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Comparative defence planning : lessons for New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts (Defence and Strategic Studies) at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The intent of this thesis is to identify ways in which defence planning can be improved in New
Zealand. In order to do so, research examines practical examples of Capability Based Planning (CBP)
amongst members of the Technical Co-operation Program (TTCP) - New Zealand, Australia, Canada,
United Kingdom and United States. This approach has also been applied to defence planning
processes in Singapore and Finland. As part of this, the TTCP’s CBP model provides an essential
comparative template and in doing so, the methodology employed is essentially that of a
comparative case study.
This thesis has identified a number of positives and negatives amongst the research group. However,
four particularly important findings have emerged. Firstly, New Zealand must find ways to better
integrate technological change into capability decision making processes and across the capability life
cycle. Secondly, external expertise is now widely employed by defence policy makers and this should
be integrated into defence planning structures in this country. Thirdly, quantitative approaches to
defence capability development offer significant potential and are well developed in partner states.
This may provide a means by which to extend New Zealand’s own capabilities in this regard. Lastly,
examples of defence planning in Singapore and Finland suggest that a hybrid model based on CBP
but adapted to the realities of a state’s unique strategic culture, can work in a practical context. This
flexibility of use means CBP continues to offer significant utility to defence planners in New Zealand
as well as an evolutionary foundation upon which to base future defence capability development.