The world today is contending with a range of complex and disruptive security challenges. In order to thrive, New Zealand needs to draw on all of our strengths as a country, both within and beyond our borders.
At the heart of New Zealand's approach to national security is a vision of a secure and resilient Aotearoa New Zealand - one that is protected as a free, open, and democratic society for future generations.
Our open society and democratic values help enable New Zealanders’ diverse ways of life and pursuit of opportunities. We advance this vision by working together across New Zealand society and internationally toward our three key outcomes:
- New Zealand protected from threats
- A resilient society, informed and engaged on national security challenges
- An effective national security system
New Zealand's approach to national security
New Zealand’s approach to national security focuses on prevention. This means getting ahead of any threats to New Zealand to the greatest extent possible. To protect New Zealand, the agencies of the national security community prioritise acting early to build New Zealand’s resilience.
Our approach to national security is articulated in Aotearoa’s New Zealand’s National Security Strategy.
The Strategy positions the government to act early, deliberately, and in partnership to protect and promote our national security interests in a changing world.
National security involves working to understand, prevent, prepare for and respond to threats that impact New Zealand including:
- Terrorism and violent extremism of all kinds
- Interference by another country in our democracy (for example by covertly influencing our election process and voting decisions)
- Cyber incidents that affect important computer networks (for example the loss of access to bank accounts, extraction of data, or disruptions to power supply)
- Our people, land, and waters
- Our independence and freedom of action
- Our democracy and social fabric
- Our national economic security
- Our connections to the world, both physical and digital
- A peaceful and resilient Pacific
- A strong rules-based international system in the Indo-Pacific and beyond
- A robust network of partnerships within and beyond New Zealand
National security is not managed by one agency alone. The agencies of the national security community bring together a range of tools—diplomacy, defence, intelligence, law enforcement, and more – to promote and protect these interests.
Strategic Crisis Management
New Zealand takes an "all hazards - all risks" approach to strategic crisis management. This includes the variety of hazards which New Zealand is exposed to, as well as traditional national security threats.
The Chief Executive of DPMC is New Zealand’s lead official for national security, and for strategic crisis management. They chair the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC), which is a committee of Chief Executives which manages national security in New Zealand in both its governance and its response mode.