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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. The minimum criteria for each trade can be found on the trade pages 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 your recruit course. Some careers in the NZDF have a higher age limit. You can register on this website at any age, but can only submit an application from the age of 16.5.

What does the online 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 online 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 online aptitude tests.

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 Apply Now to register your interest and begin the application process.

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 NZDF?

Yes. Mobile phones are allowed in the Defence Force, but use is not permitted in some occasions. For example when on operations 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 Return Of Service Obligation (ROSO) is a contractual commitment by yourself to remain in the NZDF for a specified period of time. ROSOs are associated to courses or training that require a significant investment of funding or resources by the NZDF, for example our Pilot Course and Tertiary Scholarship Schemes. Prior to joining, you will be informed if the initial training and career pathway you intend to conduct has any associated ROSOs.  The details of your ROSO will be stated on your Offer of Service.

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 your inital training depends on your service.

Army

All initial training is conducted at Waiouru Military Training Facility.

Navy

All inital training is conducted at Devonport Naval Base.

Air Force

All inital training is conducted at RNZAF Base Woodbourne.

Trade and/or Corp Training

After your initial training is complete, you will continue on with your trade-specific or Corp training. The location of your trade training varies depending on your trade.

Check your trade page on our website 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.

What hairstyles are permitted in uniform?

Each service has a slightly different policy on appropriate hairstyles for men and women.

In general, hair is to be neat and tidy. Fringes should not fall below the eyebrows, and hair length (if untied) should not extend below the lower edge of a button-up shirt collar. Longer hair should be tied up off the collar in a bun or plait.

You can wear plain hair-ties, clips 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.

Your Candidate Engagement Facilitator will give you more information on appearance standards prior to your intake.

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.

When will I be promoted?

Promotion is based on eligibility requirements that include completing trade specific courses, seniority (how long you have held your current rank), and performance.

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