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Navy People

Our Mission - Advance New Zealand's interests from the sea

At sea with HMNZS Te Kaha

The men and women who serve in our Navy are highly-trained professionals, part of a tight-knit team who live by the RNZN’s core values of Courage, Commitment and Comradeship.

Life in the Navy is varied, exciting and challenging.  Our people deploy around New Zealand and around the world to serve their country.  They train hard to develop the skills needed to operate modern ships and equipment and they learn to be part of a high-performing team.

Navy Careers

A Navy Career will take you from the Sub-antarctic to the Pacific and South East Asia.  You will explore the seas in a fleet of modern ships and develop new skills along the way.  And you'll become an essential member of a fast-moving, tight-knit professional team.

Photo right: Recruits helping a shipmate into a liferaft during Sea Safety Training at the Fleet Swimming Pool.

If you want a career in the Navy, visit the Defence Careers website where you'll find all the information you need.

Naval Reserve

The Naval Reserves are the part-time force of the Navy.  Reservists have the opportunity to serve on both the Navy's modern fleet and ashore, primarily at the Navy Reserve Units located in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Reserve personnel are made up of both civilian and former Navy personnel and make a commitment to a minimum 20 days service a year.   Reserves support the Navy's operational capability in its maritime defence and security roles, as well as the wider NZ Defence Force Mission to protect New Zealand's interests and provide support in times of natural and other disasters.

New Zealand’s Naval Reserve has a long history, with many Reserve personnel serving with distinction during conflicts abroad.  You can read about the activities and history of Naval Reserve on their web pages.

Joining the Navy Reserves means you can reap the best of all that a career in the Navy has to offer, while still holding down your full-time civilian career or studies - meaning you'll get the best of both worlds.  You can apply to join the reserves through the Defence Careers website.


All naval personnel have a rank.  

Officers are responsible for leadership, and are also trained as managers in a branch (such as engineering, logistics or warfare). 

Ratings (or sailors) provide specialist skills in their trade or branch. 


Naval personnel have a range of uniforms depending on the job they're doing, be it operational, ceremonial or formal.


Medals are awarded for acts of gallantry, for war service and for participation in particular campaigns.

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