NZDF Personnel Archives

This section provides information about how to apply for military service records and medals from NZDF Archives, what to expect from the files and where to go for further information.

NZDF Personnel Archives

Preserving our Military Heritage for New Zealand

NZDF Personnel Archives at Trentham Military Camp is the repository for some 1.5 million personnel files relating to 420,000 New Zealand service personnel who served in New Zealand’s Military Forces. These files are an invaluable resource for documenting the social and military history of New Zealand. They provide a unique record of the military service of the men and women who defended our country at home and overseas.

NZDF Personnel Archives holds the files of all those who served in New Zealand’s military forces from the 1st January 1921 to the present day.

South African War (1899-1902) and First World War (1914-1918) files

Almost all of the files of those who served in the South African War and the First World War have been transferred to Archives New Zealand in Wellington. For information about these files please contact Archives New Zealand.

NZDF Personnel Archives continues to hold the files of only the relatively small number of South African and First World War veterans who continued to serve after 1st January 1921 or who re-enlisted to serve during the Second World War (1939-1945). 


Part of NZDF Personnel Archives at Trentham Military Camp includes medals expertise. Its staff are responsible for the purchasing, storage and issue of operational, non-operational, special and long service medals to former and currently-serving New Zealand military personnel.  They also provide advice (within the limits of the Privacy Act) about the medallic entitlement of individuals, and about which medals have already been issued in respect of a particular person. 

For more information on medals for NZ military service see the NZDF Medals website.

NZ Defence Service Medal

New Zealand Defence Service Medal

This page was last reviewed on 9 April 2017.