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Our structure

The New Zealand Defence Force has a structure that has been developed to handle the complex requirements of our mission. Our command chain originates from the Crown, through the Chief of Defence Force, then branches out to the three Services; the Royal New Zealand Navy, the New Zealand Army and the Royal New Zealand Air Force; as well as Joint Forces New Zealand, the NZDF Headquarters, and our enabling functions.

Two key operating concepts enable us to deliver when called upon by the Government: force generation and force integration. They underpin how NZDF is structured and how command authority is exercised.

Force Generation

Each of our three Services are responsible for raising, training and sustaining a skilled and capable force that can be reliably deployed at agreed levels of capability and readiness. To do this the Services, led by their respective Chiefs, manage significant capabilities and infrastructure to ensure their people and equipment are ready when needed.

Force Integration

Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand (HQJFNZ) is responsible for planning and preparing for deployments, including the bringing together of elements from across different Services as required, and is then responsible for the deployment itself, including how the deployment is sustained with supplies, equipment and personnel rotations. Deployed forces operate under the command of the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand (COMJFNZ).

Enabling Functions

A variety of enabling functions provide business and integrated support to the organisation. Many of these are provided by Headquarters units comprising of a mix of military personnel and civilian subject matter experts. Corporate functions include business and people strategy, legal services, finance, human resources, ICT and information management, estate management, procurement, and capability management. Some enabling functions, including security, intelligence, health services and logistics provide corporate planning and oversight as well as contributing directly to the delivery of effects on our missions.

Veterans' Affairs New Zealand

As an operational unit within the NZDF, Veterans’ Affairs upholds New Zealand’s responsibility to honour the service of veterans. Veterans’ Affairs does this through service delivery to the veteran community and the provision of policy advice to the Government. There is a separate Minister for Veterans Affairs.

Defence Logistics Command (DLC)

Defence Logistics Command provides logistics support to the three Services and deployed force elements. It is comprised of over 2,000 personnel, located at all major NZDF camps and bases, and Headquarters NZDF in Wellington. Defence Logistics Command is comprised of the following organisations:

  • Headquarters Defence Logistics Command
  • Defence Logistics Command (Maritime)
  • Defence Logistics Command (Land)
  • Defence Logistics Command (Air)
  • Defence Equipment Management Organisation
  • Defence Supply Chain Group
  • Defence Shared Services Group
Defence Technology Agency (DTA)

DTA is an NZDF business unit that is the main provider of research, science and technology support to NZDF and the Ministry of Defence. It has its core facilities at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, with some staff also based at the NZDF Headquarters in Wellington. While its primary areas of work are in support of Defence priorities, DTA also provides research, science and technology support to other government agencies and works with public and private partners both domestically and internationally.

Command and Staff College

Our Command and Staff College is responsible for the conduct of the Advanced Command and Staff Course (Joint), the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Joint) and the Joint Warrant Officer Advanced Course. The College conducts, on an agency basis for Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand, the Joint Operations Planning Course.

The College is situated within the Defence Academy facilities at Trentham Military Camp in Upper Hutt.

GEOINT New Zealand

GEOINT New Zealand (GNZ) is part of Defence Intelligence within our Defence Force. Its mission is to provide effective Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) leadership, products, services and solutions to meet New Zealand's all-of-government and international requirements to ensure the nation's safety, security and success. Much of the data gathered by GEOINT New Zealand is freely available through their Data Service.

Defence Library

The Defence Library supports research, knowledge currency and scholarship within NZDF. Although members of the public may not borrow from the collection, most titles are available via a local or academic library by inter-library loan. Defence Library material can be searched through the National Library of New Zealand's Te Puna portal.