NZDIA responds to the Defence Capability Plan 2019

Line of Defence Update - 11 June 2019

Embraer KC-390
New Zealand Army 2FLD SQN
New Zealand Army's 2FLD SQN . Source: NZ Govt.

According to the New Zealand Defence Industry Association, the just-released Defence Capability Plan DCP provides industry with a clear mandate to step up further into roles supporting Defence.

The New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA) is delighted that the New Zealand Defence Capability Plan 2019, released today by Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence, recognises industry as a “a key partner and a fundamental input in the successful implementation of this plan and the future operations of defence.”

Industry is considered the “force behind the force” but in the past a lack of a clear recognition of this role has occasioned confusion in the minds of the public. Industry takes its role of supporting a secure and prosperous New Zealand seriously. This DCP provides industry, both local and international with a clear mandate to step up further into roles supporting Defence.

The inclusion of a whole section of this plan “Working with Industry” (Section 9) gives NZDIA and its members good cause for optimism and confidence about the significant opportunities ahead.  

A good proportion of Defence operating and capital spend circulates through New Zealand businesses, to New Zealand workers, for the betterment of New Zealand communities.  Increased investment in Defence capability, and the purposeful consideration of New Zealand suppliers in support of those capabilities will lead to further job creation and employment security into the regions. 

Industry and Defence both grapple with the challenges presented by a rapidly evolving information technology environment, for example the threats presented by cyber-attack. Therefore, the investment in new skills, competencies and capacity in cyber security, space-based surveillance, communications, information and data management, all provide opportunities for co-development of solutions by Industry and Government. In turn, the development of technology and innovation will also present export opportunities into other markets. 

Last week MBIE published new Procurement Rules aimed to support the Coalition Government’s policy objectives “to enhance the effectiveness of Government Procurement Policy in delivering on the wider policy objectives”. Our Members have previously signalled their willingness and enthusiasm to see their smart technology adopted by other Government agencies, to deliver better public value to New Zealand as a whole. 

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The DCP’s focus on securing capability to deliver value to the Community, Nation and World will, by necessity, involve a greater joining of the dots between agencies. This will be welcomed by industry and will support the Government’s desire to deliver on broader outcomes in the process.

The increased focus in the DCP on early engagement and early market participation will increase the opportunities for NZ businesses. Importantly, the phased engagement processes will create the time and space for international primes to identify and develop relationships with the sort of smart innovative NZ companies we read about, and who are already quietly working away exporting their smarts to the rest of the world. Everyone will win from these new collaborations.

 “The DCP provides our communities and international partners with confidence and assurance that the Government remains committed to a continued and considered investment programme for the defence and security of New Zealanders,” says NZDIA Chair Andrew Ford. “The plan recognises and accounts for the evolving security threats posed by rapidly developing technology and environmental change. 

For New Zealand companies, the plan recognises the critical supporting role of Industry in delivering the new capabilities and providing supporting services to enable Defence outcomes.  Industry stands ready, willing and able for engagement from Defence to explore ideas, innovations and solutions for the capabilities outlined in this plan.”

The Minister states that he is confident that New Zealand’s Defence agencies willrise to the challenge of delivering this Capability Plan. NZDIA is confident that industry in New Zealand and offshore will also rise to this challenge in supporting Defence and also supporting the wider government policy objectives to increase the participation of New Zealanders in government procurements. 

NZDIA is poised to roll out a range of engagement activities where “Defence can engage with industry, build relationships, and recognise excellence in capability service delivery” and shares the view expressed in the DCP that these activities are vital.

NZDIA thanks the Minister, the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force for recognising NZDIA as the preeminent body representing the commercial interests of the Defence industry and its individual members. NZDIA will continue evolving its activities to ensure that the DCP ambitions can be delivered in collaboration.

Madison