Aotearoa New Zealand’s Defence Force (NZDF) should be used for peacekeeping, search and rescue, disaster relief, and fisheries protection. Our armed forces must only be deployed with the explicit approval of Parliament on behalf of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Non-violent conflict resolution must always be the priority
- New Zealand has played, and can continue to play, an important role as a specialist international peacekeeper. We should help develop other countries’ peacekeeping forces.
- Equipment that is not suitable for peacekeeping, search and rescue, disaster relief, and fisheries and border control tasks should be phased out.
- The NZDF must not maintain or use weapons that create long lasting risks to civilian populations and/or the environment.
Aotearoa New Zealand should have independent defence policy
- Our focus should be on the Asia/Pacific region to enhance collective security across the region and the NZDF should cooperate with our neighbours.
- The NZDF should not engage in training or joint military operations with nations who are using their military to suppress human rights or unjustly seize natural resources in their own or other countries.
The Defence Force should be capable of performing a wide range of operations
- We need appropriate naval and maritime capacity, including planes, to monitor the areas of ocean we care for, protect our fisheries, and assist our Pacific neighbours to do the same.
- The NZDF should always operate ethically, in accordance with international law, and actively working to avoid environmental damage and civilian casualties.
- Aotearoa New Zealand should have special forces sufficient for rapid action in crisis situations, including terrorist actions in New Zealand and Pacific nations.
The men and women who serve deserve respect and support
- Fair compensation and family support is essential to retaining skilled people. Tax exemptions while serving overseas should be investigated.
- The NZDF should actively promote a policy of equal opportunity with regard to gender, race, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
- Veterans should receive adequate, fair, and appropriate support. This includes income support, and treatment and compensation for injuries, psychological and emotional health problems, and occupational diseases.
- People have a right to refuse to serve in the armed forces.