As a Plant Operator, you will provide support to units in the construction of minor earthworks and repairs. You are responsible for the safe operation of all kinds of plant (for example excavation equipment) used by the New Zealand Army, as well as maintenance of equipment.
Graders, diggers, trucks and many other kinds of heavy equipment will be your office while you complete the various construction and earth moving tasks required to ensure the New Zealand Army achieve its goals.
This trade is currently only available to Regular Force Soldiers, and is lead by Officers from Corps of Royal New Zealand Engineers (RNZE).
At home, you are responsible for the efficient and safe operation of all the plant as well as daily servicing and maintenance. As the operator, you are responsible for identifying and reporting all faults before they turn into major mechanical failures. You could be employed in civil aid and national emergencies such as helping with civil defence, scrub fires, road repairs and flood control, as well as assisting other Army units both in New Zealand and overseas.
As this role is readily deployed overseas, time spent on camp is often spent training and ensuring that personnel are trained with appropriate working skills that will be needed for the variety of jobs undertaken.
A key part of the Plant Operators role on deployment is the concept of winning resources – taking a resource and making it usable for Army operations e.g. the construction of temporary roads and runways from existing materials.
RNZE personnel can be found in small contingents around the globe. Places they have previously been deployed include Antarctica, Bosnia, East Timor, USA, Australia, South Pacific Islands, Mozambique and Iraq.
Throughout your career you will constantly be up skilling on all of the heavy equipment used by the New Zealand Army, so you will not be stuck using one machine your whole career.
As your career as a plant operator progresses you will get the opportunity to attend a task manager and supervisory course allowing more senior management of groups and projects.
Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.
While undertaking initial Recruit Course you will be paid as a Recruit (see attached pay table). On completion of your Recruit Course you will be paid as a Private and your pay will continue to increase as your career progresses.
Upon successful enlistment into the Army you will be posted to Waiouru Army base. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Army, and learn various subjects including:
This is an eight week course held at the School of Military Engineering, Linton Military Camp. This is the first course conducted for most trades within the Royal New Zealand Engineers. It introduces you to the combat side of being an engineer before you undertake your specific trade.
The course covers the basics of field engineering including bridging, water supply, explosives, field defences, obstacles, booby traps, boating and other subjects. After the course, you will have a good understanding of field engineering and also be qualified as an Army (explosives) Demolition Handler.
This is a 14 week course conducted at the School of Military Engineering in Linton Camp. It covers the operation and maintenance of bulldozers, loaders, scrapers, excavators, graders, and rollers. It is a combination of both theory and practical work with the course competencies aligned to the NZQA framework.
You will be posted to Plant Troop, 25 Engineer Support Squadron (25 ESS) based at Linton Camp, for a minimum of two years. After this you could be posted to the 25 ESS Plant detachment in Waiouru.