The Royal New Zealand Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNZNVR) is an integral part of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN); ten percent of the Navy's personnel strength is Reservists. Naval Reserve personnel train for Sea Service in support of Multi-Agency Taskings and for duties ashore in Maritime Trade Operations; in addition they provide supplementary personnel for the RNZN, both in peacetime and times of emergency. All branches have full career opportunities as ratings, and selected personnel may be offered commissions as Naval Reserve Officers.

Contact Defence Careers for more information

For more information on the Navy Reserve, please contact Defence Careers.

Sea Service

The purpose of the Navy has always been to supply maritime defence for New Zealand’s interest. This relies on the men and women of sea service forming the crews that sail everything from an Inshore Patrol Vessel to a Frigate. As a member of the sea service you can expect to be trained in Damage Control, seamanship and weapon handling. You will be constantly finding new skills as your vessel performs multi agency taskings with the customs service, fisheries or conservation.

Technical Branch

Have a mechanical skill base with diesel or electrical? Looking for a challenge that can advance you and your skills? Then being a techo is for you. As a technical officer or rating you will be responsible for maintaining and operating a range of systems aboard the IPV’s and other vessels. We do not train technical officers or ratings from scratch, rather we will show you new applications and methods for your existing skill base.

Maritime Trade Operations (MTO)

The MTO Team provides a key interface between the New Zealand Defence Force and the Maritime Industry. Services delivered include port based liaison, boarding and briefing of merchant vessels' Masters, vessel tracking and maritime operational analysis. Ninety nine percent of New Zealand's trade by volume is carried by sea, and if it were threatened, even thousands of miles from our shores, the effect on the nation's economy would be extremely serious.

MTO Specialists and Officers have varied backgrounds and diverse industry based skills that range from merchant ship and port operations, stevedoring, ship brokerage, IT, maritime law and languages through to analysts with skills in political science, strategic studies, history and geography qualifications.

The interface with our shipping, port industries and related authorities is a vital area that impacts upon New Zealand's trading ability and maritime security.

As a member of the MTO team you need to be prepared to work at locations throughout New Zealand, including periods as part of the team at Headquarters, Joint Forces New Zealand, located at Trentham. The MTO Branch is developing, and can provide some opportunities for overseas experience and training as well as sea time.


For more information on joining the Navy Reserve please contact Defence Careers.

This page was last reviewed on 6 November 2014, and is current.