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Environmental Health Officers who are described as Force Health Protection Officers, provide specialist advice and support at the heart of the NZ Army’s training and operations.

  • Service
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Location
  • Starting salary
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About the role

As a Force Health Protection Officer (FHPO) in the NZ Army you will provide Environmental Health (EH) advice and support to NZ Army forces and other associated organisations during training and operations. This will involve improving the operational efficiency and effectiveness of NZ Army by assisting in the reduction of preventable illness and injury during training and operations.

If you have referred to the minimum entry requirements below, but would like more information on this role please email


The advice and support you will be required to provide will be diverse and could incorporate any of the following areas:

  • Operational EH planning
  • EH intelligence development
  • Health threat assessment
  • Occupational hygiene assessments
  • Operational hazmat
  • Pest management and control processes
  • Waste disposal for military operations
  • Analysis of water quality
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Food safety assessment

Job on base

In many situations you will work closely with other military medical personnel as part of a Medical Team which at times you will be called upon to lead. You will be required to provide advice and support in a number of areas including:

  • Identifying measures to minimise Army manpower loss through preventable illness and non-battle injury during operations and training
  • Monitoring of Army Environmental Health standards through inspections of all Army facilities
  • Providing Environmental Health training and awareness to the NZ Army.
  • Liaising with the Defence Health Intelligence Officer to prepare operational guidance notes which are task or mission specific.
  • Providing as necessary Environmental Health expertise to assist in investigations and courts of enquiry that involve incidents of serious harm or death.
  • Preparing and reviewing military and civilian documentation that relates to Environmental Health/Preventive Medicine matters.

Job on deployment

You will conduct comprehensive health threat assessments, assist with setting up of field camps, provide specialist advice on field hygiene, waste and water management, pest and vector control and environmental and industrial hazards.


You will deploy in support of NZ Defence Force military operations and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief both within New Zealand and overseas. Deployment time frames are normally for weeks at a time, but may on rare occasions extend to a six month period.


In most cases FHPOs are required to carry out their duties to support the role of Force Health Protection with minimum supervision, although they may be co-located or working with environmental health personnel from the RNZAF or other overseas military forces.

Career progression and training

Basic Training

Job Training

Ongoing Training

Career Progression

Officer Cadet School (OCS)

(12 weeks) Location: Waiouru Military Camp

Initial training begins in early January. Attendees at this training will be a mixture of Regular Force General List Officer Cadets, Regular Force Special List Officer Cadets, and Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets.

The training will be split into three modules and attendance at Modules One, Two and Three is required for all Regular Force Officer Cadets. Reserve Force Special List Officer Cadets must attend Modules One and Three; this can be in the same year or in consecutive years.


Training covers:

  • NZ Army Ethos and Values
  • Self-leadership
  • Physical Training
  • Basic field-craft
  • Military Unarmed Combat
  • Weapon handling
  • Navigation
  • Battle-craft
  • Radio telephone procedure
  • Weapon handling
  • Drill
  • NZ Army tactics
  • Leadership

You bring your specialist skill set to the NZ Army and the NZ Army will teach you how to integrate those skills in a military context. After initial employment and training, the NZ Army will provide funding for FHPOs to undertake further education that is pertinent to their professional role.

Further training and education is provided throughout your career to complete further professional studies. There are various opportunities including:

  • Post graduate study in an approved area of speciality
  • International military and civilian courses
  • Civilian Environmental Health short courses

You will also be further developed in military skills of leadership and planning.

As a FHPO in the NZ Army, you will receive comprehensive training to allow you to effectively lead teams, in all kinds of situations. You will be taught how to handle weapons, and receive adventure and outdoor training. There are also opportunities to further your professional development and the possibility of further tertiary study.

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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.


Starting salary


Future potential earnings

Figures updated on July 1st 2023

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

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

  • You must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Meet the citizenship and security requirements to gain SV security clearance for this trade.
  • A BHlthSc(EH) or BAppSci (Health Protection), Grad Dip EHSci (older terminology called RSH Dip Pub Hlth Insp) is required.
  • Any recognised qualification under the EHO (Qualifications) Regulations 1993 or a recognised overseas equivalent.
  • Ideally you will have two years post graduate experience in the field of Environmental Health.
  • A working knowledge of Environmental Health and resource management related legislation is required.
  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required SV 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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