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Does the NZDF recognize de facto partnerships?

Yes. A service members in a de facto relationship is entitled to the same benefits as a serviceperson who is married.

Do I have to pass a medical?

Yes, you will be required to meet medical standards for general health, eyesight, and hearing.

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.

What do I need to take to the aptitude testing?

You are required to bring original copies of the following documents:

-Photograph ID (If you do not have any contact your Candidate Engagement Facilitator to discuss your options)

-Your Birth Certificate

-Your passport (if you have one)

-Citizenship or proof of Permanent Residency (if held)

-Driver’s license (If you have one)

-Record of Achievement such as NCEA qualifications or tertiary/ educational qualifications. A breakdown of credits received is required rather than the certificate to show you have passed

-The NZDF biography form

-If you are applying for an officer role, you are also required to bring a resume/ curriculum vitae

These will be checked and handed straight back to you. If you do not bring these original documents, it will slow down your application process.

What is Force Fit?

Free group physical training sessions in your area become available to you once you apply to join the NZDF. These ‘Force Fit’ sessions are organised once or twice a week by your nearest recruiting office, and are at a convenient time for most working people and students. These sessions are a great way for applicants of every fitness level to prepare for the entry level fitness test and basic training. It also allows you to meet other applicants from your home town that may be on your intake. Contact your Candidate Engagement Facilitator for more information about your local fitness sessions. Additionally, download the Force Fit app, to get a personal training programme that is designed to prepare you for your entry level fitness test and basic training. (Insert Appstore and Playstore links).

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.

Does the NZDF recognize de facto partnerships?

Yes. A service members in a de facto relationship is entitled to the same benefits as a serviceperson who is married.

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.

Can I speak directly to a member of the NZDF about general service life?

Ask your local recruitment office about upcoming Force Information Evenings. At every Force Information Evening there will be a uniformed serviceperson who can give insight into general service life.

Will I always have to do physical training?

The NZDF requires its personnel to maintain a good level of fitness, but encourage its members to maintain an excellent level of fitness, and allows some flexibility regarding exercising during working hours to support this. Some trades have compulsory PT multiple times per week (Diver, Infantry etc). For other less physical trades it is you responsibility to maintain at least the minimum level of fitness required for your service, age and gender to pass annual or biannual fitness tests, so that you are ready and able to perform if you are called upon to deploy on operation.

Will I have to carry heavy backpacks?

Yes, sometimes. While carrying a backpack can be challenging, it is by no means an unachievable task. The physical training that is conducted during your initial training course is designed to gradually prepare you for carrying your equipment. You will be instructed on how to correctly set-up and wear your pack to minimise the risk of injury, and there are guidelines for personnel regarding the lifting and carrying of weights. The requirement to carry packs or loads differs between the services.


As a general rule, a pack is not worn in the work environment. Packs or heavy loads may be incorporated into some aspects of initial training, emergency drills, physical fitness and some adventure training.


There is a requirement to carry loads, such as packs, at certain times during your recruit and ongoing unit training. Depending on your career path, and your location of posting, you may be required to carry packs for short periods of time during activities such as training exercises, physical fitness training and on operations.

Air Force

During stages of your recruit training you will be required to carry a pack.

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.

What are the joining dates?

There are multiple intakes each year for both Recruits and Officers.

Find the intake schedule for Navy at here.

Find the intake schedule for Army at here.

Find the intake schedule for Air Force at here.

Will I be able to stay in touch with friends and family during training?

Yes. Although you will need to hand your cell phone in for field exercises, and most of the early stages of training, you will be given reasonable opportunity to communicate with your family and friends by mail or cell phone. There are channels in place for your family to quickly contact you in case of a family emergency, these contact details will be sent to you prior to training to be passed on to your family.

What can I do to prepare for basic training?

You will be very busy during basic training, so we recommend organising your personal life before the first day of training. This will allow you to have a clear conscious throughout training, and enable you to enjoy time on leave relaxing rather than conducting personal admin.

Improving your general fitness, running, strength, and endurance will help your team during physical aspects of training. Ask your Candidate Engagement Facilitator about your nearest Force Fit programme. Force Fit sessions are a great way to increase your personal fitness and build relationships with other people that may be on your intake.

Your Candidate Engagement Facilitator will provide you with an equipment list, and more information about what to expect during training. Feel free to ask questions at your induction day.

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.

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