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Massey University’s ‘Year of Security’

Line of Defence, Autumn 2017

Massey University: educating the next generation of defence and security specialists.Massey University: educating the next generation of defence and security specialists.


Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies (CDSS) is New Zealand’s principal centre of education for security and defence studies. It was established in 2001 to provide defence education for government agency personnel and interested civilians.

Massey has designated 2017 as ‘The Year of Security’, which will see an intensification in CDSS’ activity, including a range of events and the launch of the book New Zealand National Security: Challenges, Trends and Issues.

One of the Centre’s initial responsibilities was to deliver courses to the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College. Partnerships were subsequently formed with the New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Police. The Centre has grown in terms of profile and reputation, and supports the growing demand for appropriately educated and trained government, business and private sector staff in the defence and security space. 

CDSS’ Strategic Advisory Board comprises Chief Executives from a variety of government agencies and the corporate sector, and provides strategic guidance to the Centre to help meet its commitment to promoting excellence in teaching, learning, and research. The Boar’s current Chair is Carolyn Tremain, Comptroller of the New Zealand Customs Service.

The 21st century has delivered unprecedented opportunity on a global scale, but it has also presented an equal number of threats and challenges to our individual and collective security.  Just how we understand and manage these threats, and how we educate the next generation of defence and security specialists by developing problem-solving skills, the capacity to think independently and an ability to research and make sense of complex issues, is at the heart of Massey’s teaching programmes.  

The Centre’s qualifications explore topics such as traditional and emerging security issues, national security strategy, military operations, border security, terrorism and insurgency, peacekeeping, policing and intelligence. Its teaching and research has evolved to reflect an understanding of the contemporary security environment, which identifies traditional ‘defence’ issues as just one of a number of diverse areas within the broader category of security.


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Defence and Security Studies comprises a broad range of important interdisciplinary topics that are areas of real concern and importance for our citizens, our country, and our commitment to being a responsible member of the international community. Delivering relevant research and policy advice, developing effective and efficient joint-interoperability amongst our defence, security and law enforcement agencies, is the cornerstone from which Massey’s defence and security studies programmes are based. 

With offices in Wellington, Palmerston North and Auckland, CDSS is already an important contributor to public discourse and academic commentary on defence and security issues. In its ‘Year of Security’, however, the Centre looks to enhance its role in fulfilling the need for a better dialogue between the security sector, academia and the wider society.


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