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Opportunities for Industry: NZDIA Defence, Security and Industry Forum

Line of Defence, November 2016 

Bernie Diver, Chair of the New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA)Bernie Diver, Chair of the New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA)

NZDIA Chair Bernie Diver talks 2016 DWP, positive partnering between Defence and industry, the opportunities to flow from increased Defence funding, and the 2016 NZDIA Defence, Security and Industry Forum.


The New Zealand Defence Industry Association is holding its 19th Defence, Security and Industry Forum in Auckland at the Viaduct Events Centre on 16-17th November. This year’s forum coincides with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary and International Fleet Review.

The forum will focus on ‘Partnering for Greater Effect’ to help bring people together to achieve greater innovation, economies of scale, and effectiveness. It will be attended by over 550 delegates from 169 organisations, the Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). 

Ultimately, it’s an annual opportunity for local and international businesses who are involved, or have an interest in defence and security matters, to engage with Ministry and NZDF representatives. It’s an opportunity to learn about new innovations and future capabilities needed for a modern, well-equipped and capable Defence Force.

With an annual budget of over $2.1 billion, Defence provides significant opportunity for local companies to supply goods and services directly and through prime or lead contractors. The flow-on economic benefits of this are many. The industry provides 2,500 full time jobs, generates a conservative $125 million in wages and $60 million in profits.

The food service and facilities management contracts alone employ in the excess of 900 staff nationally.  The three main maintenance, repair and overhaul contracts across Defence employ a further 600 staff directly. Highly skilled and well paid jobs support the complex capabilities that Defence use.

With the additional funding announced in the 2016 Defence White Paper huge opportunity exists for smart New Zealand defence manufacturing companies to leverage their capabilities and be part of the defence upgrade. It has earmarked funding of around $20 billion over 15 years, which will be used, among other things, to replace frigates and aircraft and to provide the NZDF with a cyber warfare capability.

This investment is the equivalent of one percent of New Zealand's GDP, or around half the proportion of GDP spent by Australia and the UK on defence, and as such is small by international standards. Nevertheless, it adds an extra $1.3 billion per year to the budget of the country’s defence forces.

New Zealand companies can bring together compelling solutions that deliver value for money and the best possible outcomes that will ensure defence personnel can execute their tasks on behalf of New Zealanders. To this end, the NZDIA looks forward to working with and supporting the Ministry of Defence and the NZDF as they work through defining the specific capabilities required to meet the Government’s requirements.

The requirement for acquisition business case process to also include the whole of life cost creates the opportunity for members of the defence industry to partner with the prime international contractors to shorten supply chains, transfer technology and create highly skilled jobs that will deliver increased value for money outcomes for all parties.

“Maintenance repair and overhaul firms, engineering, logistics, IT and advisory companies are likely to be involved the $20 billion capital works, alongside prime international contractors. Tidd Ross Todd, GHD and McKay Electrical - all winners of 2015 Minister of Defence Excellence Awards – are great examples of New Zealand industry capabilities.

The ministry and NZDF have invested significant effort and resource in working with industry. The recent appointment of two senior roles demonstrates their commitment to work with and understand the capabilities of industry.

We are impressed with the cooperation that the ministry has shown New Zealand’s defence industry. The ministry has invested in industry engagement specialists who will work with industry on early engagement so we can inform the ministry on New Zealand capabilities and work with prime contractors.


Defence Attaches – Industry Day 2016

NZDIA extends a heart felt thank you to NZDF for its initiative in hosting the recent Defence Attaches – Industry Day 2016, with special thanks to Debbie Howarth, Andy Warden and Commander Wayne Andrews who orchestrated this fantastic event.

The event included an ‘elevator’ pitch from a host of NZDIA member companies to a collection of foreign Defence Attaches accredited to New Zealand, which provided an opportunity for a mutual understanding of the depth and breadth of capability within New Zealand’s defence industry.

Businesses taking part included Air Affairs, Babcock, Cubic, Marops, Electronic Navigation, Strategic Sourcing, Loop Technology, Pacific Aerospace, PLP Electropar, UBCO, Airwork Group, Safeair, McKay Group, Canterbury University, Tait Communications, Tidd Ross Todd, Enatel, EHL Group, Systematic, Eagle Technology, PAE, Opus, and Brunton Engineering.

The event was also a swan song for Andy Warden, who moves on from Capability Branch HQNZDF to the Department of Education. Captain Jeremy Seed, NZ Army, will be acting in Warden’s stead until a replacement is appointed.

Commissioned into the Royal NZ Army Education Corps in 2005 as a Public Relations Officer, CAPT Seed has deployed to Timor, Leste and Samoa in the wake of the 2009 Tsunami. He has had a lengthy career outside the Army in corporate public relations and public affairs and has also worked for Government at both departmental and executive level.


Changes afoot at the NZDIA

In 2015 the NZDIA Board signaled to its members and partners its commitment to a new era for NZDIA, an era defined and driven through an innovative and ground breaking Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan will be delivered over the next four years. 

The Board has prioritised a number of specific strategic objectives that it wants progressed as a matter of urgency, so NZDIA members and partners can expect to see a number of changes over the coming months.

These include the establishment of a new online presence and a refresh of the NZDIA’s branding, the development of communication and engagement strategies that will enhance NZDIA’s communication and profile with members, partners and the media, a review of the association’s financial structure, development and delivery of a membership growth strategy, and a review of membership structure.

The work programme is aligned with the NZDIA Strategy and will, when completed, herald significant change for the Association. Much of the work plan will be well underway by the time of the NZDIA Forum in November so members can expect a ‘glimpse’ of the future at that event, including the new look NZDIA website and branding. 

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