WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand's budget for 2016/17, announced May 26, includes just over $2.20 billion for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

The total includes $501 million for the "purchase of assets" and $1.36 billion on the three armed services.

As usual, the New Zealand Army leads with $543 million, followed by the Royal New Zealand Air Force with $517 million and the Royal New Zealand Navy with $308 million.

Both the Army and the Air Force receive more than before, the Navy slightly less.

However, in terms of dollars per person, the Navy, with 2,138 sailors does significantly better than either the 4,622 strong Army or the Air Force with its 2,423 uniformed personnel.

Budget documents show that the Air Force's dollars are directed at surveillance, both over land and sea; strategic and tactical airlift and tactical mobility; and the operation of Kaman SH-2G(I) helicopters from ships.

The Navy's budget is directed at amphibious sealift, strategic replenishment and a deployable maritime capability "prepared to conduct operations that safeguards access to and the use of harbours, inshore waters and littoral zones in New Zealand and wherever NZDF forces are required to operate."

The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service's budget increases by more than 25 percent from $34.2 million to $43 million.

The Defence White Paper (DWP) due 2015 has still not been published. Secretary of Defence Helene Quilter told Defense News on May 16 that the 2016 DWP "is expected to be finalized and published in the coming weeks."

When the 2010 DWP appeared, it was on the basis that such documents would appear every five years.

Nick Lee-Frampton is the New Zealand correspondent for Defense News.

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