The New Zealand Defence Force is the armed forces of UsefulNotes/NewZealand, tasked with the defense of the country.

The military was descended from the militias that followed the settlement of New Zealand by the British. The militias had to deal with the Maori warrior tribes, as well as supporting the British presence there. Their first foray into global conflict came with [[SecondBoerWar the Boer War]]. They were [[UsefulNotes/AussiesWithArtillery the other half]] of the ANZAC name in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, and they also served in [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Second War]]. You may see them wearing the iconic [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_hat "lemon squeezer" hat]], which is still used today on ceremonial occasions. A battalion was deployed during UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar as the only force to be fully 'professional' - i.e. entirely made up of professional soldiers, with no conscripts or volunteers in their numbers.

New Zealand's only major neighbour, UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}, is also its biggest ally. Therefore, New Zealand's military has been downsized since [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp the end of the Cold War]], and is now usually sent for peacekeeping missions or disaster relief. A plan to buy F-16s was scrapped by the Labour government in 2000, which means that New Zealand currently does not have ''any'' fighter capability. However, it still has a distinct military tradition in the Commonwealth armies, and has a large fleet of [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier light armoured vehicles]] at its disposal that saw use in [[TheWarOnTerror Afghanistan]].

It is a scientific fact that New Zealand's army has the best name in the world: whilst it is known simply as "New Zealand Army" in English, in Maori it is known as ''Ngāti Tūmatauenga'' - "The Tribe of the God of War".
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