Appendix 1: The New Zealand military context

New Zealand Defence Force: Resetting efforts to reduce harmful behaviour.

The core work of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is to conduct military operations. NZDF needs to have the military capability ready for use when the Government needs it.

NZDF has the technical skills, professional training, and military equipment to respond to a range of security and humanitarian tasks. It plays a key role in New Zealand's broader security system. The preparation and availability of a credible and effective armed force is NZDF's top priority.

NZDF is actively engaged in operations and activities in New Zealand and across the globe. On average, NZDF has about 200-250 personnel deployed overseas each year.

NZDF is a complex organisation. It is made up of over 15,000 uniformed and civilian personnel. Uniformed personnel are spread across the three services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), Joint Forces New Zealand (joint forces), the Joint Defence Services (which covers areas such as logistics), and other enabling functions.

The command chain of NZDF starts from the Crown and flows through the Chief of Defence Force to the three services: the Royal New Zealand Navy (the Navy), the New Zealand Army, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (the Air Force), as well as joint forces and the Headquarters NZDF (HQ NZDF).

The Defence Estate

NZDF operates from several camps and bases across the country. These camps and bases are managed with a complex matrix structure. Each camp and base has a commander who is responsible for the defence area55 of that site, but they do not necessarily command all units on their camp or base. In some cases, the commanding officers of units stationed at a particular camp or base might be of a higher rank than the camp or base commander.

The Navy primarily operates out of Devonport Naval Base, in the Auckland suburb of Devonport. Devonport Naval Base includes several sites which are near each other.

The Air Force primarily operates out of three sites – RNZAF Base Auckland, in the Auckland suburb of Whenuapai, RNZAF Base Ohakea, in the Manawatū region, and RNZAF Base Woodbourne, in Blenheim. Base Auckland is the largest of these bases, with an operational focus. Base Ohakea has a mix of operational and training functions, and Base Woodbourne is primarily used for training new recruits.

The Army primarily operates out of four sites – Papakura Military Camp, close to Auckland, Waiouru Military Camp, in the Ruapehu district, Linton Military Camp, close to Palmerston North, and Burnham Military Camp, close to Christchurch.

Papakura Military Camp is the base for the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment and support services. Waiouru Military Camp and the adjacent training area is primarily used for training new recruits. Linton Military Camp is the largest of the army camps and has a wide range of functions. Burnham Military camp is the largest Army camp in the South Island and has a range of functions, including the NZDF Health School and the New Zealand Army Band.

Trentham Military Camp is a tri-service camp in Upper Hutt near Wellington. Trentham Military Camp has a wide range of functions, including the Trade Training School, which provides training to trades for all services. Trentham is also the home to the Formation Command of Joint Support Group, which commands NZDF Health personnel and the Military Police.

New Zealand military ranks

New Zealand military ranks are largely based on those of the United Kingdom. The three services have their own rank structure, with a rank equivalency between services. Within each service there are commissioned officers (often referred to as officers) and non-commissioned officers (often referred to as NCOs).

An officer in the Navy or Air Force starts training in a specific officer role from the outset. In the Army, however, initial officer training must be completed before moving into one of the specialist roles. Specialist roles are Combat, Engineering, Intelligence, Communications, and Logistics.

Non-commissioned officers are not commissioned into a specialist role but usually earn their position of authority by rising through the ranks of enlisted personnel to be leaders.

Demographics of the New Zealand Defence Force

The proportion of women in regular forces as at 30 June 2022 was 19.0%.

NZDF comprised 15,472 military personnel, reserves, and civilian employees as at 30 June 2021. Of the regular force (9478), 63.9% are New Zealand European, 15% Other European, 17.7% Māori, 5.6% Pacific, and 3.1% are Asian.

Of the civilian members, 50.9% are New Zealand European, 17.6% Other European, 8.0% Māori, 3.6% Pacific, and 4.6% are Asian.

The data shows that of the total headcount of regular force personnel, 1833 were female (19.3%). Of the total headcount of 2310 regular force personnel in the Navy, 619 were female (26.8%). The total headcount for the Army regular force was 4634, of which 680 were female (14.7%). Of 2534 Air Force regular personnel, 534 were female (22.1%). The total headcount for civilian personnel was 3015, with 1353 female civilian personnel (44.9%).

Gender by service and grouping data56 shows that as at 30 June 2021, of a total of 1833 regular force female personnel, 1017 are junior NCOs (55.4%), 286 are junior officers (15.6%), 350 are senior NCOs (19.1%), and 180 are senior officers (9.8%).

55: Defined under section 2 of the Defence Act 1990 as follows:

defence area means any land, water, or part of the seabed, or any building, or part of a building, either in New Zealand or elsewhere, that is set apart, used, or occupied for the purposes of the Defence Force, whether the property is owned by the Crown or is used or occupied by or on behalf of the Defence Force with the consent of the owner or is requisitioned under section 10(2)(b); and more particularly includes —

(a) every naval establishment, army camp, and air force base:

(b) any arsenal and any other place used for the purpose of building, repairing, making, or storing munitions or equipment for or belonging to the Defence Force:

(c) any land, or any building or part of a building, declared by Order in Council (see subsection (5)) or Defence Force Order to be a defence area for the purposes of this Act.

56: Provided by NZDF to the Auditor-General as at 30 June 2022.