Our strategic direction

The Ministry’s strategic objectives are outlined in our Strategic Intentions.

On this page

This publication informs Parliament and the New Zealand public about the outcomes we are targeting and how we plan to achieve them.

Read the MFAT Strategic Intentions 2021-2025 [PDF, 1.8 MB]

The Strategic Intentions is based on the Ministry’s Strategic Framework which:

  • articulates the Ministry’s purpose, revised in 2020 to include a sustainability dimension
  • sets out our value propositions – Kaitiakitanga, Influence, Security and Prosperity – or how we contribute to New Zealanders’ wellbeing
  • contains seven Strategic Goals that articulate the impact we aim to achieve for Aotearoa New Zealand in the world, and two Organisational Capability Goals
  • identifies our ten year Outcomes and how we will deliver these through Priority Deliverables for the next four years as well as the enduring work of the Ministry.
A graphic image outlining our strategic and organisational goals. .

Seven strategic goals

The Ministry has seven strategic goals that express the impact the Ministry is setting out to achieve for Aotearoa New Zealand in the world over a 10-year timeframe.

  • International Rules and Institutions: Strengthen, protect and use international rules and institutions to pursue Aotearoa New Zealand's values and interests.
  • Economic Returns and Resilience: Grow sustainable economic returns and resilience from trade, investment and other international connections.
  • Indo-Pacific: Embed Aotearoa New Zealand as an active and integral partner in shaping an Indo-Pacific order that delivers regional stability and economic integration.
  • Pacific: Promote a peaceful, prosperous and resilient Pacific in which Aotearoa New Zealand’s interests and influence are safeguarded.
  • Environment and Climate Change: Promote sustainable international solutions to global environment and natural resource challenges that impact on Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Security and Safety: Lead Aotearoa New Zealand’s international action to advance and protect New Zealanders’ safety and Aotearoa New Zealand’s security.
  • International Relationships: Build and leverage targeted international relationships to achieve our goals.

Two organisational goals

We have two organisational capability goals that set out the critical capability we need to sustain and develop in order to achieve our strategic goals.

  • NZ Connections: Foster mutually beneficial relationships with NZ Inc partners, Māori, domestic stakeholders and New Zealanders.
  • Organisational Foundations: Deliver optimal outcomes for Aotearoa New Zealand through our people, network, systems and services.

Strategic Assessment 2023

In 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade undertook a Strategic Assessment of Aotearoa New Zealand’s international context to 2035. The 2023 Strategic Foreign Policy Assessment – with the theme of Navigating a shifting world – Te whakatere i tētahi ao hurihuri – is intended as a contribution to the national conversation on foreign policy.


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