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

Author: Hoverd, W.J.
Published in National Security Journal, Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2019

tend towards the descriptive becoming what is effectively opinion or expert commentary.

Turning now to discussing some recent examples of objective critical assessment as it applies to national security research. Robert Lyon’s thesis examined the national securi­ty rhetoric that occurred in the Key/English National Governments between 2008 and 2017.79 Lyon argues that in the rhetoric of this period that a language of riskification oc­curred around national security. For Lyon, riskification occurred where notions of se­curity were extended to policy and discourse that one might consider not traditionally associated with security. Explicit examples of Lyon’s argument can be found in DPMC’s definition of national security which extends an all hazards all risks approach to a whole of society understanding of national security. Practically, we can find examples of this approach through the work of the Ministry for Primary Industry’s (MPI) work on bi­osecurity, for example Mycoplasma bovis. Importantly, Lyon’s work shows that alongside the explanatory framework offered by securitisation theory, national security scholar­ship should also be alert to the incorporating theories of risk especially in an all-hazards all-risks environment.

This focus on the non-traditional security issues is going to increase over the next few years. In 2018, it was supported by the contributions to the second Massey Univer­sity national security conference that were subsequently published in Line of Defence Magazine.80 In the conference, it was noted that scholarship needs to focus both on the traditional and non-traditional from issues such as cybersecurity, counter-terrorism and nuclear politics to climate change, human security and our models of citizenship. Issues around biosecurity, protecting the maritime and space domains and pandemics also loom large as future non-traditional security issues.81 Added to these issues recent conferences at Waikato and Massey Universities have focused on external exploration of the issues surrounding the technologisation of security82 and the role of religion and security.83

National security scholarship also allows researchers the ability to initiate debate around the future avenues for the national security architecture. For example, Chris Rothery’s thesis proffered the argument that New Zealand needs a national security strategy to overcome the fact that the national security system is primarily reactive and the lack of collaboration that he sees occurring from national security agency silos.84 Rothery’s research explored the decision making criteria that a New Zealand National Security Strategy should include and he pointed to the theoretical basis upon which it should be developed. Rothery, and also in earlier works by Johanson,85 quite rightly identify that there is a gap here in the national security structure and this has allowed them to publically interrogate this question. In this journal issue, Rothery continues this exam­ination, proposing a structured approach to how a strategy could