NZ Army's New And Improved Look

20 June 2013
The NZ Army's new Multi-Terrain Camouflage Uniforms(MCUs)
The NZ Army's new Multi-Terrain Camouflage Uniform.

The NZ Army has taken on a new look with an updated uniform and the first soldiers to get to enjoy the new clothing and wear the Multi-Terrain Camouflage Uniforms (MCUs) is New Zealand 1st Brigade.

Captain Ian Leabourne, one of the project managers involved in the introduction of the MCUs, said there were many benefits to the new uniforms.

"We have traditionally had our two patterns of uniform, one for the jungle and one for the desert. However, with the operational environments we face today, we can be operating in a variety of terrains within one area. We needed something which would do the job in whatever environment we deploy to. This uniform, with its unique NZ Defence Force pattern, solves this issue.

"The MCUs are a layered clothing system, so it is not just a case of a new look. We have included the full range of clothing which our soldiers need to perform well on operations and in training," said Capt Leabourne.

The uniforms include knee and elbow pads and there is also a flame resistant variant for soldiers to wear while on operations. The layered system sees the inclusion of wet and cold weather clothing layers which are designed to fit underneath and over top of the MCUs.

The NZ Army will be rolling the uniforms out over the next six months, at which time the old uniforms which have characterised the force will be a thing of the past. However, the NZ Army will not be wasteful when disposing of the old pattern.

"Our old uniforms will be inspected and all serviceable items will be placed into a clothing pool to equip our recruits, officer cadets and the Air Force until stocks are exhausted," said Capt Leabourne.

The overall cost of the project is $13.6 million over two years which includes the complete fit out for the current members of the Regular and Reserve Forces.


For more information, contact Defence Communications Group on 021 487 980.

To see the new Multi-Terrain Camouflage Uniforms in action, head along to


The reason for the change was to replace the current uniforms with one camouflage pattern that would work in multiple environments (This is to include jungle, scrub, arid, desert and urban terrains).

The uniform style reflects innovations in uniform design from around the world.

The uniform is optimised to be worn under body armour for the majority of its life.

The NZDF have adopted a layering system where every piece was designed to fit over the piece under it and to enhance its performance.

The uniforms include a flame resistant version for use in high intensity operations and for certain specialist units that require a flame resistant uniform for their normal duties.

All NZ Army Regular Force members will have the new uniforms by November this year, while the Reserve Forces will have the new clothing system by October 2014.

Pattern and design are unique to the NZ Army.

The overall cost of the project is $13.6 million which includes outfitting of all Regular Force personnel and Reserve forces.

This page was last reviewed on 11 July 2013.