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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 is the minimum age to join the NZDF?
Most careers in the NZDF require you to be 17 years old prior to commencing your recruit course. Some careers in the NZDF have a higher age limit, but we can advise you about that if it applies. You can register on this website at any age, but can only submit an application from the age of 16.5. You can call us on 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723) for further clarification.
What does the aptitude testing entail?
The aptitude testing gauges your suitability for the trade preferences you selected in your application and all other NZDF trades. There are six paper tests for all applicants and an additional two paper tests for air crew applicants. The six or eight tests take up to two and a half hours to complete at your nearest recruiting centre, and you will be debriefed on your results at the end of the session. See here for more detailed information and practice questions.
What do I need to take to the entry level fitness test?
Take photo identification, appropriate clothing and footwear for exercise (You will be conducting a beep test (running), press ups, and curl ups.
How do I apply to join the NZDF?
Visit the Apply Now page of this website to register your interest and begin the application process.
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.
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 use my mobile phone in the defence force?
Yes. Mobile phones are allowed in the Defence Force, but use is not permitted in some occasions like when on operation or exercise or during parts of your initial training.
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.
Can I submit a postal application?
You can only apply via this website. If this presents a real difficulty to you and you need to speak to somebody, please call us on 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723)
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.
What is a return of service obligation (ROSO)?
A ROSO is a contractual commitment by yourself to remain in the NZDF for a specified period of time. ROSO’s are associated to courses or training that require a significant investment of funding or resources by the NZDF, for example Pilot Course and Tertiary Schemes. Prior to joining you will be informed if the initial training and career pathway you intend to conduct has any associated ROSO’s.
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.
Where will my training take place?
The location of basic training depends on your service.
Army All Armed Recruit Courses are conducted in Waiouru
Navy Basic Common Training is conducted in Devonport
Air Force Recruit Courses are conducted at Woodbourne
Joint Officer Induction Course is conducted at Woodbourne for Officers from all services. After six weeks Army Officer Cadets relocate to Waiouru for Officer Cadet School, and Navy Midshipman relocate to Devonport for Junior Officer Common Training. Air Force Officer Cadets remain in Woodbourne for Initial Officer Training Course.
The location of initial trade training after basic training varies depending on your trade. Check the details page of your desired trade for the location of initial trade training. For further clarification contact your Candidate Engagement Facilitator or call 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723).
Can I wear make-up?
Make-up can be worn provided it is appropriate for a military environment. Each service has clear guidelines for what is appropriate, but in general, make-up should be light and natural. Foundation and minimal eye make-up can be worn when in the office, but it is of course impractical to wear any in the field environment.
How are women allowed to wear their hair in uniform?
Each service has clear guidelines and policy on appropriate hairstyles for women. In general hair is to be neat and tidy. Fringes should not fall below the eyebrows, and hair length should not extend below the lower edge of a button-up shirt collar. Long hair should be tied back in a bun up off the collar, and when you are in the field your hair can be worn in a single plait.
You can wear plain hair-ties, and hair-nets similar to your hair colour. Brightly coloured hair ornaments such as ribbons, headbands or scrunchies are not permitted.
Hair colour should be complementary to your natural colouring, so extreme colouring, bright contrasting or multiple colours are not permitted.
Can I get a tattoo after joining?
Tattoos, including large and highly visible cultural tattoos are acceptable provided they are appropriate for a military environment and are complementary to the NZDF’s values and image. Each service has clear guidelines on getting new tattoos.
How does the NZDF prevent discrimination and harassment?
We are committed to ensuring that our workplaces are safe and free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying because we recognise the effects of personal-wellbeing on our operational effectiveness. We make an effort to recruit good people, and install a positive culture early in initial training. Robust support processes are in place to deal with any alleged incidents sensitively, appropriately, and quickly.