CDF speech to Defence Industry
Association – 17 November 2015
Ko te Ope Kātua o Aotearoa
We are the NZ Defence Force! He
We are the instruments of Tūmatauenga (We fight on
the battleground) He
nā Rongo e,
We are the instruments of Rongo-ma-Tane (We carry
out peace missions)
Alas, the breath of life Tena Kotou…Tena Kotou…Tena Kotou Katoa
Good afternoon to you all.
It’s great to be here today and it is a real privilege for me
to represent our Chief Of Defence Force, LTGEN Tim
Keating and present his message to you.
This is my first NZDIA Conference out of uniform after
having been involved in a uniformed capacity in it since
2002. The amazing thing is that it feels no different
standing here before you as an NZDF civilian – I know I
remain in the company of good people and
organisations’ doing right by NZ Defence and therefore
New Zealand and her citizens…no matter what some…
who don’t believe…say or do.
I would like to acknowledge Mr Bernie Diver, Chair of the
NZDIA, his staff and the staff of the Ministry Of Defence
and NZ Defence Force for putting this conference
together for us all.
To Greg Lowe, Chair of the New Zealand Defence
Industry Advisory Council can I acknowledge your efforts
in joining up industry capability and capacity…the
supply… with Defence’s demand.
Can I also acknowledge all our distinguished guests and
guest speakers who will present their own unique
perspectives on what it means to supply goods, services
or just plain old good advice to NZ Defence.
I want to start off this address by contextualising for you,
the role of the New Zealand Defence Force.
I then want to touch on some of the changes that the
organisation has been making as we look to the future,
and talk about our partnership and engagement with
Currently we have around 14,000 full and part-time
servicemen and women, and civilian staff.
Essentially, the New Zealand Defence Force runs a
small shipping line…a large trucking company… a large
and complex international logistics firm…a small
national and international airline…a large
telecommunications company…a mid-sized DHB…a
small police force and a mid-sized security firm and an
We have an annual budget in excess of $2 billion, or
about 1 per cent of GDP. Over 60% of that spend is
spent in New Zealand.
We sustain an asset base of about $5 billion.
Our involvement extends from Cadet Forces to our
Veterans from past conflicts -- ages ranging from 13 to
well over 90.
We obviously have sailors, soldiers and air men and
women -- but we also have scientists, policemen,
administrators, chefs, IT specialists, mechanics and
technicians, accountants, stores-people, fire fighters
and teachers… to name but a few. The bulk of these
are in uniform but equally valuable are those of us who
serve as civilians…but then I would say that…wouldn’t I.
We rely on a blend of diverse teams of specialists and
experts to help us deliver what is expected of us by
We are New Zealand’s sole provider of military know-
how and equipment which the country uses as a Force
For Good in the world.
When New Zealand’s interests are challenged through
crisis, instability, human suffering, or by threats to the
international rule of law, the men and women of the
Defence Force are prepared to intervene using armed
But preparing and maintaining the people, equipment
and organisational systems required to be a successful
military force also lends considerable utility to other
tasks in furtherance of the country’s goals.
These tasks include:
- reacting to natural disasters, and participating in
search and rescue;
- protecting our ocean resources;
- disposing of explosives;
- supporting conservation efforts;
- countering terrorism;
- deterring unwelcome intrusions; and,
- protecting New Zealand’s trade routes.
In addition, we accept responsibility for delivery of a
range of support to our veterans, and we assist
Government in its goals to boost skills and employment
by sharing our leadership and development skills
through a range of youth development programmes.
This is how the New Zealand Defence Force is directly
contributing to the defence, security and well-being of
If I were to sum up our purpose, I would say we are a
Force For New Zealand.
Our story is about New Zealanders from all walks of life
doing the extraordinary task of serving and working to
secure New Zealand, her freedoms, and way of life.
Harnessing the collective skills and energy of all our
people – Regular Force, Reserve Force and Civilian
Force, and indeed our suppliers and contractors – starts
from having a shared understanding of our purpose.
In the past 12 months we’ve taken some important steps
clarifying our purpose, our vision and better
understanding how ready our people are to achieve that
In late 2014, after much internal soul searching and
debate we introduced our Collective Purpose…that of
being a Force for New Zealand.
While it is just a way of talking about the Defence
Force’s value to New Zealand, it was really about finding
a way for everyone in Defence to connect and feel proud
of who we are, and what we stand for. It really is
actually the ‘title’ of Defence’s storybook.
So at the story’s heart was recognising our collective
effort as a Defence Force, and that together we are
greater than the sum of our individual parts.
Inside our Defence Force we want to reinforce our
passion and strength as a military organisation. Our engagement with industry
As a military organisation, we need the equipment and
services required to do the job required of us by
That’s where you come in.
As a Defence Force we must provide our men and
women with the means to do their job in an effective and
efficient manner, and as safely as possible. In our
game, there are no prizes, no silver medals for coming
Industry has a key role in helping us maintain a modern,
well-equipped and capable Defence Force.
The defence of New Zealand is not achieved by Defence
alone – New Zealand needs to work as a team.
Other government agencies and industry all have an
important role in the Defence of our nation.
Industry is also a player – a partner…providing ideas,
technology and services.
As an example of how much business involvement there
is with Defence, we only have to look at the number of
exhibitors at the Forum – there are nearly 60 booths
featuring some 47 companies.
The NZDF puts a lot of emphasis on successful industry
partnership to help us deliver the range of capabilities
required of us.
We have found that successful partnering with industry:
provides innovative outcomes;
produces economies and efficiencies; and
reduces some of our major cost elements such as
the need to own capital equipment, or maintain an
exposes our people to a range of knowledge, skills
and experience that we could not expose them to on
allows us to blend our workforce to maximise the
capabilities and capacities of our uniformed people,
our non-uniformed people, our supplier, our
contractors and our consultants.
Through building strong relationships and partnerships,
the Defence Force works constructively with companies
small and large to deliver on the requirements of us.
A significant proportion of goods, services and base
support for the Defence Force is now provided by
We have about nine what I would cal “strategic
contracts”, each with a spend of in excess of $20 million
These are a mix of commodity-based contracts for the
likes of fuel and photocopying, service-based contracts
for maintenance repair and overhaul, and consultancy
contracts in the ICT and knowledge and information
Our catering and property maintenance contractors
employ over 900 direct staff around the country.
Our three key maintenance, repair and overhaul
companies – Babcock, Safe Air and Lockheed Martin,
employ over 600 people on our sites.
Through innovations from companies like Fuji Xerox, we
have been able to embark on an additive manufacturing
Through engagement of our consulting partners,
Deloitte, BECA, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst &
Young, LPS and so on we can gain knowledge through
reaching back into large, global warehouses full of
information, knowledge and experience which allows us
to draw on the best practices and adapt them to suit a
small country’s Defence capability.
In addition, all of these companies engage a significant
number of sub-contractors to deliver for Defence.
The commitment, understanding and trust between the
Defence Force and its suppliers is crucial to ensuring
that we have a strong and prepared military into the
Our suppliers are now an integral part of what I would
loosely call our ‘blended workforce’, and are true
enablers of what our forces do for New Zealand now and
will do in the future.
I guess the point to take away is that with military
technology today, the increasing pace of technological
obsolescence and the eye-watering pace of
technological change, we are simply too small to work
alone – we need industry involvement and input to help
us at the very least keep up but better, get ahead and
Our 2020 Vision
I want to touch now on our vision looking out to a horizon
five years from now.
The articulation of the journey we are on together as a
Defence Force is our 2020 vision.
This is all about enhancing our combat capabilities.
As a military, it means being better prepared and better
able when we put people in harm’s way.
It’s about being better at understanding and operating in
It’s also about representing New Zealand at home and
overseas with professionalism and commitment; being
ready to defend our security and advance New
We want to enable our people to do these things well, so
we are investing in our people – because stronger
individuals mean a stronger Defence Force.
Our ‘2020 READY’ message sets out how we will do this
over the next four years.
It is built around four themes: Better Tools; Better
Support; Better Informed and Better Together.
The 2020 themes combined are a significant investment
in our people, systems and platforms leading to
Enhanced Combat capabilities. Better Tools
is about equipping our people with the
tools to operate now and in the future.
It means investment in credible combat capabilities that
can operate in a range of environments and with our
It means the right training and personal equipment for
And it means having the tools to constantly improve on
how we deliver on our mission.
By 2020 we will have new weapons, new radios and new
kit – upgraded frigates, Light Armoured Vehicles and a
new helicopter fleet in operation. With the Ministry Of
Defence, we will be deep into the planning for
replacements to the C-130 Hercules and P-3 Orion
In 2020 we will be better at supporting
We’re focused on improving health, wellbeing, career
development, leadership and the way we support
To make a difference at times of crisis and conflict, we
need to understand and adapt to all sorts of situations.
We need good information and to be well informed. Better Together
is about combining our strengths and
skills as individuals to achieve our collective purpose –
it’s about recognising our value as A Force for New
Better Together means working in a more integrated way
– in units, across our three services, with local agencies
and with our international partners.
We will keep getting better at operating our Joint Task
Force approach and working with government partners.
My main message about our shared vision for the next
five years is that we cannot do it without taking all our
people with us.
I want to turn now to leadership.
Leadership is vital in the Defence Force because in
battle, soldiers, sailors and aviators need to have
confidence in their leaders such that they trust them with
It is our fundamental purpose to lead, train and equip our
people to win.
In our line of business, there are no prizes for second
place; - if you’re second you’ve lost.
So we develop leaders to think smart, to innovate, to
influence others, to build and work in teams and to
develop a leadership culture.
This means individuals and especially our leaders have
to work hard to lead.
We hold people accountable for their actions.
We expect our leaders to both follow and enforce our
rules, universally and with consistency.
Leaders are expected to be self-starters, and strive for
We expect our leaders to have integrity and be of the
For us, character is based on our ethos of service to our
country; and values that reflect the qualities that we all
expect of each other on the battlefield – courage,
comradeship, and commitment.
We expect our leaders to care enough to place the
welfare of their people before their own.
They must respect -- and must earn the respect -- of
their men and women; and their colleagues, through
leading by example. The challenge of change & breaking down silos
Think for a moment about New Zealand’s geo-political
environment – where we have to be ready to deliver for
The last Defence White Paper succinctly describes the
issue this way:
New Zealand’s defence circumstances are unique.
No other country of comparable size and political
and economic standing has at a minimum to be able
to deploy defence equipment and people from the
equator to Antarctica.
So we have to think smart; use our resources well; and
squeeze utility out of our ships, or fighting vehicles or
aircraft that perhaps other nations don’t.
We have a distinct advantage here – we are small and
therefore quite agile. We can embed change far quicker
than some other militaries and we can afford to ‘fail fast’
and adapt if a particular solution doesn’t deliver what we
thought it would.
And we believe that we have to maximize the talent we
have across the Defence Force, to put against any task.
Hence the cultural journey we are on as a Defence
Force which is quite deliberately aimed at breaking down
our silos or stovepipe mentalities.
And this can be challenging for our people.
There is no intention of doing away with single Services;
of putting every one in beige uniforms.
The Single Services will remain the masters of their
respective domains – maritime, land and air.
But responding to whatever the next ‘crisis’ is that
chal enges New Zealand’s interests, we will deploy
whatever capabilities best suits the situation.
The effect the New Zealand Defence Force can deliver
for New Zealand, will be better from our Navy, Army and
Air Force, if they understand and are practiced at
working seamlessly with each other.
I hope I’ve been able to give you some overview about
why we have a Defence Force today.
We couldn’t provide the capabilities we do without our
engagement and partnership with business and industry.
You are all valued contributors to Defence, whether that
be with providing goods, services or just plain advice.
You are all part of the team that helps deliver the Force
for New Zealand.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to the next day and a half
– there is something for everyone in the 2015 NZDIA
Conference agenda. For me, not the least of these
opportunities is being able to re-acquaint and reinforce
enduring relationships and create new ones for the
In its own unique way, the annual Defence Industry
Conference allows us both, the decider and the
provider...to position ourselves to be shaped for and
therefore relevant…to the future.