The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) 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 [[UsefulNotes/TheSecondBoerWar 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 [[ "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]].

New Zealand also has its own version of the Special Air Service (SAS).

!!NZDF equipment

* 105 light armoured vehicles (NZLAV)
* 321 light operational vehicles (Pinzgauer)

[-Air Force-]
* 13 utility/transport helicopters (NH90, AW109)
* 8 naval helicopters (SH-2G Super Seasprite)
* 7 transport aircraft (C-130 Hercules, Boeing 757)
* 6 maritime patrol aircraft (P-3 Orion)
* 15 trainer aircraft (T-6 Texan II, Super King Air)

* 2 ''Anzac'' class frigates
* 1 multi-role vessel (HMNZS ''Canterbury'')
* 1 replenishment vessel (HMNZS ''Endeavour'')
* 2 ''Protector'' class offshore patrol vessels
* 4 ''Protector'' class inshore patrol vessels
* 1 diving tender (HMNZS ''Manawanui'')

!!Fun facts
* Like many other New Zealand government organisations, the Defence Force and its branches have Māori names:
** New Zealand Defence Force: '''Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa'' "New Zealand's line of defence"
** Royal New Zealand Air Force: ''Te Taua-a-rangi o Aotearoa'' "New Zealand's warriors of the sky"
** Royal New Zealand Navy: ''Te Taua Moana o Aotearoa'' "New Zealand's warriors of the sea"
** New Zealand Army: ''Ngāti Tūmatauenga'' "The Tribe of Tūmatauenga (the Māori god of war)".
* New Zealand is completely nuclear-free. Not only does it not possess any nuclear weapons, it's illegal to bring a nuclear weapon or nuclear-powered ship within 12 nautical miles of the New Zealand coastline. As the United States refuses to declare whether or not their Navy ships are nuclear equipped, they are effectively banned from New Zealand waters.

!!NZDF in Fiction

* ''Chunuk Bair'' (1992) told the story of the Wellington Regiment of ANZAC troops serving at Gallipoli.

* The 2004 short film ''Tama Tu'' explored the close bonds between Maori Battalion soldiers in Italy.
* ''Home By Christmas'' (2010)
* Keith Mallory the protagonist of Film/TheGunsOfNavarone is a mountaineer turned soldier from New Zealand. And he doesn’t like it when the Germans say he is “English”.

* The 1977 film ''Sleeping Dogs'' features the NZ Army as supporting characters, as do ''Shaker Run'' (1985) and ''Never Say Die'' (1988).
* ''Literature/TheTomorrowSeries'' 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.
* ''VideoGame/WargameRedDragon'' has New Zealand appear as part of the ANZAC faction.