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Can I join the NZDF if I have a criminal record?

The NZDF has a high dependence on trust, reliability, and use of technical equipment and weapons. For this reason, all applicants undergo a police records check, and any convictions are assessed on the severity of the offence.

Do I need to provide any medical information with my application?

Yes, you need to provide as much relevant information as you can to enable our Military Doctors to make an informed decision on your health. In some cases you may be asked to provide a report from your own GP or a specialist containing full details, dates, outcome and ongoing management on any condition you may have. This is at your own cost.

Can I use my annual leave during school holidays?

There is flexibility around leave for school holidays.

I really want to travel overseas. Will joining the NZDF allow me to do so?

Once you have completed your initial training courses, you could find yourself deployed overseas, either on a foreign exchange, or on exercise or operation, sometimes very shortly after training. Travel is an exciting part of being a member of the NZDF. Generally, joining the Navy gives you the most chance of being deployed overseas and being able to experience the culture of that country out of uniform.

Do most service members live in service housing?

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

Once you sign the Offer of Service, are you bound to serve for the whole engagement?

No, signing the Offer of Service places you under no obligation. However, once you enlist (attest), you become liable to serve the period of your engagement. You have the right to apply for release (resign) at any time during your engagement. After recruit training, the normal notice period for release is three months.

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.

After resigning and leaving the NZDF, can I be recalled?

No. However, when renewing your Offer of Service after your period of engagement (usually 15 years), this may be included in your new Offer of Service.

Is the NZDF a fair and diverse place to work?

The NZDF is committed to ensuring a balanced workforce and an inclusive culture. This means that all members are able to participate, compete and be rewarded fairly regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, beliefs/opinions, or family circumstances.

After I join, can I change trades or service?

Initial trade selection is important because both you and the NZDF invest a significant amount of time and resources on your training and career progression, so it pays to thoroughly research the trade you are entering and make a well informed decision.

In some circumstances it is possible to change trade or service once you are in the NZDF. However, trade and service changes can be a lengthy process and are dependent on a number of factors like personnel requirements for the trades you wish to leave and join, and is by no means guaranteed. Therefore, if you assume you will be able to change trades or service at a later stage, we advise against accepting an Offer of Service for a trade or service you do not consider yourself suited to.

How much do personnel in each Service earn?

As you move through the ranks your salary will rise accordingly.

Army pay and benefit information can be found here.

Navy pay and benefit information can be found here

Air Force pay and benefit information can be found here.

Is there an upper age limit for re-enlisting?

No. There is no upper age limit for re-enlisting. However, you will need to meet fitness and health criteria.

How do I take care of personal hygiene when I’m in the field?

You will be taught during initial training how to tactically, safely, and appropriately take care of all personal hygiene matters – and you will always be able to maintain your privacy and discretion. During the initial weeks of training prior to leave being granted, you will have the opportunity to resupply and purchase personal hygiene products from a store on base.

What level of education do I need to apply?

The minimum entry requirement for the NZDF is at least 10 credits at NCEA Level 1 in both English and Mathematics. However, some trades require a higher level of education. Minimum criteria for each trade can be found on the details page for each trade on this website.

What options are available to me for parental leave?

The NZDF is family friendly and offers generous leave policies to support working parents. If you are planning a family you can take parental leave. You may also be eligible to receive a return to work incentive payment, which is equivalent to six weeks salary and payable six months after you return from parental leave.

Can I continue to breast-feed after returning from parental leave?

Nursing mothers may be able to make arrangements with their commanders and managers to establish an appropriate location for breast-feeding and expressing milk. However, personal needs must always be balanced with high priority unit activities or operational activities.

Will I be required to move location?

Most likely yes. Career Managers make an effort to accommodate your posting preferences and personal situation, but organisational requirements come first, and personnel may be required to move to different locations depending on where personnel and resources are required. A posting cycle is typically 2-3 years.

Can I attend evening social events off base after work?

Downtime can be spent however you wish. As an NZDF member it is important your personal conduct on and off duty is responsible, respectful and appropriate. If you are going to be consuming alcohol we encourage our personnel to drink responsibly, organise safe and sober transport home after a night out, and to look out for each other’s safety and well-being.

If I fail my entry level fitness test, when can I reapply?

If you fail an entry level fitness test your entire application is not rejected, it is merely put on hold until you pass the entry level fitness test. There is no stand-down period, you could re-sit the test the following day if another test happened to be scheduled. However, after failing an entry level fitness test we recommend you set goals and allow yourself a reasonable timeframe to achieve them before resitting the fitness test.

My medical reconsideration application was declined, and I still disagree, is there a process to have this reviewed?

Request a review form from your Candidate Engagement Facilitator and send it to the address enclosed with supporting documents (Note: you can only request this form after the reconsideration form was declined, it must be received within 4 weeks of the day you were notified the reconsideration was declined, and you are responsible for any costs associated with your own medical reports). A board of Senior NZDF Medical Officers will review this application at their next medical reconsideration meeting held four times per year. If this application is denied you may be unable to reapply, or be given a stand-down period before you can reapply.

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