New Zealand adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in 2015 for the period 2015-2019. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in coordination with the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police, and the Ministry for Women. The NAP does not indicate civil society involvement in the NAP development process. The NAP identifies four overarching objectives that align with the primary pillars of UNSCR 1325: prevention, participation, protection, and peace, relief, and recovery. The NAP approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda mostly internationally, identifying WPS actions in a number of conflict-affected countries, including Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. Additionally, the NAP has the goal to improve international deployment rates of senior staff within the New Zealand Defense Force and New Zealand Police as well as to increase the numbers of women at decision-making levels in peacekeeping and assistance missions. While the NAP’s objectives have corresponding actions and indicators, the NAP does not have an allocated budget.
New Zealand reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020).
New Zealand does not have a recent history of conflict, but it was involved in overseas military operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. The New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS) faced allegations of war crimes, including torture, committed during Operation Burnham, a joint operation undertaken in 2010 in Afghanistan. The New Zealand government initiated an official inquiry to address the allegations in 2018, which resulted in the delivery of four overarching recommendations, including establishing an office of the Independent Inspector-General of Defence “to facilitate oversight over the New Zealand Defense Force and enhance its democratic accountability” (p. 33).
In 2019, New Zealand was among the top 15 countries in the world with the biggest increase in their military expenditure, with a 19% increase in its military spending.
Additionally, New Zealand is a major contributor to humanitarian aid and operations.
At the multilateral level, New Zealand most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2015-2016.
National Action Plan (2015-2019)
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
6 out of 153
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$2.9 billion USD
Explore New Zealand's National Action Plan
NAP Development and Implementation
The New Zealand National Action Plan does not provide any information about civil society engagement in the development/ implementation on the NAP. However, it does provide information on the monitoring and evaluation process.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
The gender-balanced interagency governmental working group, endorsed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Police, Defence and Women’s Affairs, is the body in charge of informing the the annual progress reports. The working group will invite participants in the public submissions process to form a parallel consultative caucus with civil society, including NGOs, intergovernmental organisations such as ICRC and others, who will nominate a representative to feed a consolidated view directly into the annual reporting process. In addition, working group members will consult with interested civil society organisations through each of their departments, using consultation mechanisms already in place.
WILPF's Contributions to New Zealand's NAP
WILPF Aotearoa was not involved in the development of the NAP but did make a submision on the draft plan and then wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs after the plan was finalised.
"The NAP was drawn up hurriedly, with little consultation with civil society, by staff at NZ's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - around the time that NZ was lobbying to get a seat on the Security Council. A draft was then put on MFAT's website and civil society groups were asked to make submissions - WILPF only heard about it by accident, so the process and consultation was not good. WILPF Aotearoa thinks the plan is weak because the monitoring mechanisms are weak. We also think that it is too 'militarised', concentrating on the role of the Defence Force and NZ Police." - Megan Hutching, WILPF Aotearoa
This National Action Plan was prepared by a New Zealand Government interdepartmental working group led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in company with the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police. The Ministry for Women and Crown Law were also consulted. Civil society groups were consulted through existing targeted consultation channels of interested groups, and primarily through a public and open workshop held in Wellington in May 2015.
Specific government departments are named as actors in the implementation: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Police and Ministry for Women.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
The gender-balanced interagency governmental working group, endorsed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Police, Defence and Women’s Affairs, will be responsible for reporting on the implementation of this National Action Plan.
The implementation period for this National Action Plan is five years, from 2015 to 2019.
New Zealand’s National Action Plan addresses the role of women within New Zealand, including those working in government agencies directly associated with peacemaking and conflict prevention, those in civil society organisations and society more broadly, as well as women outside New Zealand in our immediate Pacific region, and globally.
The New Zealand National Action Plan for implementation of Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security has been developed in line with the four fundamental objectives identified by the United Nations Secretary General of:
Prevention (of conflict and of violations of rights of women and girls)
Peacebuilding, relief and recovery
Each one of the four fundamental objectives, include a list of various actions, as well as indicators and the responsible government actors that will take the lead and will be responsible for. In the first fundamental goal, “Prevention (of conflict and of violations of rights of women and girls)”, there are six actions assigned:
- New Zealand will advocate at international fora for women, peace and security issues to be included in political and security discussions, in particular for peacekeeping operations and conflict prevention responses, including up to the level of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- New Zealand Defence Fporces (NZDF) and New Zealand (NZ) Police will review their doctrine, policy, directives and deployment planning frameworks relevant to UNSC-mandated missions, international assistance missions and other peacekeeping operations, to ensure effective adoption of women, peace and security commitments.
- New Zealand government agencies engaged in the prevention of conflict will formalise the inclusion of women, peace and security into NZDF and NZ Police pre deployment and other training.
- NZDF and NZ Police will include information on violations of women’s and girls’ human rights that occur during participation in UNSC-mandated peacekeeping missions, international assistance missions and other peacekeeping operations in their periodic reporting, according to mandate.
- NZDF and NZ Police will be responsive to and investigate any violations of the rights of women and girls that occur during participation in UNSC mandated peacekeeping missions, international assistance missions and other peacekeeping operations, in line with relevant international standards.
- Where a credible allegation of the commission of a crime during a peacekeeping operation is raised by the United Nations against a New Zealander, New Zealand will inform the United Nations of the progress of the investigation and prosecution process.
Each of the actions that are set for each of the fundamental objectives, include indicators. For instance, the first action of the second fundamental objective, “Participation”, sets that: “New Zealand will advocate at international fora to increase the quantity and seniority of women’s representation in national and United Nations-led peace processes.” The indicator established for this action is the following: “number and type of statements made and recorded”.
New Zealand agencies will establish a gender-balanced inter-agency Women, Peace and Security Advisory Group, to professionalise New Zealand’s responses to women, peace and security issues and to guide and monitor implementation and reporting under this National Action Plan. Annual reports will be submitted to responsible Ministers (Foreign Affairs, Police, Defence, Women), led by the United Nations, Human Rights and Commonwealth Division (UNHC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
New Zealand’s National Action Plan does not include an allocated or estimated budget. No indicators or actions are included that formulate fundraising strategies, detail what level of funding is required for which specific activities, or what accountability mechanisms will ensure funding is raised and used in implementing the NAP.
New Zealand's NAP refers to discussing the arms trade but does not state any direct actions to be taken.