Tony Baldwin
Business | Policy

Ministry of Defence and NZ Defence Force:
Project Protector

September 2008 – February 2010


In July 2004, the Crown entered into a contract with (now) BAE Systems for the construction and delivery of seven new vessels for the Royal New Zealand Navy: a Multi-Role Vessel (MRV), two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), and four Inshore Patrol Vessels (IPVs).

These vessels are to conduct tasks for and with New Zealand Customs, the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Fisheries, Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand & New Zealand Police.

The MRV was delivered in May 2007. The four IPVs were delivered in the first half 2009. The two OPVs were delivered in 2010.

Tony's role

A range of warranty and defect issues have arisen across the Protector fleet. In September 2008, Tony was engaged by the Secretary of Defence to assist the Crown in resolving these various contractual issues with BAE Systems.

Tony’s role was to:

  • Review the key issues in dispute
  • Evaluate the Crown’s strategic and tactical options
  • Help develop an overall strategy
  • Assist the Crown in implementing the strategy, including negotiations with BAE Systems
  • Serve as member of the Crown’s team in a formal mediation between BAE Systems and the Crown, with retired High Court Judge, Hon Robert Fisher QC, acting as mediator

This involved working closely with:

  • The Crown’s legal advisers, including Crown Law, Bell Gully, David Goddard QC, and NZDF lawyers;
  • Senior management within the Ministry of Defence and NZ Defence Force, including the Vice Chief of Defence Force, Deputy Chief of Navy, and Deputy Secretary (Acquisitions)
  • Other agencies, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Treasury, and State Services Commission (SSC).


Tony reported to the Secretary of Defence (John McKinnon), in conjunction with the Chief of Defence Force and the Chief of Navy.

Tony also accompanied the Secretary of Defence in updating the Chief Executives to DPMC, SSC and Treasury.


The Crown achieved a positive outcome through the mediation process, and has concluded a constructive settlement with BAE

Background references