Our People

Our Army’s strength is not in its size; instead, our strength lays in our ability to perform above and beyond – to work seamlessly alongside our sister Services, Other Government Agencies (OGAs), and Coalition Partners within New Zealand and around the world.

Ours is a land force made up of experts recruited from all walks of life and brought together under the ethos of Ngāti Tūmatauenga, to do what is right for our country and for those who ask for our help.

Our people work across 44 expert trades, ready to deploy as and when needed – at short notice and with planned and precise effect. We value teamwork above all else, yet understand the effect of the individual as part of the Army and NZDF team.

The New Zealand Defence Force prides itself on being an inclusive and diverse organisation. The different life experiences and backgrounds that individuals and their whānau/families bring into the New Zealand Army adds to our operational effectiveness.


Multicultural diversity

New Zealand Army personnel are recruited from across New Zealand society, bringing with them a variety of skills, strengths and knowledge. We welcome applications from people from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Cultural groups can usually be found throughout Army camps. These are formed on each camp and are led and managed at a local level by volunteers.

There are currently over 40 religions observed in the New Zealand Army. Chaplains (Padres) serve with most units, offering help and guidance to Army personnel. Chaplains are Christian ministers but they provide spiritual guidance and support for all soldiers, regardless of faith.



Te Whare Tū Taua a Tūmatauenga is the home of Ngāti Tūmatauenga and is the New Zealand Army Marae based in Waiouru Camp.

It is the single point in the New Zealand Army through which all members must pass.


Māori Cultural Advisors

The New Zealand Army has Māori Cultural Advisors to help support and provide advice to commanders and personnel, and to educate the cultural learning of Ngāti Tūmatauenga.

Kapa Haka groups are available throughout the camps and participation is open to all personnel including the Civilian workforce.


What makes a New Zealand Soldier

The modern New Zealand soldier is a mixture of cultures and backgrounds. The two great warrior cultures of the Māori and the British dominate the mix and have created a truly unique soldier.

For over a hundred years New Zealand soldiers have shown that they are different from their British counterparts; that they have taken aspects of the British military culture but have refined that rigidly disciplined approach into something new.

Equally the modern New Zealand soldier is different from the traditional Māori warrior; but aspects of the aggressive and adaptable warrior culture are still maintained in the makeup of the modern New Zealand warrior.

The New Zealand Army’s establishment as Ngāti Tūmatauenga (Tribe of the War God), reflects the multi-cultural society and the heritage of the New Zealand Army.


Women in the military

The New Zealand Army is committed to ensuring the identification and elimination of any policy, procedural or institutional barriers that have the potential to impact on equal employment opportunities. Recruitment and personnel development are designed to identify and nurture potential. The New Zealand Army seeks out the very best people for each role and invests heavily in their professional development. We are committed to keeping our promotion and remuneration policies unbiased and based on effort and achievement.

The New Zealand Army has established Amplify (NZ Army Women’s Forum) with representatives across all camps to support an inclusive land force that recognises and maximises the contributions of all of its members.

This page was last amended on 09 November 2018