Defence Force gets $100.9M funding
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman (Simon Wong/3 News)
The Government has announced it will invest a further $100.9 million in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) as part of this year's Budget.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says the money will be used to improve and maintain the NZDF's operating systems.
"It is vital that the NZDF can continue to meet the Government's requirements, whether it is carrying out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief work at home or in the Pacific, or contributing to wider global security efforts," says Dr Coleman.
"This is why the Government is funding the people and equipment needed to deliver on the 2010 Defence White Paper – enabling the NZDF to protect and advance New Zealand's interests at home, in the South Pacific and globally."
Dr Coleman says demand for aid from the NZDF is high, and the funding will help to grow its personnel numbers.
This year alone the NZDF has delivered aid to the flood-ravaged Solomon Islands and assisted in the search for MH370.
"The Government will shortly be awarding the contracts for a new battle training facility for the New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) and a systems upgrade for the Navy's frigates," he says.
The funding is the first part of a $535.5 million investment in the NZDF over the next four years.
Since 2010 $204 million has been reprioritised across the NZDF.
"The NZDF remains committed to making ongoing savings and efficiencies as part of its future planning. This is vital in order for the NZDF to sustain its capability," says Mr Coleman.
The full Budget for 2014 will be announced next month.