When making such a big decision, like choosing the career path you want to take, there are always lots of questions you will have. Listed here are some of the most frequently asked ones - you can also filter them by category. 

If these don’t answer your query then give us a call on 0800 1 FORCE and we will be happy to help.

Am I bound by the conditions set in my OOS?

Yes. The OOS will state what courses you will be required to do, what rank you will hold, what seniority you will hold etc. It is not possible to renegotiate these conditions after you arrive in NZ.

How long does the immigration process take?

Once you have submitted your application, NZ Immigration will assign you a Case Officer and the process may take up to six months. This will be highly dependant on your ability to produce all of the documentation required by NZ Immigration in a timely and organised fashion. Please ensure you fully read the information on NZ Immigration’s website, www.immigration.govt.nz, before commencing the process.

Will I be offered an extension of service after I complete my initial engagement?

This will be dependant on a number of factors including gaining NZ citizenship, the NZDF’s needs and your performance during your time served.

You should find out if your service will be extended 12 months before completing your initial engagement. Your initial engagement is likely to be for a period of five years and eight months.

Can the offer of service change?

An OOS from the NZDF is an indication that we wish to employ you and that we would like to employ you as soon as possible. The OOS will contain information such as your new branch, trade, rank, seniority, unit, appointment, salary, engagement timeframe, annual leave scale and any courses required. The Offer is subject on you gaining the required medical and security clearances, and on gaining a NZ Residence class visa.

In rare circumstances, the OOS may change. Please be aware that the NZDF reserves the right to alter your actual posting due to operational or administrative purposes. We may be able to be flexible if you are unable to commence employment within the timeframe agreed in your OOS.

When will I be promoted?

Promotion is based on meeting eligibility requirements and performance within the NZDF.

What is the normal posting cycle?

Posting cycles are usually 2-3 years in any one job. Due to operational and administrative issues, there are times when postings will be cut short.

What age can I be employed until in the NZDF?

The NZDF has no upper age limits. Continued service is determined by vacancies, your performance and your health and fitness.

How do I look for a school for my children?

Most NZ students attend state funded schools. Every student has the right to enrol at the state school nearest to their home.

If the school is at risk of overcrowding, it can set a ‘home zone’ that is geographically defined. Students living in this zone have the right to go to that school.

Those living outside the zone can be enrolled only under special circumstances. These include situations where students have brothers or sisters attending the school or require access to special programmes such as special education or Maori language. If the school is still at risk of overcrowding, selection is made through a supervised ballot.

Information on school enrolment zones can be found at www.nzschools.tki.org.nz, with full information on the New Zealand school system at www.minedu.govt.nz.

Does the NZDF recognise a relationship if a couple is not married?

Yes. A service member who is in a relationship with another person and living as a couple will be entitled to have that relationship recorded as a recognised relationship.

Official recognition of such a relationship renders a service member eligible for the same entitlements available to married service members.

Relationships will be recognised for NZDF purposes only. There are no set criteria for the recognition of a relationship and each case will considered on its own merits.

Once you sign the offer of service, are you bound to serve for the whole engagement?

No, signing the OOS places you under no obligation. However, once you enlist (attest), you become liable to serve the period of your engagement. However, you have the right to apply for release at any time during your engagement.

The normal notice period for release is three months.

Will the move date be a negotiated one, or advised?

Enlistment dates will be agreed once an OOS is made and we have a clearer idea of the time frame (e.g. NZ Residence class visa, release etc).

Please be aware that you are expected to enlist within 18 months from the time you submit your application to NZDF and that you are required to give as much information as possible about when you will be able to join.

What is Defence Housing like?

The majority of NZDF houses were built in the 1950s and are of wood construction. They have been maintained but are not as good as most modern homes of this century.

The average fortnightly rent is currently $390 for 2 bedrooms and $450 for 4 bedrooms.

Do most service members live in Defence housing?

No, the majority of personnel live off base in private accommodation.

Should I bring all of my furniture with me?

This is a personal choice. We strongly recommend that you do your own research including a comparison of the cost of purchasing furniture in NZ against the cost of transporting your furniture from overseas.

Will my previous military performance appraisals be used in assessment for promotion?

No. You will be assessed for promotion upon your performance and reporting in the NZDF.

Do I need to provide copies of my qualifications obtained during my military courses?

Yes. The Career Managers will assess these qualifications and decide which ones will be recognised by the NZDF.

If you are successful with enlisting into the NZDF, these courses will be added to your NZDF profile.

Please note that some NZ courses differ to ones you have taken at home and you must be prepared to complete these. This will be stated in your OOS.

Will I be required to move location?

Yes. The NZDF requires personnel to move to different locations, depending on when and where the need for resources is.

The posting cycle is generally every 2-3 years and you must be prepared to change jobs and/or location.

Will I be required to deploy?

Yes. The NZDF has a strong focus on being an operational defence force. NZDF personnel must be fit and ready for deployment when required. There is no guarantee of a deployment but all personnel must be able to.

How much do get paid in each service?

You can see the pay tables for each service at the links below. As you move through the ranks your salary will change accordingly.

Air Force

Do I have to go through the whole application process again of aptitude tests, fitness tests, etc?

If you’re applying for your previous trade you won’t have to re-sit your aptitude tests, but you may need to if you’re applying for something different. You will need to pass an RFL before re-enlisting in the Army, and the Navy and RNZAF will require you to pass their fitness tests shortly after you’re back in uniform (usually on the day of enlistment for Navy and within three months of enlistment for RNZAF).

Will you take into consideration extra skills I have gained since leaving the NZDF?

If your skills are relevant to your trade then this will be considered on a case by case basis.

Will you take into consideration extra skills I have gained since leaving the NZDF?

If your skills are relevant to your trade then this will be considered on a case by case basis.

How long does the medical clearance take?

This will vary depending on how long you have been out of the NZDF and whether you have had any medical treatment since leaving.  We may require additional information from your civilian GP and the sooner you provide this the sooner our military doctors can review your medical file.  A decision on medical clearance is usually made within a week as long as we have all the information we need from you.

How long does the Police check take?

It can take up to 30 days.  If you have lived overseas for longer than six months since you left the NZDF you will need to provide a Police check from that country and we can guide you on how to do that.

How I do apply to re-enlist?

Please click on the Apply Now button.  You need to register to create an account and you can then start your application.  Click ‘yes’ to NZ Military Experience and we’ll ask you for a couple of easy details, such as your Service number, and your application will then be ready to submit.