BLUFThe strongly pro-defence New Zealand First Party losing all of its seats at the last election might result in domestic issues taking priority over defence.
In the recent NZ election, the pro-defence NZ First Party, led by Winston Peters, lost all of its seats. In the previous coalition government, the NZ First Party Members Winston Peters and Ron Mark respectively held the Foreign and Defence Ministries. Peters was concerned about China's increasing involvement in the South Pacific. Mark convinced colleagues to replace the out-dated P-3 Orion with the P-8 Poseidon and, C-130H Hercules with C-130Js, which greatly enhanced NZ's interoperability with Australia and the USA. NZ's Covid-19 induced budget deficit may mean that in future domestic issues, climate change, and South Pacific aid may take priority over defence spending. The US Biden administration does, however, share some of the NZ government's priorities such as:
- Multilateral diplomacy.
- Climate change cooperation.
- Rules-based order at home as well as offshore.
Consider the implications for Australia of NZ being less focused on geostrategic issues.
- July 2018 RNZ, Govt to spend $2.3b on planes to replace aging fleet
- Aug 2019 Incline, The Cost and Benefit of Frigates
- 2019 NZ Government, Defence Capability Plan 2019
- Aug 2020 The Interpreter, A force to combat climate change?
- Oct 2020 Stuff, 'Job done': Outgoing Defence Minister Ron Mark warns Labour must continue military spending
- Oct 2020 RNZ, Uncertainty around billions in Defence Force spending
- NZMD/NZDF Briefing to incoming Minister of Defence
- Jan 2021 ABC News, New Zealand Trade Minister suggests Australia should 'be cautious with wording' when dealing with China