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Medal Categories

From its birth as a British colony in 1840, New Zealand adopted the Honours and Awards of its mother country, Britain. Prior to the Second World War all medals awarded to New Zealanders were British in origin. It is only in the years since the war that a unique New Zealand Honours and Awards system has emerged.

The medals in this website have been grouped into fourteen distinct categories in an attempt to differentiate between those awards which are British in origin and those which are unique to New Zealand. As a result campaign and war medals will be found in both “New Zealand Campaign Medals” and "British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders”. Similarly, state orders and orders of chivalry will be found under the separate categories of British and New Zealand State Orders. “United Nations” and “Foreign Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders” have also been featured recognising the fact that New Zealand military personnel have become increasingly involved in peacekeeping and international coalition operations since the end of the Second World War.

New Zealand State Orders
New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards
New Zealand Campaign Medals
New Zealand Long Service and Good Conduct Medals
New Zealand Special Service Medals
Other New Zealand Medals and Awards
British Commonwealth State Orders
British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders

1840 to 1902 - New Zealand Wars and the South African / Boer War

1914 to 1918 - First World War

Also awarded by NZ and Australia for service at Gallipoli: The ANZAC Commemorative Medallion.

1939 to 1945 - Second World War

Also awarded by NZ for Second World War service:The New Zealand War Service Medal.

New awards announced by the United Kingdom in 2013: The Arctic Star and the Bomber Command clasp (please apply using NZDF Medals Office Application Forms No.s 1 or 2, as appropriate).

1946 to 2003 - most commonly awarded to New Zealanders for service in Korea, Malaya, Borneo or Rhodesia

British Commonwealth Gallantry, Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards
British Commonwealth Jubilee and Coronation Medals
United Nations Medals
Foreign Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders
Unit Citations Awarded to New Zealand Military Units
New Zealand Defence Service Medal

Medal ribbons grouped by category can be viewed here