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New Defence Auckland Business Hub opens its doors

Line of Defence Magazine, Spring 2017

Defence Auckland Business Hub: a new space for Defence and Industry to engage.Defence Auckland Business Hub: a new space for Defence and Industry to engage.


The Defence Auckland Business Hub opened its doors in September, providing Defence with a crucial foot on the ground in Central Auckland.


Situated in the CBD, the NZDF Auckland Business Hub is now home to a number of NZDF personnel with industry-facing roles, including Director Industry Engagement, Director Estate and Infrastructure, and the new Defence Relationship Manager Auckland.

According to Debbie Howarth, NZDF Director Industry Engagement, the location of the new premises is crucial. "It's all about building partnerships with people and business in surrounding areas, and now we're much closer to our partners."

“It’s also a positive thing for people to be seeing our military in the CBD,” she added.

Newly appointed NZDF Defence Relationship Manager Auckland Group Captain Glenn Gowthorpe agrees.

“The Defence Business Hub is a ‘shop front’ of sorts for the NZDF,” he told Line of Defence. “It’s about bringing down the barriers and making the relationships, which the NZDF Framework for External and Industry Engagement describes in detail.”

“We are bringing ourselves out from ‘behind the wire’ at our camps and bases, making easier to engage, partner and deliver, both with industry and external partners – as a Force for New Zealand.”

"There is a lot of reciprocity around meetings with external parties," Debbie noted, "so having something in town is key to developing closer engagement." Just a short stroll from the CBD, she expects that the hub will be a natural stop for visiting international visitors and navies.


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Usage of the Hub have been steadily increasing since its launch, as both internal and external stakeholders have become aware of the new resource. Already, the Defence Industry AdvisoryCouncil (DIAC), New Zealand Defence Industry Association (NZDIA) and a range of other partners have met at the Hub.

On 23 August, NZDF Chief Joint Defence Services Charlie Lott hosted a launch function at the venue attended by over 100 members of the NZDIA following an Assocation members’ meeting at Viaduct Harbour. It was an opportunity to raise awareness of the Hub among the business community.

According to Debbie, important to the hub is the philosophy of leaving rank at the door. In essence, it is a collaboration space, free of the silos often found in more traditional workplaces, and an accessible, attractive and inviting place for engagement in the heart of New Zealand’s largest city.

Adorning the walls of the space are the Defence ‘Engagement Values’ of courage, commitment and comradeship; values that the Hub seeks to exemplify.

Ultimately, the Hub’s arrival is powerfully symbolic of Defence’s stated approach to industry engagement and its acknowledgement of industry’s key role in maintaining a modern, credible and capable Defence Force.


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