New Zealand has followed its neighbour Australia in increasing its defence budget for the coming year as a result of the annual savings it has achieved.

Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said: "In the year to July 2013 the New Zealand Defence Force will deliver NZD190 million dollars in savings after achieving NZD140 million dollars in the year prior."

Many of the savings were made in administrative cuts to better support frontline operations, as outlines in New Zealand’s recent Defence White Paper. They will be used to improve the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZF) military capability, and 2013 will see purchases supporting Land Combat Forces, Naval Patrol and Support forces, and Fixed Wing Transport forces.

The NZDF capital expenditure budget has also increased from NZD$318 million to NZD583 million for the financial year, reflecting the military upgrade projects the government has approved, including the ANZAC frigate system upgrade, Seasprite helicopter replacements, and new medium and heavy trucks.

"Budget 2013 confirms the Defence Force reforms have achieved the difficult task of making back office reforms and achieving savings while also delivering projects to enhance the Defence Force’s military effectiveness," said Dr Coleman.

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