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Writers are part of the Support Branch of the Navy. Organising the pay & administration of a large and complex organisation is a big challenge. Are you up for it?

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Logistics and Administration
  • Location
  • Starting Trade Training

Follow Able Writer Dione Taurua, during a typical day onboard HMNZS Te Mana.

About the role

As a Navy Writer, you will provide high quality administrative and payroll support to ships at sea and serving personnel. You will also provide support in office administration functions such as customer service, document management and personnel management procedures.

Your role will principally be undertaken at sea onboard ships where you will also perform non-administrative tasks as part of the ship's company, and ashore in Devonport Naval Base. Most Writers also complete at least one period of peacekeeping overseas. The Writer role will suit you if you want a career in administration that is balanced with getting out of the office and doing other varied and exciting things.

Job on base

The initial parts of your career will be spent ashore in the Devonport Naval Base, with short duration postings to ships and shore establishments to strengthen your training and gain experience. These can include short term postings to other locations in New Zealand as well overseas experiences with NZDF deployed forces and exchanges with other navies.

Job on deployment

Whilst at sea your most important role is as a sailor, utilising the core mariner skills you have gained in fire-fighting, damage control and seamanship tasks. You will also be given advanced first aid training to assist the ship’s medical staff in emergencies. In your trade role at sea you will support the efficient operation of the ship by ensuring that the command and personnel receive top-level policy advice and administrative support.

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Career progression and training

Career Progression

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Your hard work, diligence and experience as a Navy Writer are rewarded with promotion in rank and salary. Following your initial training and consolidation, you can reasonably expect to be performing as an effective and competent Writer within 12-18 months of joining. This will be supplemented by a posting to sea, and then further training to prepare you for promotion to a supervisory role. Your advancement will be supported by giving you further training in leadership, mariner skills and Writer skills. Successful completion of these will qualify you for a promotion to Leading Rate, whereby you will be responsible for supervising a team of Writers, either at sea or ashore. Vast employment opportunities exist for Writers within the Navy and the Defence Force. Right now there are Writers employed on peacekeeping missions around the world, at sea onboard HMNZ Ships, and in various roles and locations in New Zealand.

Upon successful enlistment into the Navy you will be posted to Devonport, Auckland. Here you will do 16 weeks of basic military training to find out if you have what it takes to be in the Navy, and learn various subjects including:

  • Teamwork and support
  • Naval history and customs
  • Drill and parades
  • Core mariner skills and weapons training
  • First aid and firefighting
  • Physical fitness
  • Self-discipline

You will remain in Devonport to receive training as Navy Writer. Your specialist training will include areas such as NZDF payroll, NZDF policy and entitlements, Human Resource information system training, administration and office procedures, the management and administration of personnel records as well as receipt and dispatch of correspondence. Following this, you will conduct a period of on-job-training, ashore and at sea, to strengthen and consolidate what you have learnt.

As your career progresses, you will be given further training to develop your leadership, mariner and specialist skills. The ability to manage people effectively and efficiently is a key part of your development. This training will provide you with additional skills and expertise to assist with your career progression. Navy Writers receive comprehensive training throughout their careers to advance from a basic administrator through to a supervisory role and then to a managerial level.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Navy 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.


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

  • Be a minimum of 17 years of age.
  • Be of good character – assessed by a study of references and a police record check.
  • Be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years.

3 years secondary school. Note, qualifications may be used to assess trade suitability.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the CV security clearance required for this trade. You must be free of any criminal convictions for the previous two years.

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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