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Characterised by variety and independence, the MP role could see you: preventing crime in Defence Areas within New Zealand, as a bodyguard to senior military officers overseas, investigating homicides in foreign countries, training foreign police forces, or more.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training
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About the role

As Military Police (MP), your job is to protect the Defence Force’s people and resources from crime and keep them safe in New Zealand and overseas. You will work alongside colleagues in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Police and Naval Police as a highly trained specialist, providing police expertise to the Defence Force community and in combat environments. 

You will need to be highly motivated and trustworthy, as you will often be the one in control at incidents. Your attention to detail and ability to adapt under pressure will be required whether you’re investigating crimes or providing close protection in high-risk situations. High standards of behaviour are expected of an MP at all times. 

Job on base

You will spend your days policing the defence community. This could see you preventing crime, responding to incidents, or conducting investigations. As an MP, you are soldier and police, so you conduct ongoing training in weapons, medical, and other combat skills is a requirement to keep you ready for deployments. You will also work closely with Air Force, Navy and New Zealand Police in a variety of locations within New Zealand.

Job on deployment

MP soldiers also deploy overseas as required. You will put your policing skills to use investigating insurgent actions, providing policing training to local police agencies, or protecting senior New Zealand military officers. You could also be policing coalition forces on multinational bases, or deploying at short notice to incidents involving New Zealand Defence Force troops.

Last year on my way to work I attended a traffic accident. I was first on the scene and everything I learnt as a Military Policeman became second nature.

Career progression and training

Career Progression

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Specialist Training

As your career develops, you will develop your investigation, policing, and security skills and take up leadership roles in Police Stations and Police Regions in New Zealand, or commanding MP Teams on deployment. You will work closely with, and might undertake secondments to, NZ Police. You may also specialise in investigations, responsible for investigating the most serious incidents MP deal with; or in Close Protection, acting as a bodyguard or part of a security team for senior military and government personnel. 


For fourteen weeks at the Military Police Training Centre in Trentham, you will learn about the laws and regulations that you’ll enforce, how to respond to and control incidents, and how to deal with basic criminal offences. This course covers when and how to use force (unarmed, batons, OC spray, firearms), advanced driving techniques, the conduct of police patrols, how to interview people, and first aid skills. 

Then you’ll be posted to an MP unit to put those new skills straight to use on the job. An extensive coaching and mentoring program will see you get off on the right foot, and support you through a probationary period to ensure that the MP role is the right one for you

Your next courses will teach you investigative skills like how to examine a crime scene and collect evidence, how to interview people to get valuable information from them, and how to analyse law and regulations. You’ll leave capable of conducting investigations into, among other things, traffic accidents, assaults, or drug offences.

You will also develop your military skills, like how to operate within an MP Team, including unarmed control and restraint, use of various weapons and equipment, advanced driving, and how to provide military-level security to people and places. 

Later courses will teach you how to plan and lead a security task; how to investigate serious offences like rape, murder and war crimes; and how to plan police operations like raids or law enforcement patrolling. If you specialise in investigations or close protection, you will receive intensive training in those areas. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend a variety of courses with New Zealand Police and other law enforcement agencies in NZ and overseas. There will also be opportunities to do various courses, training and exchanges with foreign country Military Police.

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend a variety of courses with New Zealand Police and other law enforcement agencies, specialist computer/electronic forensic training, and various courses and exchanges with foreign country Military Police.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Army are well-rewarded, diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, your salary will rise accordingly.


Under Initial Training


Starting Trade Training


Future Potential Earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

Earn a competitive salary while training or learning your trade, along with additional allowances for time spent in the field, at sea, overseas, or deployed on operations.

In addition to salary and allowances, other benefits of joining the New Zealand Defence Force include:

Access to your Service marae or tūrangawaewae

Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Free access to gyms and swimming pools on camp and bases

Opportunities to travel

Free and subsidised medical and dental care

Subsidised food and accommodation on camps and bases

Free and subsidised insurance cover

Help to buy a home and save for retirement

Entry requirements



Fitness and Medical


Period of Service

  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance. 
  • Full Class 1 driver’s licence is required. 
  • No history of any serious criminal, military or traffic offences.

3 years secondary school.

Note, that qualifications may be used to assess trade suitability.

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

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

There may be a return of service period for this trade.

Please contact our 0800 number or talk to your Candidate Experience Facilitator for more information.


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