Life in uniform

Accommodation & food

Living on or off base

One of the benefits of being in uniform is gaining access to subsidised accommodation and food. Most of the time, you can decide how and where you want to live, and what you want to eat. Some choose to live on the base or camp they're posted to, and some choose to live in their own house or flat off base.

The daily rate to live on a base or camp is very affordable. If you choose to live off base, you will receive an accommodation allowance (after three years of service) on top of your salary to account for the cost of housing in the city or area you are posted to. If you are required to travel for work or training, accommodation and food will usually be provided for you free-of-charge.


Your choice

There are a few different housing options both on and off base. Whichever you choose, you will have access to all facilities on base.

Many of our personnel choose to live on base for the first couple of years of their career, as it's so affordable and convenient.

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Facilities and accommodation


On base

Off base

Facilities on base:

  • Dining facilities with subsidised food
  • Cafes and small shops
  • Gym/swimming pool
  • Early childhood care/after school care (on some bases)
  • Medical clinic
  • Dental clinic
  • Physiotherapy.

Accommodation options on camp/base:

  • Barracks (single rooms with a shared kitchen/living area).
  • Married quarters (despite being called married quarters, any couples are eligible to apply).


Accommodation options off camp/base:

  • You'll receive an accommodation allowance for a house or flat of your choice (after three years of service). The amount depends on the location and cost of housing in your area.
  • Defence housing (these houses are owned by the NZDF and are rented to personnel at a lower-than-market rate).


Whether you choose to live on or off base, you will have access to the dining facilities at your place of work. The food is subsidised and very affordable. You will be given a swipe card which you can use to pay for food. The bill will come directly out of your wages on pay day.

As well as standard dining facilities, many of our camps and bases also have cafes and small shops where you can purchase coffee, sandwiches, baked goods, and many other general items.

Our on-base accommodation also has kitchen facilities. So, even if you live on base, you can cook your own meals if you wish.

Moving locations

If your job requires you to move to a new camp or base then the NZDF has you covered. Defence will pay the cost of moving your household items, as well as the fuel to move vehicles. We also offer paid time off to pack/unpack and get know your new area before beginning work.

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