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About the proposed Medal

The Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group was directed by the Ministers of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs to consider options, to undertake consultation, to prepare recommendations and draft eligibility criteria for the proposed New Zealand Defence Force Medal.

The Joint Working Group presented its report to the Government in late September 2009.

It is intended that the medal would recognise attested military service for New Zealand since 3 September 1945.

Note: Attested military service for New Zealand during the Second World War has already been appropriately recognised by the award of the New Zealand War Service Medal.

Operational service has long been recognised by the award of campaign medals and more recently by the New Zealand Operational Service Medal. With the exception of awards for long service, however, there is no medallic recognition for the many men and women in the New Zealand Defence Force who have not undertaken operational or special service. This includes, for example, those who have served only in New Zealand, in Singapore and Malaysia between 1966 and 1989, in the Antarctic on "Operation Deep Freeze", or on Compulsory Military Training (1950-1959) and National Service (1961-1972).

It is intended that the proposed new medal(s) would also be issued to the families of deceased service persons.

Any interested persons were able to complete this survey.

It was preferred for people to complete the survey online.

The survey was open from 15 June to 23 July 2009.

Note: The award of the NZDF Medal would not confer entitlement to War Pension coverage.

The NZDF Medal would be separate from the long service awards system. Eligible persons could be awarded both an NZDF Medal and a medal for long service.

Written submissions on the NZDF Medal by organisations and other interested persons were made using the NZDF Medal Consultation paper.

Update - 4 August 2010

The Government is considering the Medallic Recognition Joint Working Group's report on the proposed NZDF Medal.

The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen before the end of 2010.

It will take approximately 20 to 22 weeks from when a decision is made by the Government, before any medals are available to be issued. There will need to be a tender process for the manufacturer(s), and then the medal and ribbon will still need to be manufactured.

The NZDF Medals Office expects a large number of people to apply for the medal and, even with extra staff to process the applications, this could potentially be a two to three year project.

Update from Minister of Defence - 13 OCTOber 2009

Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence, spoke this afternoon at the 93rd RNZRSA National Council Meeting in Wellington.  On the NZDF Medal he said:

"Grappling with the future is one part of my responsibilities. Ensuring that we learn from, and remember the past is another.

Military service places unique demands on people, whether they are deployed overseas or not. The training is rigorous. The discipline can be tough. The hours can be demanding. It is a calling apart from normal civilian life. This is why service in our armed forces deserves special recognition.

The Government is committed to formally recognising non-operational service. This is long overdue. Medallic recognition for those who undertook Compulsory Military Training and balloted National Service has been under consideration since the late 1990s. The Associate Minister and I are currently considering a report from the Joint Working Group proposing the best way forward for this important project."

The full speech by the Minister can be read on

The NZDF is NOT currently accepting applications for the planned New Zealand Defence Force Medal. It is anticipated that a call for applications will happen in 2010.

For more information on the proposed medal see the NZDF Medal Frequently Asked Questions page.

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 This page was last reviewed 29 September, 2011 and is current.

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