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Is there an upper age limit for re-enlisting?

No. There is no upper age limit for re-enlisting. However, you will need to meet fitness and health criteria.

What entitlements can I get to help me join the NZDF?

If your application is successful, and once you have accepted your Offer of Service, you may be entitled to some benefits to aid with your entry:

  • Duty Travel for you and your family, from your bona fide home to your new posting location.
  • Household removals funding/partial funding.
  • Accommodation during relocation to your new posting location.

Do I have to pay for my uniform?

No, you will be issued with the uniform and equipment you require free of charge.

What percentage of the NZDF are female?

As of December 2018:

  • Navy = 22.4%
  • Air Force = 18.3%
  • Army = 13.2%

Recent and upcoming intakes have a higher percentage of women than above, which is steadily increasing the overall percentage of women in the NZDF each year.

When re-enlisting, how long will it take to hear back once I have applied?

Once your application has been received it will be allocated to one of the re-enlistment Candidate Engagement Facilitators who will send you an email within 24 working hours with the next steps.

I have applied previously but then decided to put my application on hold. Do I need to re-apply?

No you do not need to re-apply. We will re-activate your existing application to continue from where it was left. Please contact your Candidate Engagement Facilitator to re-open your application.  if you can't remember who this was, please phone 0800 1 FORCE.

How do I take care of personal hygiene when I’m in the field?

You will be taught during initial training how to tactically, safely, and appropriately take care of all personal hygiene matters – and you will always be able to maintain your privacy and discretion. During the initial weeks of training prior to leave being granted, you will have the opportunity to resupply and purchase personal hygiene products from a store on base.

I'm applying from overseas. How long does the immigration process take?

Once you have submitted your application, NZ Immigration will assign you a Case Officer and the process may take up to six months. This will be highly dependent on your ability to produce all of the documentation required by NZ Immigration in a timely and organised manner. Please ensure you fully read the information on NZ Immigration’s website, www.immigration.govt.nz, before commencing the process.

I've served with an overseas military. Will my previous military performance appraisal documents be used in assessment for promotion in NZDF?

No. You will be assessed for promotion upon your performance and reporting in the NZDF.

I'm applying from overseas. Can the Offer of Service change?

An Offer of Service (OOS) from the NZDF is an indication that we wish to employ you and that we would like to employ you as soon as possible. The OOS will contain information such as your new branch, trade, rank, seniority, unit, appointment, salary, engagement timeframe, annual leave scale and any courses required. The OOS is subject to you gaining the required medical and security clearances and on gaining a NZ Residence class visa. In rare circumstances the OOS may change. Please be aware that the NZDF reserves the right to alter your actual posting due to operational or administrative purposes. We may have to alter the OOS if you are unable to commence employment within the required timeframe agreed in your OOS.

What does the aptitude testing entail?

The aptitude testing helps us determine your suitability for the trade preferences you selected in your application, and all other NZDF trades.

The new tests introduced on the 14th of January 2021 measure Numerical Ability, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning and Mechanical Comprehension. These tests assess cognitive ability on these subjects, rather than the knowledge base, which is what the old tests were measuring.

It will take approximately 45 minutes to complete the two aptitude tests. 

Your Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) will endeavour to debrief you on your results within 72 hours of submission.

See here for more detailed information about the aptitude tests.

What is proctoring?

Proctoring is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “to watch people taking an exam in order to check they do not cheat”.

To ensure the NZDF aptitude test integrity and the identity of the test taker all tests are proctored. We have two different methods of proctoring, you can choose which method suits you best:

1. In-person – Where you sit the tests at a recruiting office on an NZDF laptop

2. Online – Where you sit the tests at home or other location of your choice (e.g., library, marae, office) on your laptop/computer. Online proctoring uses your web-camera and screen monitoring software to view you and your test environment.

How can I prepare for the aptitude testing?

Preparation is key so make sure you are well rested and careful with your answers. You will be tested on numerical ability, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning and mechanical comprehension.

From the date that your Candidate Engagement Facilitator (CEF) issues the link, you will have 14 days to complete the entire series of aptitude tests.

When re-enlisting, do I have to go through aptitude and fitness tests again?

From 14 January 2021, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) shifted to the new online system changing the way the NZDF administers the aptitude tests.

The new tests will measure Numerical Ability, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning and Mechanical Comprehension. These tests assess cognitive ability on these subjects, rather than the knowledge base, which is what the old tests were measuring.

To ensure a fair and even comparison between all of our candidates who are wanting a position in the NZDF (even if re-applying), there may be the requirement for some to sit the new online aptitude test even if they may have already sat the old tests previously (known as the R-Series).

Candidates will also need to pass an RFL before re-enlisting in the Army, and the Navy and Air Force will require you to pass their fitness tests shortly after you’re back in uniform (usually on the day of enlistment for the Navy and within three months for the Air Force).

What level of education do I need to apply?

Some trades simply require three years of secondary school, for example years 9 – 11 or years 11 – 13, rather than formal qualifications. These trades will still look at your record of learning to determine if you will be able to successfully complete the training. Other trades require a higher level of education, such as NCEA level 2 or above. The minimum criteria for each trade can be found on the trade pages on this website.

If I fail my aptitude test, when can I reapply?

There is a limit to the number of times you can attempt the aptitude testing. If you fail on your first attempt you will have to wait 3 months before sitting the test again. If you fail on your second attempt you will have to wait 12 months before sitting your third and final attempt. 

This stand-down period allows you time to personally upskill in the areas that you are weak at. If you are focusing on academic study to upskill your knowledge, talk to your Candidate Engagement Facilitator to see what is best for you.  

The third attempt is your final opportunity to pass the assessment. If you do not pass, we will be unable to proceed with your application. Take the time to upskill yourself in the areas that you are weak in.

*The NZDF allows a maximum of three attempts at its entry-level aptitude tests. This limit applies regardless of the entry-level tests attempted. For example, a candidate who has completed the old handwritten tests once before would only be able to attempt the new Aptitude Tests an additional 2 times.


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