Applications open for new NZ Defence Service Medal

The NZ Defence Service Medal

The New Zealand Defence Service Medal

15 April 2011

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have opened for ex-Service personnel who are over 70 years old.

The new medal, announced by the Prime Minister in October last year, closes a long-standing gap in medallic recognition of non-operational military service. The first NZDSM medals were presented to 34 recipients (selected from various eligible category groups) at a ceremony at Parliament yesterday.

The medals were presented by Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Judith Collins and the Minister of Defence Dr Wayne Mapp.

“Today is about recognising and acknowledging those who have loyally served New Zealand,” Dr Mapp said at the ceremony. “For those who have worked ‘behind the scenes’ to support others in operational roles, or who completed their CMT or National Service obligations, today is especially significant. Finally they will receive formal acknowledgement for the work they have done.

“The medal recognises the unique requirements of military service. These include commitment to serving one's country, the possibility of operational service, military discipline and lifestyle, and the constraints on employment conditions and personal freedoms that come with life in the military.”

The NZDSM recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify. Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) will be eligible for the medal.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM there will be a four-stage call for applications, with priority given to processing applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel first.

The Medals Office is expecting more than 100,000 applications for the medal in the first three years of the project to issue the medal. For the first time applications will be able to be initiated online as well as via hard copy.

Subsequent presentations will be made at local RSA Clubrooms throughout the country. Local RSAs will have staff available at their branches to assist ex-Service people with their applications.

For further information please go to

[Image: The New Zealand Defence Service Medal   20110415_WN_S1015650_0001tn.jpg]

For further information please contact Ally Clelland, Defence Communications Group, 021 569 130.


About the New Zealand Defence Service Medal

The obverse of the medal has the New Zealand Coat of Arms, the symbol of the Crown and Executive Arm of Government. The reverse side has the fern, plus the emblems of the Navy, Army and Air Force - the Naval crown, crossed swords and eagle. These are the main elements of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force. The two fern fronds which normally form part of the Badge of the New Zealand Defence Force have been omitted to avoid the inference that all recipients served in the NZ Defence Force. Many of the recipients will have served in the armed forces prior to the formation of the NZ Defence Force.

The medal ribbon reflects the colours of the Navy, Army and Air Force as dark blue, red and light blue respectively. Light green stripes have been added to represent the volunteer territorial and reserve elements of the Services.

The Royal Warrant for the NZDSM allows for one or more clasps to be awarded with the medal. The number of clasps awarded to an individual will be determined by the type(s) of military service undertaken. There are four clasps which can be awarded with the NZDSM: Regular, Territorial, C.M.T., and National Service.

This page was last reviewed on 15 April 2011.