In light of decreasing military personnel and deteriorating equipment, New Zealand’s government has announced additional funding of around 472 million U.S.D. over 4 years. This is an essential priority for the government as it strives to defend itself from increasing threats in the Pacific Ocean as well as co-operating with allies.
Qualifying this new contribution as the most meaningful one in years, New Zealand’s Defence Ministry highlighted the importance of having enough personnel and equipment to “play our part in supporting global peace and security.”
In addition to idling ships and equipment deterioration, New Zealand’s military has lost around 29% of its personnel in the last 2 years. Such a number could even deteriorate to up to 32% by July if the army’s wages aren’t competitive compared to payouts in the private sector. This funding makes sure to guarantee the maintenance and future success of the country’s army.
With increasing threats in the Pacific Ocean ranging from North Korean missile tests to the Chinese encirclements of Taiwan, New Zealand has the inherent right as a sovereign state to have an army and fund it however much it wishes to, as long as this funding is in accordance with international agreements. Also, New Zealand uses its army as a security force in case of natural disaster. Funding its military is justified, for both political and safety reasons.
This is not the first time security in the Pacific Ocean has been increased recently. Since threats coming from North Korea and China have increased, global powers have come together to assert influence and assure safety. Under a recently announced trilateral pact named A.U.K.U.S., the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are planning to create a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to defend their interests in the area. (New Zealand was not included in the plan but still benefits from it.)
Even if these countries are totally within their right to unite and make agreements with each other, making this type of plan can provoke the countries they are trying to fight against. When taking any decision related to defense, countries should make sure their efforts are neither extreme nor in vain. A.U.K.U.S.’ apparent goal is to reinforce peace, but as we await North Korea and China’s response, only time will tell if the pact will achieve this goal.
Regardless of any nearby ally’s actions, New Zealand is in its right as a state to fund its military as much as it wants to. The country’s army is in desperate need of it and will most certainly benefit, in both in the long- and short-term.
Source: The OWP