Paper delivered by Commander Steve Lenik, RNZN, at the Australian Naval Institute’s 2019 Goldrick Seminar
In order to conflate security implications with maritime trade there are three main points to consider from the New Zealand perspective. First, due to our geographical remoteness we are utterly dependent on maritime trade for the nation’s prosperity and wellbeing. Second, the New Zealand public is largely ‘sea-blind’ to the importance of maritime areas beyond our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Beyond this horizon in New Zealand’s ‘maritime periphery’ lie important geopolitical reference points crucial in developing security measures in support of trade; and third, Defence is an important tool but, due to the potential for a revisionist form of maritime trade warfare, characterised by ‘Grey Zone’ activities, there are other levers of national power that are required as part of a global effort to safeguard the free and unencumbered trading routes that are so pivotal to New Zealand’s prosperity.