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Can I transfer my UK pension to the NZDF?

There is no ability to transfer your military pension into an NZDF scheme. The NZDF no longer has its own pension scheme, rather NZDF personnel pay into the national Kiwisaver scheme. NZDF employees pay a minimum of 3% of their salary and the NZDF matches that with 4%. The pay listed on NZDF’s offer of service includes employer Kiwisaver contributions. More details can be found at the link www.kiwisaver.govt.nz

You may transfer your pension to your kiwi saver scheme, however we strongly encourage you to seek professional advice regarding this.

What are the minimum fitness requirements to join the Army, Air Force, and Navy?

Navy, Army and Air Force fitness requirements can be found at here.

Please note these are the minimum fitness requirements for each service – if you want your application to be competitive we urge you to strive to perform well beyond these requirements.

Can I apply if I am not a New Zealand Citizen?

Eligibility requirements, including requirements around citizenship can be found here:

Eligibility requirements

Citizenship and security requirements

Is there an upper age limit to join or re-enlist?

No. There is no upper age limit to join or re-enlist. However, you will need to meet medical and fitness requirements for your desired service.

How can I prepare for the aptitude testing?

Between now and the test session:

-Revise your school algebra and trigonometry

-Do word and number puzzles, and simple crosswords.

-Practise with lots of examples, but don’t use a calculator

-When practicing, set yourself time limits


Immediately before the test session:

-Get plenty of sleep the night before

-Find out exactly where the test venue is and check what time you have to be there.

-Give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue.

What If I fail the aptitude testing for my desired trade?

There is a limit to the number of times you can attempt the aptitude testing. If you fail one or more aptitude tests, you will have to wait 6 months before sitting the test again (or you will be given the opportunity to progress with trade choices you do meet the criteria for). This stand-down period allows you time to upskill on your weak areas. After 6 months, you will be invited to re-sit only those tests you previously failed. You don’t have to re-sit the test until you are ready. This second attempt is your final opportunity to pass the test/s. If you do not pass we will be unable to proceed with your application for your trade preferences. However, you will be given the opportunity to consider other trade choices you do meet criteria for. Do not feel in a rush to be re-tested.

How long does the joining process take?

The time between submitting your application and the first day of training typically takes 3 – 18 months.

Can I attend Church while I am in the NZDF?

Yes. We have Army, Navy, and Air Force Chaplains at every base. Chaplains take an active interest in the welfare of all NZDF personnel and our chapels cater for all religions. You are able to attend Sunday church services if you wish.

If my child is sick can I get the day off?

There is flexibility around leave if you need to care for a sick child.

What will my day to day life in the NZDF be like?

One of the key things about life in the NZDF is that your job will vary and you will be doing many different things. The NZDF is also passionate about its members maintaining a sustainable work/life balance. Working hours are comparable to a normal 9-5 job. However, during initial training, field exercises, and on operation, you will be expected to work longer hours. NZDF regular force members are entitled to a generous 25 days annual leave per year.

Will I have to live on base?

During recruit training you will have to live on base. After recruit training there is no requirement to live on base.

How much self-discipline is involved?

The NZDF expects a high standard of personal conduct, physical fitness, dress and discipline. It may take a little getting used to at first, but once you settle into a routine of Army, Navy, or Air Force life, your confidence and self-discipline will allow you to handle whatever gets thrown at you.

How can I make my application more competitive?

You can make your application more competitive by increasing your personal fitness and achieving a high level of fitness at your entry level fitness test. Team sports, cultural and extra-curricular activities, also look good on your application. Having a detailed understanding of your trade, service, training pipeline, and recent NZDF operations will help you during the interview.

Can I continue playing sport to competitive level while in the NZDF?

The NZDF has multiple sportsmen and women who compete at a national and international level while fulfilling their regular duties. If you compete at a high level in any kind of sport, we will usually allow you the opportunity to compete. Team work and the drive to win are core values to the NZDF so we encourage all personnel to get involved in team sports.

If I fail my psychometric testing, when can I reapply?

If you fail your psychometric testing there is a 12 month stand down period before you can re-apply.

My application to join was declined for medical reasons I disagree with, is there a process to have this reconsidered?

Yes. If your application is denied for medical reasons, you can get the decision reconsidered. Request a reconsideration form from your Candidate Engagement Facilitator and send it to the address enclosed with supporting documents like a report from your general practitioner or specialist doctor (Note: this must be received within 4 weeks of the day you were notified your application was denied, and you are responsible for any costs associated to your own medical reports). This will be reconsidered by a senior NZDF Doctor. You may be declined again or given a stand-down period before you can reapply.

How does the resignation process work?

We typically require 3 months’ notice if you decide to resign. However, during times of increased operational activity, or if you are required to complete a return of service obligation, you may be required to continue serving until you have completed your required duties or service period.

Can I join if I have a tattoo?

Tattoos, including large and highly visible cultural tattoos are acceptable provided they are appropriate for a military environment and are complementary to the NZDF’s values and image.

Can I wear my wedding ring, jewellery, and have piercings?

You are allowed to wear a plain signet ring, engagement ring and/or wedding ring. Only women are allowed to wear earrings, which should be one pair of plain studs or sleepers only. No other visible piercings are permitted. You can wear a wristwatch, and it is recommended that you get a sturdy, waterproof wristwatch for work (ideally with a red backlight function bot not essential).

Can men have long hair?

No. Each service has clear guidelines around appropriate length and hairstyles for men.

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