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What skills and qualifications will I gain from my training that are useful outside of the NZDF?

Regardless of your trade and service, you will gain valuable skills and experience that are desired by civilian employers. For some technical trades, you will gain qualifications that are widely recognised in New Zealand and around the world.

Can I transfer between the Reserve Force and Regular Force?

The opportunity for transfer exists, however this process is not managed by Defence Careers. If you wish to transfer from the Reserve Force to the Regular Force, you must submit an application through your chain of command.

As a Reservist, is my civilian employment protected by law?

Yes, the Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 allows Reserve Forces personnel to perform their military duties without risking their normal employment and entitlements.

I am a Reservist on Military Leave. Does my civilian employer still have to pay me?

No. Military Leave provisions under the Volunteers Employment Protection Act 1973 does not require employers to pay employees on Military Leave. If you use your annual leave for military training and exercises, then your employer will have to pay you.

How do I apply to re-enlist?

Please go to our Apply Now page. You need to register to create an account and you can then start your application. Click ‘yes’ to NZ military experience and we’ll ask you for a couple of easy details, such as your service number, and your application will then be ready to submit.

Do I get paid more if I go on operations?

Yes. When in the field, on operations, or at sea for more than a 24 hour period, an additional allowance is paid.

Do I have to pay for accommodation and food during recruit training?

You will not be charged for the barrack accommodation the NZDF requires you to live in during recruit training. When eating on base at the mess or galley, you will be charged for meals (total approximately $15.00 per day and are taken out of your pay cheque). When training in the field or on ship, meals will be provided free of charge.

Can I re-enlist for a different trade or service?

Yes. Your previous experience will be reviewed against what you are applying for and you may be credited some course requirements. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis and it may also be decided that you need to start again in your new service or trade alongside new recruits.

Does the NZDF have a superannuation scheme and will I be eligible to join?

The NZDF no longer has it's own superannuation scheme, but instead offers recruits the option to join Kiwisaver. The NZDF pays an employer contribution of 3% on top of your own 4% contribution.

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).

When re-enlisting, how long does the medical clearance take?

This will vary depending on how long you have been out of the NZDF and whether you have had any medical treatment since leaving. We may require additional information from your civilian GP and the sooner you provide this, the sooner our military doctors can review your medical file. A decision on your medical clearance is usually made within a week as long as we have all the information we need from you.

I have been living outside of the countries eligible for a security clearance. Can I still re-enlist?

Every case is different. Please contact 0800 1 FORCE (0800 136 723) to discuss.

What trades are available to women?

All trades in the NZDF are accessible to women. Some combat roles (NZSAS, Commando, and Diver) have extremely high selection and training standards in regards to physical fitness. These standards are the same for men and woman, making it very difficult for women and most men to access these trades.

Do women have equal opportunities to access courses and gain promotions?

Yes. Access to courses and promotion are based on performance and course availability and do not prejudice any gender. There are multiple women in senior staff/leadership roles.

I'm applying from overseas. How do I find a school in NZ for my children?

Most NZ students attend state funded schools. If a state funded school is at risk of overcrowding, it can set a ‘home zone’ that is geographically defined. Students living in this zone have the right to go to that school. Full information on the NZ school system can be found at minedu.govt.nz.

I'm applying from overseas. Should I bring all of my furniture with me?

This is a personal choice. We strongly recommend that you do your own research including a comparison of the cost of purchasing furniture in NZ against the cost of transporting your furniture from overseas.

I'm applying from overseas. Am I bound by the conditions set in my Offer of Service?

Yes. The Offer of Service will state what NZDF courses you will be required to do upon arrival in New Zealand, and what rank and seniority you will hold in the NZDF. It is not possible to renegotiate these conditions after you arrive in New Zealand.

Does the NZDF recognize de facto relationships?

Yes. A service person in a de facto relationship is entitled to the same benefits as a service person who is married.

Do I have to pass a medical test?

Yes, you will be required to meet medical standards for general health, eyesight, and hearing.

Can I join the NZDF if I have a criminal record?

The NZDF has a high dependence on trust, reliability, and use of technical equipment and weapons. For this reason, all applicants undergo a police check, and any convictions are assessed on the severity of the offence.

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