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British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders - The New Zealand Medal

Obverse View

The New Zealand Medal obverse view

Reverse View

The New Zealand Medal reverse view

About the New Zealand Medal

The New Zealand Medal was instituted in 1869. While it is British, the medal can be described as New Zealand's first indigenous campaign medal. It was awarded for service in the New Zealand Wars of 1845-47 and 1860-66.  The Medal was awarded to members of the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, and to colonial volunteers.

The veiled head of Queen Victoria is on the obverse of the medal. On the reverse of the medal is the date of the recipient's service in a wreath, with NEW ZEALAND around the top and VIRTUTIS HONOR (honour of valour) around the foot.  The suspender of the medal is ornamented with New Zealand fern fronds.

The medal was unusual in having the recipient's dates of service die-struck on the centre of the reverse, though some medals were issued without dates.

Detailed information on the New Zealand Medal and its award to Colonial Volunteer units and to Imperial British units is provided in Geoffrey P. Oldham and Brett Delahunt's book, Orders, Decorations and Medals Awarded to New Zealanders: An Illustrated Guide for Collectors (1st edition, Auckland, 1991), pp.41-46.  This book also lists the number of officers and men in each of the New Zealand Volunteer units.

Richard Stowers' book, The New Zealand Medal to Colonials: Detailed Medal Rolls of Officers and Men in Colonial Units who Received the New Zealand Medal for Service in the New Zealand Wars, 1845-1872, (8th updated edition, Hamilton, 2005), is another very useful source on the awards of the New Zealand Medal.

Lists of Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel who have been awarded the New Zealand Medal are contained in W.H. Fevyer and J.W. Wilson's publication, The New Zealand Medal 1845-47, 1860-66, The Abyssinian War Medal 1867, to the Royal Navy and The Royal Marines” (no date, published by (or possibly re-printed by) Naval and Military Press). The lists of names in this book have been transcribed from Admiralty Medal Roll records held in the custody of the UK Public Record Office (now the National Archives) at Kew, England, where they are available for public examination under the reference: ADM 171/16 (the reference is correct as at 7 January 2008).

About the Ribbon

The ribbon is blue with a central orange stripe.

Clasps and Bars

No clasps or bars were issued for this medal.

Order of Wear

The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.