Applications flood in for NZ Defence Service Medal

New Zealand Defence Service Medal

 The New Zealand Defence Service Medal

03 May 2011

Over 2,500 applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have been received by the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office in the three weeks since applications opened.

NZDF Archives Manager Matthew Buck said, “Currently we are processing applications from ex-Service personnel over 70 years of age and are receiving over 200 applications a day.

“We ask those who have sent in their forms to be patient. We are making excellent progress with the project. However it will take at least three years to work through the 100,000 applications we are expecting.”

The new medal closes a long-standing gap and recognises the unique requirements of military service. Ex Service personnel 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) are eligible for the medal.

“We encourage people to fill in the online form if  possible. Paper applications take more time to process,” Mr Buck said.

“The priority at present is to process applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel. Further calls for applications from those aged 60 and over will be made later this year.

“Applications on an unofficial form that is currently in circulation will not be processed.”

The NZDSM application form, and information to assist people to fill in the form, can be found at

In mid April the first NZDSM medals were presented to 34 recipients (selected from various eligible category groups) at a ceremony at Parliament.

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 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.

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This page was last reviewed on 3 May 2011.