AC CAP Speech to NZ DIA Forum 2015
Time/Date: 1530-1600, 18 Nov 2015
Location: TSB Arena, Queen’s Wharf, Wellington
Theme – “Leadership in Transition”
[Mihi and Intro]
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I look around this year’s Forum, I do so with a sense that there has been a
noticeable improvement over the last few years in how we engage with
industry, and indeed industry’s involvement with Defence. The numbers of
industry putting their products on display here has increased, the dialogue has
become more focused and our relationships are more robust.
And this is not just limited to this event - this has also been the case at recent
international trade shows like the Avalon Airshow, DSEi and the Pacific
Maritime Expo, where we have partnered with our counterparts from NZDIA,
along with NZTE and companies from home and further afield to provide a
more joined up approach to marketing our country, our defence force, and
your product. At the same time we have seen a number of large international
players looking to re-engage in the New Zealand market.
But we still need to do more.
Without the cold hard competition of conflict, I am convinced that the
technological change that the NZDF will have to manage on the battlefront, at
sea or in the air will be first theorised, worked up and even implemented by
[Industry Input Required]
We need industry to tell us what we don’t know. We need you to come in and
advise us how we can do our business better. We need you to tell us about the
innovative technologies and potential opportunities that are emerging in both
the local and global markets. We need smarter ways to reduce our costs and
make the taxpayers dollar go further – opportunities around automation,
innovative support arrangements and other ways of reducing our manpower
demands so we can focus our resources.
We need to do it together not only for the taxpayer, but for your children and
grandchildren who will serve in the NZDF or be served by the NZDF.
This demand needs to come from industry – it is in your interest, as much as it
is in ours.
So, we need to continue to build the trust between Defence and Industry,
around Intellectual Property, relationships, and sharing of information. We
know this, and Defence is making steps as you know to improve how we
engage - It is industry’s turn now to open up, and propose solutions –
industry-wide solutions if possible.
[DWP and future challenges]
In the coming year, we will see a new White Paper delivered, and following
this, a new Defence Capability Plan, a new Vision 40 and a new Joint Operating
Concept. These plans will focus on platforms – but something industry needs to
consider when looking through these plans is that we also need to focus on
people. Areas like training, education, medical support, placements / ongoing,
employment, and the supply / demand for our people across the
We are constantly under pressure as far as manpower and costs are concerned,
and at the same time we are trying to get to grips with new tasks, like cyber
warfare, and meeting challenges from rapid advances in communications
technology, electronic warfare, and space operations.
It is in these areas especially that you can add value.
Because you have been developing this technology and working on these
problems for some time, so we are keen to talk about how you think we might
continue to develop a Defence Force that is resourced, prepared and equipped
to fight on the future battlefield. We need industry to be an active player in the
defence of New Zealand.
[Partnerships across Govt]
We have made some great gains in our levels of partnership across
government, most notably in working with the Ministry of Defence, as together
we undertake the largest ever change initiative for capability, the Defence
Capability Change Action Plan. This plan creates a new type of jointness, not
just focused at improving efficiency between services but more importantly –
between government agencies, delivering more complete and coherent advice
to Government for better results.
We have continued to foster our relationship with New Zealand Trade and
Enterprise, sharing our knowledge and connections, partnering on NZ Inc. trade
stands at international expositions and looking at ways we can work together
to support our local industry.
We have increased our engagement with our partner agencies like Police, MPI,
Customs, and GCSB, looking at how we can leverage off each others knowledge
in identifying solutions and gaps in capability and opportunities for joint
procurements – essentially working together to be smarter customers. There is
still more to be done in this area, and once again industry needs to be a part of
And while this is an effort that is contributed to by people in all parts of our
organisation and across these agencies, I want to mention here the Branch I
have led for the past two years, Capability Branch.
The Branch’s mandate is to manage our current capabilities and to define the
new. From planning, defining, preparing and managing projects to delivering
the NZDF’s capabilities - When you think of the range of capabilities we need to
provide, we are a small organisation managing a large portfolio. It is through
the hard work, passion, technical expertise and relationships and networks of
the people in the Branch that we are able to do so.
I leave this role absolutely convinced about the partnership that exists between
industry and Defence. Our people in Capability Branch are committed, and hold
a genuine belief in what they do for the country, the taxpayer and the Defence
I believe there are some significant opportunities to come for us to further
build on this, leveraging off knowledge around emerging technologies in areas
such as surveillance, intelligence analysis and communications.
Innovation will be key. Industry’s involvement will be vital.