prize on Physics in it :p :D

We can and do argue and discuss capability, but in order to return NZDF to a fully credible capable force we are looking at $55 billion in acquisitions alone. Then we have to find the extra people required and more importantly the support of the general population for such huge expenditure. Finally the pollies have to be convinced of the absolute necessity of it and that' always been the most difficult part. You have to determine what it is that you want NZDF to do; what it's core mission is and what its CONOPS are. Then you decide on your force structure and capabilities required. You design your force structure first before you even think of capabilities and then you plan capability requirements to the force structure and CONOPS. Obviously we aren't going to acquire a fleet of CVNs and operate Star Destroyers, but we can still have a force structure and associated capabilities that meet both out needs and requirements, which don't also break the bank.

For years I have had a spreadsheet that I use to plan possible NZDF capabilities and I always have a particular National Security Strategy in mind when I work on the spreadsheet, because if we don't have a National Security Strategy we are fumbling around in the dark, which was are actually doing exactly because NZ doesn't have a comprehensive all of government National Security Strategy that includes resilience. You have to be able to look at the micro, meso, and macro views and situations simultaneously in order to gain some understanding of what is happening and what may happen. Even then you can be tripped up quickly enough.
Maybe even arm the P8s properly.
Most definitely. With LRASM and NSM and definitely not Harpoon because it's obsolete and well past it's use by date, bit like pollies.
recce. k1

many, many thanks for your attachments.

Principally the NZ WWII radar history. Excellent stuff which I had no idea about.

"A decision of the Chiefs of Staff Committee to establish sixteen radar coastwatching stations in New Zealand, controlled and manned by the Navy, had been approved by War Cabinet in July 1940."

For the FAD&T select committee link, again many thanks. Although the hope for NZ national security is that this is not the sum of both NZG oversight or knowledge. The whole process, to me, reeked of complacency with all of the participants being far too comfortable with their positions. As I said before, there appears to be no appreciation of the magnitude of the changing strategic environment in the Pacific or our lack of war-fighting capability to contribute to the areas defence. The high/low point being when Minister Henare said that no overseas ministers mentioned NZ expenditure, so it must be about right!
The first radar units in PNG in 1942 were RNZAF ones because the Americans and Australians didn't have anywhere near the same capability at the time. NZ supplied a lot of radar units to the US in the Pacific and it was generally more advanced than that originating from the US. By 1944/45 NZ was a world leader in radar technology. When the war ended the government got rid of all that capability and knowledge. Who knows what we could have achieved if we had kept going with it and how much it would've been worth to our economy.
 

JohnJT

Active Member
Good Gracious to the Canadian figures I can’t imagine any incentive for our participation in that. I suppose I was unintentionally disingenuous in quoting the follow on unit cost of the Constellation class rather than the initial unit cost. Though seeing as the CBO is the original source of your linked I feel more inclined to believe that figure.
You weren't disingenuous at all. $1.2B average per ship is based on the CBO's estimate of $12.3B for the whole 10 ship program. The first ships are always more expensive than subsequent ships and push the average price up.
CBO estimates the cost of procuring the lead FFG(X) to be $1.6 billion
The US Navy still estimates the 10 ship program at $8.7B. We won't know what it actually costs until the last ship is built.

I found this note in the CBO publication interesting:
An independent estimate within the Department of Defense (DoD) was lower than the Navy’s estimate.
So, according to the DoD's estimate, it could be even lower than $870M average per ship.

At the end of the day, whichever estimate you use, the Constellation class is going to be cheaper than the T26, Hunter or CSC.
 
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JohnJT

Active Member
I rather think this may be aimed at the Kiwis, amongst others:

They're definitely aiming the Vard 7 110 at the Kiwis. They even put a Kiwi on the side of their render. :p


 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
PM Ardern's speech at the NATO Leaders meeting PM's comments to NATO session | Beehive.govt.nz. I have copied excerpts from it.

"New Zealand is not here to expand our military alliances. We are here to contribute to a world that lessens the need for anyone to call on them.
Aotearoa New Zealand has a fiercely held independent foreign policy. We are also one of the oldest and most stable liberal democracies. But that does not mean we judge our foreign policy interventions based on political ideology, but rather, the simple concept that when our shared humanity is undermined, we all suffer. And on that basis, we are unequivocal. The war in Ukraine is wrong. Russia’s actions are an affront to all of us. Not because this conflict should be characterised as a war of the west vs Russia, or even democracy vs autocracy, it is neither. Rather it’s a war of Russia vs all those who hold a basic sense of humanity and chose to act on it. The war in Ukraine is also an affront to our multilateral institutions. Russia’s use of its UN Security Council position to block consideration of the invasion is morally bankrupt. And demonstrates why we must continue to seek reform of the UN."

That's fairly standard but I would've liked to have seen more of an indication of a willingness to form an alliance with a grouping within the Indo Pacific. And working more closely with NATO.

"We are also making significant contributions to the international legal effort to hold Russia accountable and are planning to intervene in Ukraine’s case against Russia in the International Court of Justice. In all of this, we stand alongside those who share our same values. And here I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by NATO. But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world. Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament."

Yes, and IIRC this is only the second time that we have intervened in an ICJ case. The last was about 10 years ago when we supported Australia in its case against Japan's Minke whaling in the Southern Ocean.

"New Zealand is a Pacific nation. Our region, bears the scars of decades of nuclear testing. It was because of these lessons that New Zealand has long declared itself proudly nuclear free. Some may observe this status and assume us to have the naive (sic) privilege of such a position. I would argue, the world can’t afford anything less. This crossroads that the world finds itself at, should be the basis for us to put a halt in the production of weapons that create our mutually assured destruction, because the alternative is unfathomable. And so, as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty convenes for its tenth review conference in August, I hope all members agree to send a strong message. Because if not now, when the threat is even greater, then when?"

She had to go and bring that up didn't she. Some things are best left unsaid at certain places and this was one of those times. It will wind up certain sections of the American public, who we really don't want to wind up at the moment. But most of all it's ammo for the Russian and PRC troll farms.

"Sadly, the shift in environment we are currently seeing is not limited to one region. In our neighbourhood we see the mounting pressure on the international rules-based order. We see attempts to disrupt and destabilise – even New Zealand is targeted by Russian mis & dis information. Separately China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms. Here, we must respond to the actions we see. We must stand firm on the rules-based order, call for diplomatic engagement and speak out against human rights abuses at all times when and where we see them. But we also must resist the temptation to simplify the increasingly complex world in which we live. We must use diplomacy at every opportunity, until it has proven to fail. We must strengthen the resilience of the Indo-Pacific region through relationships and economic architecture rather than militarisation. Let our actions be focused on de-escalation, peace and stability. And on these terms – on these terms - we welcome the presence of like-minded partners in the region."

WRT Ukraine it's quite obvious that diplomacy has failed. WRT the CCP/PRC it's becoming increasingly obvious that the only diplomacy they are interested in is the diplomacy where they always get what they want at no cost to themselves and they are never at fault. It is time to be more assertive with the CCP/PRC and be prepared for the inevitable backlash when they respond.

"But finally, it would be wrong to assume that the current threats we face are the only ones that occupy the minds of our region. In fact, the primary security concern of the Pacific, is that of climate change. Already in the Pacific, sea level rise is having an impact. There are more frequent natural disasters, impacting on livelihoods through food insecurity, and even greater hardship. We all have a responsibility to address these problems. We look forward to engaging further with partners on this issue, the most consistent and universal threat we face."

I think it was the NZ Herald who wrote that she said that this was more for a domestic audience, but it shouldn't be because we aren't the audience that matter. The audience that mattered were the ones in the room with her, their advisors, their governments, NATO and Ukraine, Russian and the PRC. This is the biggest security challenge that the world has faced since WW2 and she's playing domestic politics on the world stage, at probably the most important international diplomatic and security meeting she'll ever attend. It's definitely not a good look. I hope she performed and acted a lot better in the closed door sessions.

This is an update on the new assistance that we are providing Ukraine. Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine | Beehive.govt.nz As far as I am concerned it's somewhat paltry.
 

Xthenaki

Active Member
PM Ardern's speech at the NATO Leaders meeting PM's comments to NATO session | Beehive.govt.nz. I have copied excerpts from it.

"New Zealand is not here to expand our military alliances. We are here to contribute to a world that lessens the need for anyone to call on them.
Aotearoa New Zealand has a fiercely held independent foreign policy. We are also one of the oldest and most stable liberal democracies. But that does not mean we judge our foreign policy interventions based on political ideology, but rather, the simple concept that when our shared humanity is undermined, we all suffer. And on that basis, we are unequivocal. The war in Ukraine is wrong. Russia’s actions are an affront to all of us. Not because this conflict should be characterised as a war of the west vs Russia, or even democracy vs autocracy, it is neither. Rather it’s a war of Russia vs all those who hold a basic sense of humanity and chose to act on it. The war in Ukraine is also an affront to our multilateral institutions. Russia’s use of its UN Security Council position to block consideration of the invasion is morally bankrupt. And demonstrates why we must continue to seek reform of the UN."

That's fairly standard but I would've liked to have seen more of an indication of a willingness to form an alliance with a grouping within the Indo Pacific. And working more closely with NATO.

"We are also making significant contributions to the international legal effort to hold Russia accountable and are planning to intervene in Ukraine’s case against Russia in the International Court of Justice. In all of this, we stand alongside those who share our same values. And here I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by NATO. But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world. Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament."

Yes, and IIRC this is only the second time that we have intervened in an ICJ case. The last was about 10 years ago when we supported Australia in its case against Japan's Minke whaling in the Southern Ocean.

"New Zealand is a Pacific nation. Our region, bears the scars of decades of nuclear testing. It was because of these lessons that New Zealand has long declared itself proudly nuclear free. Some may observe this status and assume us to have the naive (sic) privilege of such a position. I would argue, the world can’t afford anything less. This crossroads that the world finds itself at, should be the basis for us to put a halt in the production of weapons that create our mutually assured destruction, because the alternative is unfathomable. And so, as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty convenes for its tenth review conference in August, I hope all members agree to send a strong message. Because if not now, when the threat is even greater, then when?"

She had to go and bring that up didn't she. Some things are best left unsaid at certain places and this was one of those times. It will wind up certain sections of the American public, who we really don't want to wind up at the moment. But most of all it's ammo for the Russian and PRC troll farms.

"Sadly, the shift in environment we are currently seeing is not limited to one region. In our neighbourhood we see the mounting pressure on the international rules-based order. We see attempts to disrupt and destabilise – even New Zealand is targeted by Russian mis & dis information. Separately China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms. Here, we must respond to the actions we see. We must stand firm on the rules-based order, call for diplomatic engagement and speak out against human rights abuses at all times when and where we see them. But we also must resist the temptation to simplify the increasingly complex world in which we live. We must use diplomacy at every opportunity, until it has proven to fail. We must strengthen the resilience of the Indo-Pacific region through relationships and economic architecture rather than militarisation. Let our actions be focused on de-escalation, peace and stability. And on these terms – on these terms - we welcome the presence of like-minded partners in the region."

WRT Ukraine it's quite obvious that diplomacy has failed. WRT the CCP/PRC it's becoming increasingly obvious that the only diplomacy they are interested in is the diplomacy where they always get what they want at no cost to themselves and they are never at fault. It is time to be more assertive with the CCP/PRC and be prepared for the inevitable backlash when they respond.

"But finally, it would be wrong to assume that the current threats we face are the only ones that occupy the minds of our region. In fact, the primary security concern of the Pacific, is that of climate change. Already in the Pacific, sea level rise is having an impact. There are more frequent natural disasters, impacting on livelihoods through food insecurity, and even greater hardship. We all have a responsibility to address these problems. We look forward to engaging further with partners on this issue, the most consistent and universal threat we face."

I think it was the NZ Herald who wrote that she said that this was more for a domestic audience, but it shouldn't be because we aren't the audience that matter. The audience that mattered were the ones in the room with her, their advisors, their governments, NATO and Ukraine, Russian and the PRC. This is the biggest security challenge that the world has faced since WW2 and she's playing domestic politics on the world stage, at probably the most important international diplomatic and security meeting she'll ever attend. It's definitely not a good look. I hope she performed and acted a lot better in the closed door sessions.

This is an update on the new assistance that we are providing Ukraine. Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine | Beehive.govt.nz As far as I am concerned it's somewhat paltry.
Well Jacinderella could be grandstanding for the next vacancy at the UN. Just following in Aunty Helens footsteps maybe, Her ideal world if she loses the next election. Passivism is not realistic in todays environment where ultimatums backed up with accross the board solidarity need to be shown.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Well Jacinderella could be grandstanding for the next vacancy at the UN. Just following in Aunty Helens footsteps maybe, Her ideal world if she loses the next election. Passivism is not realistic in todays environment where ultimatums backed up with accross the board solidarity need to be shown.
Well the PRC are not happy chappies with her speech at the NATO Leaders Meeting in Madrid. Their Embassy in Wellington released this statement yesterday: Statement by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand on New Zealand's Comments to NATO Session (china-embassy.gov.cn)

We have taken note of the relevant comment made by the New Zealand side at the NATO session, which includes some misguided accusations against China, claiming that "China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms". That allegation is wrong and thus regrettable. It is obvious that such comment is not helpful for deepening mutual trust between the two countries, or for the efforts made by the two countries to keep our bilateral relations on the right track.
China is firmly committed to upholding multilateralism, supporting the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on the Charter of the UN, international law and the universally recognized basic norms governing international relations. At the same time, China opposes attempts by a small number of countries to impose their own will and so-called "values" on others under the guise of multilateralism. We also take a firm stand against their attempts to define international rules by their own rules with a view to shoring up their own dominance and even hegemony. It is those attempts that have eroded the foundation of multilateralism, undermined international peace and stability, and disrupted the joint efforts of international community in promoting sustainable development and addressing global challenges. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the international community have come to their own conclusions as to who has been undermining multilateralism and the universally recognized international rules and order.
We have noted that the New Zealand side mentioned that it made this position out of the need to respond to the escalation of tension in the region, claiming that “We see the mounting pressure on the international rules-based order. We see attempts to disrupt and destabilise.” China's position on its relations with the South Pacific is consistent and clear. Our goal is to deepen the long-standing partnership with South Pacific countries to help island countries partners enhance their development capacity, better respond to climate change, the single greatest challenge facing them, and achieve sustainable development. In that process, China is ready to work together with all relevant parties sharing this goal. If there is indeed an escalation of tension in the Pacific, it cannot have been caused by China's cooperation with its island partners to advance sustainable development . Such cooperation has nothing to do with the "militarization" of the region. If militarization does exist in the South Pacific , it is clear to all who and what is fueling such tensions.
We have also noted that the New Zealand side has reiterated that it remains committed to the independent foreign policy, does not seek to expand military alliances or to judge foreign policy interventions based on political ideology, and calls for focusing on de-escalation, peace and stability. China’s position on the military alliances such as NATO is consistent. We strongly oppose all kinds of military alliances, bloc politics, or exclusive small groups that divide the world into opposing camps along ideological faultlines, and lead to geopolitical contentions. We are also against taking sides or forcing others to take sides. We believe in security for all countries and solidarity in response to common challenges. 
This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and New Zealand. Over the past half a century, through the joint efforts of both sides, our relationship has made tremendous progress and brought tangible benefits to both countries and above all, both peoples. The achievements have not come out of nowhere or as a matter of course, and should be cherished and nurtured carefully by both sides. China is willing to work with New Zealand on the basis of mutual respect, seeking common ground while shelving differences, and win-win cooperation, to implement the consensus between our leaders on promoting the healthy and steady development of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between us, and to continuously expand commonalities while constructively managing differences through dialogues and consultations, so as to push our bilateral relations forward in a changing world and better benefit the two countries and two peoples, and at the same time, make more contribution to international and regional peace, stability and prosperity.

On NATO this is their official response to the NATO summit and it's 2022 Strategic Concept: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on June 30, 2022 (china-embassy.gov.cn)

CCTV: On June 29, NATO released its 2022 Strategic Concept at the Madrid Summit. The document mentioned China for the first time. It claimed that China challenges NATO’s “interests, security and values” and criticized China’s normal defense building, economic policies, technological progress, among other aspects. It also said that NATO remains “open to constructive engagement” with China. This is the first NATO Summit that invited leaders of Asia-Pacific countries including Japan and the Republic of Korea. What’s China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: The NATO 2022 Strategic Concept has misrepresented facts and distorted the truth. In this document, NATO once again wrongly defined China as posing "systemic challenges". It smeared China's foreign policy and pointed fingers at China's normal military posture and defense policy. The document seeks to stoke confrontation and antagonism and smacks heavily of Cold War mentality and ideological bias. China is gravely concerned over this and firmly opposes it.
China is known to be a force for world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order. China has never invaded any country, never launched a proxy war, and never joined or formed any military bloc. We are committed to the path of peaceful development. We aim to build a community with a shared future for mankind. We have advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, which are being implemented. All of those are public goods provided by China to help the international community deal with major issues on peace and development. People of the world see clearly that China presents valuable opportunities for world peace and development. It does not pose “systemic challenges”, as wrongly purported by NATO.
In contrast, it is NATO that poses systemic challenges to world security and stability. NATO claims to be a regional defensive alliance, but it has constantly sought to make advances into new areas and domains and waged wars in various countries in the world. NATO has the blood of their people on its hands. The Chinese people will not forget the crimes NATO committed 23 years ago when US-led NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Now NATO has extended its tentacles to the Asia-Pacific and sought to export the Cold War mentality and replicate bloc confrontation. The Asia-Pacific is one of the most peaceful and stable regions in the world and a promising land for cooperation and development. Any attempt to undermine its peace and stability and sabotage regional solidarity and cooperation will be unanimously rejected by the people in China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific. Such attempts are bound to fail.
Here is our message for NATO: hyping up the so-called “China threat” will lead nowhere. NATO must immediately stop its groundless accusations and provocative rhetoric against China, abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, renounce its blind faith in military might and misguided practice of seeking absolute security, halt the dangerous attempt to destabilize Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and act in the interest of security and stability in Europe and beyond.

As usual it's every one else's fault and never the CCP/PRCs, but it underlines the fact that the CCP will not back down, nor change its ways and it will continue to be a threat to NZ and the South Pacific while it continues to exist.
 

Xthenaki

Active Member
Well the PRC are not happy chappies with her speech at the NATO Leaders Meeting in Madrid. Their Embassy in Wellington released this statement yesterday: Statement by the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand on New Zealand's Comments to NATO Session (china-embassy.gov.cn)

We have taken note of the relevant comment made by the New Zealand side at the NATO session, which includes some misguided accusations against China, claiming that "China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms". That allegation is wrong and thus regrettable. It is obvious that such comment is not helpful for deepening mutual trust between the two countries, or for the efforts made by the two countries to keep our bilateral relations on the right track.
China is firmly committed to upholding multilateralism, supporting the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on the Charter of the UN, international law and the universally recognized basic norms governing international relations. At the same time, China opposes attempts by a small number of countries to impose their own will and so-called "values" on others under the guise of multilateralism. We also take a firm stand against their attempts to define international rules by their own rules with a view to shoring up their own dominance and even hegemony. It is those attempts that have eroded the foundation of multilateralism, undermined international peace and stability, and disrupted the joint efforts of international community in promoting sustainable development and addressing global challenges. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the international community have come to their own conclusions as to who has been undermining multilateralism and the universally recognized international rules and order.
We have noted that the New Zealand side mentioned that it made this position out of the need to respond to the escalation of tension in the region, claiming that “We see the mounting pressure on the international rules-based order. We see attempts to disrupt and destabilise.” China's position on its relations with the South Pacific is consistent and clear. Our goal is to deepen the long-standing partnership with South Pacific countries to help island countries partners enhance their development capacity, better respond to climate change, the single greatest challenge facing them, and achieve sustainable development. In that process, China is ready to work together with all relevant parties sharing this goal. If there is indeed an escalation of tension in the Pacific, it cannot have been caused by China's cooperation with its island partners to advance sustainable development . Such cooperation has nothing to do with the "militarization" of the region. If militarization does exist in the South Pacific , it is clear to all who and what is fueling such tensions.
We have also noted that the New Zealand side has reiterated that it remains committed to the independent foreign policy, does not seek to expand military alliances or to judge foreign policy interventions based on political ideology, and calls for focusing on de-escalation, peace and stability. China’s position on the military alliances such as NATO is consistent. We strongly oppose all kinds of military alliances, bloc politics, or exclusive small groups that divide the world into opposing camps along ideological faultlines, and lead to geopolitical contentions. We are also against taking sides or forcing others to take sides. We believe in security for all countries and solidarity in response to common challenges. 
This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and New Zealand. Over the past half a century, through the joint efforts of both sides, our relationship has made tremendous progress and brought tangible benefits to both countries and above all, both peoples. The achievements have not come out of nowhere or as a matter of course, and should be cherished and nurtured carefully by both sides. China is willing to work with New Zealand on the basis of mutual respect, seeking common ground while shelving differences, and win-win cooperation, to implement the consensus between our leaders on promoting the healthy and steady development of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between us, and to continuously expand commonalities while constructively managing differences through dialogues and consultations, so as to push our bilateral relations forward in a changing world and better benefit the two countries and two peoples, and at the same time, make more contribution to international and regional peace, stability and prosperity.

On NATO this is their official response to the NATO summit and it's 2022 Strategic Concept: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on June 30, 2022 (china-embassy.gov.cn)

CCTV: On June 29, NATO released its 2022 Strategic Concept at the Madrid Summit. The document mentioned China for the first time. It claimed that China challenges NATO’s “interests, security and values” and criticized China’s normal defense building, economic policies, technological progress, among other aspects. It also said that NATO remains “open to constructive engagement” with China. This is the first NATO Summit that invited leaders of Asia-Pacific countries including Japan and the Republic of Korea. What’s China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: The NATO 2022 Strategic Concept has misrepresented facts and distorted the truth. In this document, NATO once again wrongly defined China as posing "systemic challenges". It smeared China's foreign policy and pointed fingers at China's normal military posture and defense policy. The document seeks to stoke confrontation and antagonism and smacks heavily of Cold War mentality and ideological bias. China is gravely concerned over this and firmly opposes it.
China is known to be a force for world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order. China has never invaded any country, never launched a proxy war, and never joined or formed any military bloc. We are committed to the path of peaceful development. We aim to build a community with a shared future for mankind. We have advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, which are being implemented. All of those are public goods provided by China to help the international community deal with major issues on peace and development. People of the world see clearly that China presents valuable opportunities for world peace and development. It does not pose “systemic challenges”, as wrongly purported by NATO.
In contrast, it is NATO that poses systemic challenges to world security and stability. NATO claims to be a regional defensive alliance, but it has constantly sought to make advances into new areas and domains and waged wars in various countries in the world. NATO has the blood of their people on its hands. The Chinese people will not forget the crimes NATO committed 23 years ago when US-led NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Now NATO has extended its tentacles to the Asia-Pacific and sought to export the Cold War mentality and replicate bloc confrontation. The Asia-Pacific is one of the most peaceful and stable regions in the world and a promising land for cooperation and development. Any attempt to undermine its peace and stability and sabotage regional solidarity and cooperation will be unanimously rejected by the people in China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific. Such attempts are bound to fail.
Here is our message for NATO: hyping up the so-called “China threat” will lead nowhere. NATO must immediately stop its groundless accusations and provocative rhetoric against China, abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, renounce its blind faith in military might and misguided practice of seeking absolute security, halt the dangerous attempt to destabilize Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and act in the interest of security and stability in Europe and beyond.

As usual it's every one else's fault and never the CCP/PRCs, but it underlines the fact that the CCP will not back down, nor change its ways and it will continue to be a threat to NZ and the South Pacific while it continues to ....
Ardern has every right to express Nz*s concerns about the PRC and its potential to change a peaceful status quo in the Pacific region to a non negotiable communist dominated system. Your last paragraph sums the situation up perfectly - China has no intention of backing down or accepting criticism.

I thought that Arderns speech to NATO was Too soft, Europe is facing a major crisis and NATO needs to confront Russia head on. JFK confronted Kruscheiv in the Cuban crisis and the Russians backed off. Putin may not that remains to be seen. Putin has given the UN the fingers so Arderns push for a diplomatic resolve will not hold up unless Russia is forced to change tack.
 
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ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
PM Ardern's speech at the NATO Leaders meeting PM's comments to NATO session | Beehive.govt.nz. I have copied excerpts from it.

"New Zealand is not here to expand our military alliances. We are here to contribute to a world that lessens the need for anyone to call on them.
Aotearoa New Zealand has a fiercely held independent foreign policy. We are also one of the oldest and most stable liberal democracies. But that does not mean we judge our foreign policy interventions based on political ideology, but rather, the simple concept that when our shared humanity is undermined, we all suffer. And on that basis, we are unequivocal. The war in Ukraine is wrong. Russia’s actions are an affront to all of us. Not because this conflict should be characterised as a war of the west vs Russia, or even democracy vs autocracy, it is neither. Rather it’s a war of Russia vs all those who hold a basic sense of humanity and chose to act on it. The war in Ukraine is also an affront to our multilateral institutions. Russia’s use of its UN Security Council position to block consideration of the invasion is morally bankrupt. And demonstrates why we must continue to seek reform of the UN."

That's fairly standard but I would've liked to have seen more of an indication of a willingness to form an alliance with a grouping within the Indo Pacific. And working more closely with NATO.

"We are also making significant contributions to the international legal effort to hold Russia accountable and are planning to intervene in Ukraine’s case against Russia in the International Court of Justice. In all of this, we stand alongside those who share our same values. And here I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by NATO. But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world. Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament."

Yes, and IIRC this is only the second time that we have intervened in an ICJ case. The last was about 10 years ago when we supported Australia in its case against Japan's Minke whaling in the Southern Ocean.

"New Zealand is a Pacific nation. Our region, bears the scars of decades of nuclear testing. It was because of these lessons that New Zealand has long declared itself proudly nuclear free. Some may observe this status and assume us to have the naive (sic) privilege of such a position. I would argue, the world can’t afford anything less. This crossroads that the world finds itself at, should be the basis for us to put a halt in the production of weapons that create our mutually assured destruction, because the alternative is unfathomable. And so, as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty convenes for its tenth review conference in August, I hope all members agree to send a strong message. Because if not now, when the threat is even greater, then when?"

She had to go and bring that up didn't she. Some things are best left unsaid at certain places and this was one of those times. It will wind up certain sections of the American public, who we really don't want to wind up at the moment. But most of all it's ammo for the Russian and PRC troll farms.

"Sadly, the shift in environment we are currently seeing is not limited to one region. In our neighbourhood we see the mounting pressure on the international rules-based order. We see attempts to disrupt and destabilise – even New Zealand is targeted by Russian mis & dis information. Separately China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms. Here, we must respond to the actions we see. We must stand firm on the rules-based order, call for diplomatic engagement and speak out against human rights abuses at all times when and where we see them. But we also must resist the temptation to simplify the increasingly complex world in which we live. We must use diplomacy at every opportunity, until it has proven to fail. We must strengthen the resilience of the Indo-Pacific region through relationships and economic architecture rather than militarisation. Let our actions be focused on de-escalation, peace and stability. And on these terms – on these terms - we welcome the presence of like-minded partners in the region."

WRT Ukraine it's quite obvious that diplomacy has failed. WRT the CCP/PRC it's becoming increasingly obvious that the only diplomacy they are interested in is the diplomacy where they always get what they want at no cost to themselves and they are never at fault. It is time to be more assertive with the CCP/PRC and be prepared for the inevitable backlash when they respond.

"But finally, it would be wrong to assume that the current threats we face are the only ones that occupy the minds of our region. In fact, the primary security concern of the Pacific, is that of climate change. Already in the Pacific, sea level rise is having an impact. There are more frequent natural disasters, impacting on livelihoods through food insecurity, and even greater hardship. We all have a responsibility to address these problems. We look forward to engaging further with partners on this issue, the most consistent and universal threat we face."

I think it was the NZ Herald who wrote that she said that this was more for a domestic audience, but it shouldn't be because we aren't the audience that matter. The audience that mattered were the ones in the room with her, their advisors, their governments, NATO and Ukraine, Russian and the PRC. This is the biggest security challenge that the world has faced since WW2 and she's playing domestic politics on the world stage, at probably the most important international diplomatic and security meeting she'll ever attend. It's definitely not a good look. I hope she performed and acted a lot better in the closed door sessions.

This is an update on the new assistance that we are providing Ukraine. Further Aotearoa New Zealand support for Ukraine | Beehive.govt.nz As far as I am concerned it's somewhat paltry.
When a leader attends a NATO summit during a geopolitical period of stress the audience is looking for “realpolitik” from an invitee, not policies and statements based on virtue, concern for climate or holier than thou statements.
Your PM is definitely bound for the UN after that performance.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
When a leader attends a NATO summit during a geopolitical period of stress the audience is looking for “realpolitik” from an invitee, not policies and statements based on virtue, concern for climate or holier than thou statements.
Your PM is definitely bound for the UN after that performance.
It would seem her invitation to attend was, in retrospect a mistake. She wanted to use the prestige of that for her own domestic audience. But by apparently largely ignoring the reason for NATO’s existence, and the general tone of the speech, she indicated that, under her government at least, NZ no longer shares the values, and concern over threat to those values, that the others do. She is probably also indicating thar she can learn nothing from history - of course there are other threats and issues as there have been since WW2, but that is not what NATO is about and where it came from.
 

recce.k1

Well-Known Member
I think many of us Kiwi's won't offer direct comments as discussing our PM treads that fine line of not directly discussing politics on the forum. But all I will say it is refreshing to read the perceptive views of our trans-tasman cousins (which also highlights "our" disconnect with real life defence and security related matters, now all in full view).
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
When a leader attends a NATO summit during a geopolitical period of stress the audience is looking for “realpolitik” from an invitee, not policies and statements based on virtue, concern for climate or holier than thou statements.
Your PM is definitely bound for the UN after that performance.
She definitely misread the situation and where a stateswoman was required, a midlevel bureaucrat turned up instead. It definitely isn't NZ's finest hour and certainly won't impress the Japanese, Koreans, or Singaporeans.
It would seem her invitation to attend was, in retrospect a mistake. She wanted to use the prestige of that for her own domestic audience. But by apparently largely ignoring the reason for NATO’s existence, and the general tone of the speech, she indicated that, under her government at least, NZ no longer shares the values, and concern over threat to those values, that the others do. She is probably also indicating thar she can learn nothing from history - of course there are other threats and issues as there have been since WW2, but that is not what NATO is about and where it came from.
It wasn't a mistake at all, because she had to be invited. Like I said above she completely misread the situation and NZ will have to pay for that mistake. People forget that she's Helen Clarks acolyte - Clarks chosen one, and they do think very similarly on many topics. She has repeated her criticism of the CCP/PRC in London overnight so we'll see if the CCP responds in anyway. The Labour Party has since the 1980s been wedded to the fiction of NZ's independent foreign policy which after all is a Labour Party policy put into practice by David Lange and Geoffrey Palmer during the 1984 - 90 Labour governments. I don't believe that the current PM and govt understand that the world is in the most dangerous state it has been since WW2. When we have an Opposition Party in Parliament (ACT) that hates spending government money, openly campaigning for increased defence funding and have said that they have a defence budget that will immediately move to 2%GDP and then will increase to $9.65 billion per annum from 2026 onwards, tells you how serious some pollies are taking the situation. The fact that pollies are openly discussing defence in NZ is a new phenomena means that shit's serious.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
The Labour Party has since the 1980s been wedded to the fiction of NZ's independent foreign policy which after all is a Labour Party policy put into practice by David Lange and Geoffrey Palmer during the 1984 - 90 Labour governments.
The above touches on something which I wished to clarify for my own understanding.

I am aware of an attitude held by some Kiwis that NZ has an "independent foreign policy," which seems in many case to be more like NZ adopting a policy position different from that of the positions held by traditional allies (US, UK, Oz, etc.) more so that NZ is or can been seen to be different from those traditional allies, rather than due to whatever the actual policies are or what the underlying situation is which led to those policies.

Further, in light of the conflict in Ukraine and the resulting economic and travel sanctions and restrictions placed upon Russia, it has become my understanding that NZ had no legal mechanism or provision to apply sanctions to a nation and/or individuals of a nation unless such sanctions were ordered by the UN or UNSC.

What I would like is if someone could clarify this, since if elements of NZ's foreign policy require the UN ordering something before NZ can act or enforce actions, then that strikes me as NZ deferring to the UN, rather that adopting it's own foreign policy.
 

Stuart M

Well-Known Member
The above touches on something which I wished to clarify for my own understanding.

I am aware of an attitude held by some Kiwis that NZ has an "independent foreign policy," which seems in many case to be more like NZ adopting a policy position different from that of the positions held by traditional allies (US, UK, Oz, etc.) more so that NZ is or can been seen to be different from those traditional allies, rather than due to whatever the actual policies are or what the underlying situation is which led to those policies.

Further, in light of the conflict in Ukraine and the resulting economic and travel sanctions and restrictions placed upon Russia, it has become my understanding that NZ had no legal mechanism or provision to apply sanctions to a nation and/or individuals of a nation unless such sanctions were ordered by the UN or UNSC.

What I would like is if someone could clarify this, since if elements of NZ's foreign policy require the UN ordering something before NZ can act or enforce actions, then that strikes me as NZ deferring to the UN, rather that adopting it's own foreign policy.
This is indeed pretty much the case, at least as far as sanctions go. My own view is that the much ballyhooed independent foreign policy is functionally nothing much more than an accomodation of amoral boomer lefties and amoral righties looking for the most expedient way to make money from any source to fund their projects by not offending any passing dictatorship.
In some respects its like the Blackadder episode where Edmund is pimping out Baldrick on the docks to pay off debts, Labour and National had a sign over NZ saying "get it here " and soon China was whispering sweet nothing's in our ear.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The above touches on something which I wished to clarify for my own understanding.

I am aware of an attitude held by some Kiwis that NZ has an "independent foreign policy," which seems in many case to be more like NZ adopting a policy position different from that of the positions held by traditional allies (US, UK, Oz, etc.) more so that NZ is or can been seen to be different from those traditional allies, rather than due to whatever the actual policies are or what the underlying situation is which led to those policies.

Further, in light of the conflict in Ukraine and the resulting economic and travel sanctions and restrictions placed upon Russia, it has become my understanding that NZ had no legal mechanism or provision to apply sanctions to a nation and/or individuals of a nation unless such sanctions were ordered by the UN or UNSC.

What I would like is if someone could clarify this, since if elements of NZ's foreign policy require the UN ordering something before NZ can act or enforce actions, then that strikes me as NZ deferring to the UN, rather that adopting it's own foreign policy.
A recent law was passed to enable the sanctions on Russia. It was unanimous so that was good New Zealand passes historic Russia Sanctions Act | Beehive.govt.nz
Back to the business of Defence spending, Dr Wayne Mapp puts his case for an increase to 2% of GDP and where that might take us looking forward.

Wayno finally starts to make some sense. He's dead right about the extra two P-8A and two C-130J-30. They would make a big difference. With the helicopters, he's pretty well spot on to. His suggestion of something between the NH90 and A109M is worthwhile and the AW139M would be ideal. It is also marinised so can fly off the current OPVs. The real point is we need to spend $55 billion in acquisitions over 10 - 15 years to bring NZDF back up to a capability that enables it too:
  • be in a position to defend NZ's interests, be a deterrent,
  • meet governments policy objectives,
  • be a credible defence force,
  • be able to survive in a near peer conflict,
  • be able to operate in coalitions whilst being fully self sufficient etc.
That works out at an annual NZDF budget of $10 billion per year plus inflation and excluding Defence from Treasury's Capital Charge.
 
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