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New Zealand - Ministry of Defence

The responsibilities of the Secretary of Defence and the Chief of Defence Force form the basis of the organisational functions and structures of the Ministry of Defence and the NZDF. Prior to the Defence Act 1990, the NZDF and the Ministry of Defence co-existed in a 'diarchy' structure. As a result of the reforms introduced by the Defence Act 1990, the Ministry of Defence and the NZDF are separate entities reporting to the Minister of Defence, but operating to some degree in an integrated manner. This arrangement adds a complexity that is not present in other government arrangements, in turn producing a unique set of governance and accountability issues.

The Ministry of Defence supports the Government in protecting New Zealand's sovereignty and meeting its responsibilities for the maintenance of regional and global security. In performing this task it has three main roles:

  • To provide advice on defence policy, international defence relations and the military capabilities required to meet the Government's defence policy objectives.
  • To manage the procurement of major capital equipment (that is, equipment with a total purchase consideration of greater than seven million dollars) contributing to the future capabilities of the NZDF.
  • To conduct assessments and audits of any function, duty or project of the NZDF and the Ministry's capital procurement activities.
The Ministry's Policy and Planning Division forms part of the Defence Policy and Planning Unit (DPPU), an integrated policy organisation that reports to the Secretary of Defence and to the Chief of Defence Force. The Acquisition Division is responsible for the procurement, replacement and repair of equipment of major significance used or intended for use by the NZDF (that is, equipment with a total purchase consideration of over $7 million). In carrying out this task the Division has two core responsibilities which are the: Management of procurement processes for defence capability; Provision of information and policy advice on New Zealand industry and its capability to carry out defence work.

The Evaluation Division carries out assessments and audits, under section 24 (2)(e) of the Defence Act 1990, of any function, duty or project of the NZDF. The Division also conducts audits of the Ministry's activities relating to the procurement of major military capability. These assessments and audits are undertaken when required by the Minister of Defence, or to a program approved under authority delegated by the Minister to the Secretary of Defence and the Chief of Defence Force. Reports of completed audits are submitted to the responsible chief executive and to the Minister. The Secretary and the Chief of Defence Force, together with an external member, meet six monthly as the Defence Evaluation Board to approve the program of work for the Evaluation Division, receive reports on audits completed, and to monitor follow up action on past audits.

The Ministry's Corporate Division provides support services and policy advice to the Ministry in the areas of legal, human resources, finance, communications, administration, and information technology and information management. This service assists the Ministry to meet its key outputs of policy advice, procurement management, and evaluation.

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