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Archived updates and News - NZ Defence Service Medal

For the latest updates and news see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page.

Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button below.

How to apply online for the NZ Defence Service Medal

 

Archived Updates, media statements and speeches about the New Zealand Defence Service Medal

from 2011

from 2010

from 2009

New medal now available for those fifty and over

18 October 2011

Ex-Service personnel aged 50 and over can now apply for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM).

Until recently the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office was accepting applications for the NZDSM from ex-Service personnel aged 60 or over. Since April, when the first applications were called for, over 17,700 applications have been received by the Medals Office and over 13,000 medals have been issued.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority given to processing applications from older living ex-Service personnel first.

The new medal means that a large number of personnel who served New Zealand loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, are now receiving medallic recognition for their work.

“The medal recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for three years or more since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify,” Assistant Chief of Personnel Commodore Kevin Keat said.

“Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example, between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) are also eligible for the medal.”

Ex-Service personnel are encouraged to apply for the medal using the online form on the NZDF Medals website.

Just click on the How to Apply Online button below.

Hard copies of the application form are also available through the website and at most local RSAs, which can provide staff to help ex-Service personnel fill in their applications if necessary.

CDRE Keat said, “We have set up a helpline for people with questions about the NZDSM, which is available during business hours. If you require assistance please call 0800 334 772.”

Ex-Service personnel who have received the NZDSM and would like the medal presented to them formally can contact their nearest RSA, as many RSAs are arranging presentations in local communities.

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Applying for the NZDSM online. Just click on the How to Apply Online button above.

Related media statements:

17 August 2011 - Sixty year olds can now apply for new medal

15 April 2011 - Applications open for New NZ Defence Service Medal

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SIXTY YEAR OLDS CAN NOW APPLY FOR NEW MEDAL

17 August 2011

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now opened for ex-Service personnel who are 60 years of age and over.

Until today the New Zealand Defence Force’s Medals Office was accepting applications for the NZDSM only from ex-Service personnel aged 70 or over. Since April, when the first applications were called for, over 12,000 applications have been received by the Medals Office and over 8,000 medals have been issued.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM, the call for applications is being managed in four stages, with priority given to processing applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel first.

The new medal, which was announced by the Prime Minister last year, means that a large number of personnel who served New Zealand loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, are now receiving medallic recognition.

“The medal recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for three years or more since the end of World War Two, and those who completed their compulsory military training or national military service obligations, qualify,” Assistant Chief of Personnel Commodore Kevin Keat said.

“Personnel with three years accumulated service, for example, between Regular, K Force, J Force and Territorial service (including RNZNR and RNZNVR) are also eligible for the medal.”

Ex-Service personnel are encouraged to apply for the medal using the online form on the NZDF Medals website.

Hard copies of the application form are also available through the website and at most local RSAs who can provide staff to help ex-Service personnel fill in their applications.

CDRE Keat said, “We have set up a helpline for people with questions about the NZDSM, which is available during business hours. If you require assistance please call 0800 334 772.”

In April an inaugural presentation was made to 34 medal recipients. Since then a number of presentations have been made at RSA Clubrooms throughout the country.

Related media statement:

18 October 2011 - New medal now available for those fifty and over

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Applications flood in for NZ Defence Service Medal

3 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 at all 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 http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz

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.

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Applications open for New NZ Defence Service Medal

15 April 2011

Applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) have now opened for ex-Service personnel who are over 70 years old.

The new medal, which was announced by the Prime Minister in October last year, closes a long-standing gap in medallic recognition of non-operational military service. The first NZDSM medals were presented to 34 recipients (selected from various eligible category groups) at a ceremony at Parliament yesterday.

The medals were presented by Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Judith Collins and Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp.

“Today is about recognising and acknowledging those who have loyally served New Zealand,” Dr Mapp said at the ceremony.

“For those who have worked ‘behind the scenes’ to support others in operational roles, or who completed their CMT or National Service obligations, today is especially significant. Finally they will receive formal acknowledgement for the work they have done.

“The medal recognises the unique requirements of military service. These include commitment to serving one's country, the possibility of operational service, military discipline and lifestyle, and the constraints on employment conditions and personal freedoms that come with life in the military.”

The NZDSM recognises attested military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those 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) will be eligible for the medal.

Due to the large number of people eligible for the NZDSM there will be a four-stage call for applications, with priority given to processing applications from the oldest living ex-Service personnel first.

The Medals Office is expecting more than 100,000 applications for the medal in the first three years of the project to issue the medal. For the first time applications will be able to be initiated online as well as via hard copy.

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.

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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.

For further information see the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page of our website.

Applications. (Updated 18 October 2011) - Ex-Service persons aged 50 or over are invited to apply online or in writing:

- Applying for the NZDSM online

- Paper application forms for the NZDSM

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NZDSM Update - 14 April 2011: 

The NZDF is now accepting applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal from ex-Service persons age 70 or over. Applications from those in other age groups and from the next-of-kin of deceased ex-Service persons will be called for progressively over the next year or so.

Application Form for the NZDSM

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First of new Defence medals to be presented on 14 April

8 April 2011

NZDSM Medal

The inaugural presentation of the New Zealand Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) will take place at Parliament next week.

About 30 recipients will receive their medals from Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Judith Collins and Defence Minister Wayne Mapp on Thursday 14 April.

The new medal is awarded for non-operational military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service, qualify.

“This medal recognises our service personnel for their contribution to the peace, freedom and security that all New Zealanders enjoy today,” Ms Collins said.

“Our service veterans hold a special status in our society. This Government is committed to honouring those veterans who served their country operationally and in a wide range of vital support roles.”

Dr Mapp said the medal closes a gap in medallic recognition of military service.

“Many thousands of New Zealanders have met the demanding requirements of military service. They have served their country and community loyally and well, including responding to disasters such as the Christchurch earthquakes, but not on operations.

“Up to now there has been no recognition of this service, on which the Government places high value. This medal remedies that. It delivers on the National Party’s campaign commitment to recognise those people.

“It also honours those Reserve personnel whose service comes on top of full-time commitments in civilian life,” he said.

For more information on the NZDSM see the NZDF's update of 5 April 2011 - Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

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Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

5 April 2011

The Royal Warrant and design for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal has been formally approved by Her Majesty The Queen. The first photos of the NZDSM can now be publicly released.

However, applications cannot open until the Regulations have been signed by the Governor-General. These approvals are expected shortly.

When applications open the first people able to apply for the NZDSM will be ex-Service personnel aged over 70. Further applications will be called for as processing progresses.

An initial NZDSM presentation will be made to a small group of ex-Service personnel and to three currently serving personnel at a ceremony in Parliament likely to be held on 14 April. The recipients have been contacted by the NZ Defence Force and have indicated their availability.

Regional medal presentations will be arranged by local RSA branches from late May 2011. Local RSA branches will have staff available to assist ex-Service personnel with their applications.

For further information please read this NZDSM FAQ sheet which is being updated regularly in line with questions received through the medals site.

Once the application process opens the Medals Office aim to deliver medals to those entitled to receive them as quickly as possible and will be providing frequent updates about the NZDSM Project on the NZDF Medals website.

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Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

7 February 2011

Applications for the NZ Defence Service Medal (NZDSM) are expected to open in early April 2011 for the oldest ex-Service persons. Applications can only open after Her Majesty The Queen has approved the Royal Warrant, and the Governor-General has signed the Regulations.

The proposed design of the medal has been finalised by the Herald of Arms Extraordinary and will be sent to The Queen shortly for approval. Manufacturing will occur once the design has been approved by The Queen.

Around 160,000 personnel qualify for the NZDSM and the Defence Force Medals Office expect to issue around 116,000 medals over the next three years. With such high numbers a priority programme is necessary and the Minister of Defence has directed that the priority will be:
1. Those living ex-Service personnel over the age of 70
2. Those living ex-Service personnel over the age of 60
3. Then other living ex-Service personnel.

Terminally ill ex-Service personnel will be given priority over all other applicants but will still need to apply in the usual manner.

Families of deceased ex-Service personnel will be invited to apply for their late relation's (husband/father/mother etc) medal entitlement after the processing of the initial applications from older living ex-Service personnel is well underway, possibly in late 2011.

An initial NZDSM presentation will be made to a selected group of ex-Service personnel at a ceremony in Parliament in the first half of 2011. For logistical reasons it is anticipated that the majority of these personnel will be drawn from the Wellington area.

Regional medal presentations will be arranged by local RSA branches from late May 2011.

Interviews are currently taking place for additional staff to process the medal applications.

The hard copy form has been tested and the online version of the form is currently under construction.

For further information please read the NZDSM FAQ sheet http://medals.nzdf.mil.nz/nzdsm/faqs.html which is being updated regularly basis in line with questions received through the medals site.

Once the application process opens the Medals Office aim to deliver medals to those entitled to receive them as quickly as possible and will be providing frequent updates about the NZDSM Project on the website at medals.nzdf.mil.nz

Related media statement:

11 October 2010 - New Defence Force medal announced

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Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

21 December 2010

The tender process for production of the medal has been completed. The successful tenderer will be announced next year after the contract has been finalised and signed.

The first stage of the application process is expected to open in late February/early March. Medals will be issued based on the age of the living ex-Service person. The medals will be sent to the oldest applicants first and to those of any age who are terminally ill. To assist NZDF in ensuring the oldest applicants receive their medals first, it is expected that the initial call will be made for applications from ex-Service personnel over seventy years of age. Any applications received from persons under that age will not be processed and persons should wait until the NZDF advises that the next age group should send in their applications. This is also the case for those applying of behalf of deceased spouses, next of kin etc.

Hiring of additional staff to work on the NZDSM project at Trentham Military Camp will begin in February 2011.

An initial NZDSM presentation will be made to a selected group of ex-Service personnel at a ceremony in Parliament in the first half of 2011. For logistical reasons it is anticipated that the majority of these personnel will be drawn from the Wellington area.

“The continuing patience of ex-Service persons and their families is acknowledged and sincerely appreciated,” said Commodore Kevin Keat. “NZDF is making excellent progress on its preparations for issuing more than 100,000 NZDSMs. It is worth noting that NZDF has set itself a challenging target of less than six months to be ready to issue the NZDSM. This is less than half the 12 months required by NZDF in 2001-2002 to prepare itself for the issue of (only) 12,000 New Zealand Operational Service Medals.”

For further information please read the NZDSM FAQ sheet which is being updated regularly basis in line with questions received through the medals site.

Once the application process opens the Medals Office aim to deliver medals to those entitled to receive them as quickly as possible and will be providing frequent updates about the NZDSM Project on the Breaking News page of our website and on the FAQs about the NZ Defence Service Medal page.

Subsequent Update:

7 February 2011 - Latest information on the NZDSM medal project

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New Defence Force medal announced - 11 October 2010

Media Statement by the Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Defence

The New Zealand Defence Service Medal announced by the Prime Minister today closes a long-standing gap in medallic recognition of military service, Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says.

“Military service has unique requirements – a commitment to serving the Crown, being liable for operational service, and being subject to military discipline and the demands and constraints of the military lifestyle.

“The new medal recognises non-operational military service in the Defence Force by New Zealanders. Those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service, will qualify.

“The Government places high value on non-operational service. Those service people were ready and willing to serve on operations and provided essential support to those who did,” the Minister said.

“It is estimated that there are more than 160,000 people eligible for the medal. Of those people, a large number have not been entitled to any medallic recognition to date. They served their country loyally and well in a wide range of roles and contexts, but not on operations, and they do not therefore qualify for campaign medals.

“In creating the New Zealand Defence Service Medal the Government has delivered on a National Party campaign commitment to appropriately recognise a large group of New Zealanders who have stood ready to put their lives on the line for their country.”

For further information see below.

Updated Note - 18 October 2011: The NZDF is currently accepting applications for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal from ex-Service persons age 50 or over. Applications from those in other age groups and from the next-of-kin of deceased ex-Service persons will be called for progressively over the next year or so.

 

Extract from the Prime Minister's speech to the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association 2010 Annual Council on 11 October 2010

New Zealand Defence Service Medal

Another way to remember and recognise those who have served is by the awarding of medals.

The RSA has proposed a defence service medal for many years, and National has supported this idea.

We set up a working group last year to consider the medal and its eligibility criteria, under the direction of an independent chair, Neil Walter.

The working group reported back late last year and I am pleased to update you on our progress.

I am delighted to announce today that the Government has established the New Zealand Defence Service Medal, subject to the Queen’s approval.

Cabinet has also approved an additional $3.85 million for the manufacture and distribution of the medal.

The medal is for those who have served in the military for more than three years since World War Two, and those who did compulsory military training or national military service.

This is a fantastic way to give our servicemen and women the recognition they deserve.

It is estimated that there are more than 160,000 people eligible for the medal.

The initial call for applications will be restricted to those aged 50 years and over, but after six to 12 months we will open it up to all others.

In cases where an ex-serviceman or woman is deceased, their family can apply for the medal.

We hope that applications will open early next year, and that the first batch of medals will be delivered soon after.

Note:  More information can be found on the NZ Defence Service Medal Frequently Asked Questions and latest updates page.

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Updates and News from 2009 on the NZ Defence Service Medal

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