Force Health Protection

Force Health Protection Officers plan, coordinate and implement control strategies to minimise adverse health impacts from the environment and the workplace. You will also develop and present a range of public health related training packages and programs that will be used on deployed operations or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief duties (such as the Samoa tsunami, Christchurch earthquakes, Tauranga oil spill and tropical cyclone Pam). Ultimately the result of an Environmental Health Officers’ advice and input helps to ensure the health and safety of our people and the success of operations conducted both at home and overseas.

Areas of responsibility of Force Health Protection Officers  include, but are not limited to the following:

• Water safety;
• Food safety;
• Occupational hygiene;
• Field hygiene and Waste management;
• Pest and Vector control;
• Emergency management;
• Workplace assessments;
• Communicable disease; and
• Public Health assessments and investigations

When not overseas, you will be working as part of a multi disciplinary health and safety team conducting public health assessments, environmental health training courses and assisting with biosecurity arrangements, border health controls and occupational hygiene assessments.

You will conduct comprehensive health threat assessments, assist with setting up of field camps, provide specialist advice on field hygiene, waste and water management, biosecurity, pest and vector control and environmental and industrial hazards.

You will deploy in support of New Zealand Defence military operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief both within New Zealand and overseas. Deployment time frames are normally for weeks at a time, but may on rare occasions extend to a six month period.

In most cases Force Health Protection Officers  are required to carry out their duties to support the role of Force Health Protection with minimum supervision, although they may be co-located or working with environmental health personnel from the NZ Army or other overseas military forces.

Hazardous working conditions are encountered and the wearing of personal protective equipment will be required. Sometimes environmental health tasks are conducted in the field with limited resources and under austere environmental conditions.

If you have referred to the minimum requirements below but would like more information on this role please email

Your initial remuneration will be based on previous experience and skill level. This is negotiated on a case by case basis. As your career continues, remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.

  • You must be 17 years or older
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.

Candidates should have qualified or be near completion of the Grad Dip EH and/or BHlthSc (EH), or other recognised qualification under the Environmental Health Officer (Qualifications) Regulations 1993 or a recognised overseas equivalent.

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Woodbourne base to complete the Joint Officer Induction Course (JOIC) – a seven-week, full-time course.

All NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Officer Cadets are required to complete this course which is designed to introduce the basic individual military skills required to continue on to your respective service Officer training courses. The course is designed to give you a basic level of military skills including field-craft, weapon handling, navigation, drill, battle-craft, communications and an introduction to leadership. It is during JOIC that you will be introduced to the standards and discipline demanded of all members of the NZ Defence Force and the ethos and values required to be an Officer in the NZDF.

Upon successful completion of the JOIC, you will remain at Woodbourne but be posted to the Initial Officer Training Course to commence the 22 week course starting in either January or July. Here you’ll find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and will cover various subjects including:

  •         RNZAF Customs and Protocol
  •         Drill and Parades
  •         Military Law
  •         Military Field Skills and Weapons Training
  •         Defence and Strategic Studies
  •         Personnel Administration
  •         Communication Skills
  •         Command, Leadership and Management
  •         First Aid

Following initial officer training, you will undertake approximately two years of ongoing core training based at RNZAF Base Whenuapai, Auckland and other New Zealand Defence and Civilian agencies. You will be attached to New Zealand based and overseas exercises where you will further consolidate public health and occupation skills in field environments.

Further training and education is provided throughout your career such as a 9 week attachment to the United States Army Medical Department Centre and School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Content covers, community health, communicable & infectious diseases, operational preventive medicine, epidemiology, statistics, medical entomology, industrial hygiene, health physics, sanitary engineering and environmental science. The course provides students with command level operational risk assessment training which allows them to operate effectively in a joint/coalition complex health and safety threat rich environment.

Further opportunities are available with other allied militaries and civilian agencies for specialisation in areas such as health engineering, entomology and occupational hygiene.

Force Protection Health Officers are based at RNZAF Base Whenuapai, Auckland