The Changing New Zealand National Security Environment: New Threats, New Structures, and New Research

Author: Hoverd, W. J.1

Published in National Security Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2019

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This article is intended to supply readers of this new journal an updated broad contextual understanding of the recent changes to the New Zealand national security context. The international and domestic contexts in which New Zealand’s national security are researched and operationalised have changed significantly since 2017. This article will review three areas of interest for the study of national security. It will discuss 1) the evolving national security context both global and local, 2) the changes to the New Zealand national security system, and 3) it will review recent New Zealand national security research. The article highlights a national security system and a corresponding field of study that in addition to all the business as usual, will increasingly be focused on continuing structural reform and the threats posed by terrorism, cybersecurity, biosecurity and climate change. The article notes that while the national security context has changed significantly since 2017, the related field of research has evolved much more slowly. It concludes by arguing that an important function of this new journal will be to start to address this disjunction.

Keywords: New Zealand, National Security System, Cybersecurity, Terrorism, Climate Change, Mycoplasma bovis, Christchurch, Intelligence, New Zealand Defence Force

In 2017, along with Nick Nelson and Carl Bradley, I edited a volume on New Zealand National Security.1 The book was intended as an introduction to New Zealand’s nation­al security context and to some of the security and research issues that our

1 Dr William Hoverd is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University, Wellington. Contact

The author wishes to acknowl­edge and thank all those experts who spoke with him in preparation of this journal article. The open source contemporary professional insight that you generously offered informs my thinking about the whole picture of New Zealand’s national security and, hopefully, reduces my chances of error and unfounded claims. Any remaining errors or mistakes in this manuscript are mine alone.