Defence and Peacekeeping Policy

Our Defence Force should be used for peacekeeping, search and rescue, disaster relief, and fisheries protection.

The ANZAC frigates should be phased out and replaced by more appropriate boats, like the Multi-Role Vessel our navy now has.

More resources need to be devoted to maritime surveillance of our EEZ and that of our Pacific neighbours.

New Zealand’s armed forces must only be deployed in accordance with international law, and with the explicit sanction of Parliament.

Key Principles

  • Priority must be given to non-violent means of resolving conflict.
  • When armed forces are deployed this must be sanctioned by the people of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) should be capable of performing across a range of operations: from peacekeeping, disaster relief and resource protection through to defensive combat operations
  • The NZDF must not maintain or use weapons that create long lasting risks to civilian populations and/or the environment
  • The work carried out by the armed service personnel, and the sacrifices they are required to make must be recognised and respected
  • Enlistment in the armed forces must be on a voluntary basis

Specific Policy Points

The Roles of the NZDF

  • The promotion and protection of peace, justice and the environment
  • The protection of the territories of Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Supporting the security of the territories of our Pacific neighbours
  • Assisting in civil defence emergencies, disaster relief and search and rescue both within New Zealand and overseas.

Transforming Our Capabilities

  • Review the structure and governance of the NZDF
  • Support developing a centre for the training of international peacekeepers in New Zealand
  • Ensure that New Zealand has sufficient capabilities for peacekeeping, search and rescue, disaster relief, fisheries and border control tasks.
  • Phase out any equipment that is not optimal for such tasks.

Subordinate Capabilities

  • Phase out the ANZAC frigates and replace with more appropriate equipment.

Human Resources

  • Ensure that veterans receive appropriate support, treatment and compensation for injuries and health problems acquired as a result of their service
  • Support and actively promote a policy of equal opportunity within the armed services
  • Investigate the feasibility of exempting NZDF personnel serving on overseas operations from income tax while they serve on such operations


  • Prohibit the development or use of nuclear, cluster bombs, depleted uranium weapons, landmines and biological weapons
  • Prohibit the development or use of lethal or long term harmful chemical weapons

Civilian Based Defence

  • Investigate extending the reserve forces and reserve training to a wider section of the population
  • Investigate the development of civilian based defence where some citizens are trained to resist aggression or usurpation by withholding cooperation and by active non-cooperation rather than military force

Read our full policy here