Focusing New Zealand's approach to maritime domain security : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Defence and Security Studies at Massey University, New Zealand
Although New Zealand is a nation with a maritime setting, it does not have a clearly-focused approach to maritime domain security. Instead, the country’s approach to maritime security has developed in an ad hoc manner; the result of legacy issues and an apparent lack of understanding of strategic maritime imperatives. New Zealand has laid claim to a significant portion of the maritime region within which it is located. However, this thesis argues that there are compelling reasons why New Zealand’s approach to maritime domain security needs to be refocused. There is thus a need to refocus away from the arguably short-term interests that are currently viewed as the priority, towards a more strategic approach that seeks to protect New Zealand’s less tangible – but more important – long-term interests. Drawing heavily on the Australian experience as a comparison model, this thesis contends that the architecture and structure of New Zealand’s maritime security ‘sector’ must be reviewed and that New Zealand should develop a more holistic approach to its future maritime security needs; for example incorporating traditional security agencies as well as other relevant non-security focused players in the maritime domain – both government and non-government. Furthermore, this comprehensive approach should be supported by the creation of an overarching maritime strategy, reflecting New Zealand’s long-term strategic interests and encompassing a joint, whole-of-government, whole-of-nation (i.e. encompassing non-government entities) approach. The creation of an overarching maritime strategy, coupled with a holistic approach – focused on long-term strategic interests – would significantly enhance New Zealand’s maritime domain security into the future.