Useful Notes: Kiwis with Carbines
The New Zealand Defence Force is the armed forces of New Zealand, 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 the Boer War. They were the other half of the ANZAC name in World War I, and they also served in the Second War. You may see them wearing the iconic "lemon squeezer" hat, which is still used today on ceremonial occasions. A battalion was deployed during The Vietnam War 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, Australia, is also its biggest ally. Therefore, New Zealand's military has been downsized since 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 light armoured vehicles at its disposal that saw use in Afghanistan. New Zealand also has its own version of the Special Air Service (SAS). 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".
The New Zealand Defence Force in Fiction
- The 1977 film Sleeping Dogs features the NZ Army as supporting characters.
- The Tomorrow Series has them coming to the aid of their Australian allies, who have just been invaded by a coalition of Asian countries. The SAS plays a role in aiding the resistance in the occupied areas of the country.
- Wargame Red Dragon has New Zealand appear as part of the ANZAC faction.