Personnel Archives & Medals

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.

Personnel Archives & Medals

NZDF Personnel Archives at Trentham Military Camp performs two broad roles:

  • To preserve physical personnel records, and provide information from these records to individuals, their families, other Government agencies, and other interested parties in accordance with New Zealand Government legislation.
    How to apply for military service information

Preserving our Military Heritage for New Zealand

NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals (PAM) 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 PAM 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 PAM 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). 

How to apply for military service information

Enquiries about living former servicemen and women

You can request a copy of your own service record by completing the application form.  Please note that you need to sign the form in order to validate your enquiry. 

If you are requesting details about another living person, information can be disclosed only if you have the signed and written authorisation of the individual concerned. NZDF PAM will not release information unless you can show us this authority.

If you cannot do this because the person concerned is unable to provide this authorisation, then we will need to receive a signed request from the person who holds the relevant ‘Power of Attorney’.  We also require a copy of the Power of Attorney documents for verification purposes.

Enquiries about deceased former servicemen and women

Anyone can request the service records of deceased former service personnel, whether it is for a research project, your family history or your personal interest.

You can request a copy of a deceased person’s service record by completing the application form.

Please note that if the person concerned died after leaving the services this fact may not be recorded on their file. In such cases you will need to send us some form of evidence that they are deceased. This could be a copy of a death certificate, newspaper death notice, funeral service sheet or photograph of the headstone. It will save time if you send us this information with your initial request.

Charges

Please do not provide any payment up front. We will advise if charges are applicable for the services that you have requested prior to finalizing your request.  Internet banking and credit card (Visa or MasterCard) payments are accepted.

Reproducing large files may attract a fee of $28 per file and replacing medals will be on-charged at cost.

Copyright

All the material we hold is protected by copyright and copies are supplied on the understanding that they are for personal research purposes or private study only. NZDF copyright permission is required before this material can be used for any other reason.

Making a request

To help our records staff find the correct files, it is important to include as much information as possible in your application about the person or persons who you want to find out about. Additional information you might want to include is: 

  • Rank
  • Navy / Army / Air Force
  • Period of Service / years served
  • Regiment / battalion / unit
  • Next-of-kin at time of enlistment
  • Address at time of enlistment
  • Occupation at time of enlistment
  • (If deceased) date of death, and if they died after leaving the Service you should send us some form of “proof of death”. This could be a copy of a death certificate, newspaper death notice, funeral service sheet or photograph of the headstone.

Don’t worry if you cannot provide all of this information, but please try to tell us as much as you can.

Contact details

NZDF Personnel Archives & Medals
Trentham Military Camp
Private Bag 905
Upper Hutt 5140
New Zealand

Tel: (04) 527 5280

Or email us through the Contact Form.

Whether you are writing to us by letter or email, please remember to include your full name, full postal address, telephone numbers and email.

Viewing Original Files

If you’d like to see the original files you should complete an application form for each file you wish to view.  Once the files have been pulled one of our staff will contact you to make a booking to view the file(s) in our reading room which is inside Trentham Military Camp. Our staff will be on hand to provide advice and to help you decode the sometimes complex information to be found in the files. We also hold a small library of reference books that may help you in your research.

Opening times are: Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, excluding public holidays.

Please note that bookings are subject to availability and must be made at least five working days in advance of your intended visit.

Use of the reading room is free but photocopying charges will apply.

Photocopying Charge: 20c per A4 sheet

How to get here

Travelling North along Fergusson Drive in Upper Hutt, turn right at the lights into Sutherland Ave and then continue over the railway into Messines Ave. The Trentham Camp entrance is the third turn to the left. 

How to apply for a medal (except for a long service award)

NZDF PAM is 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.  We 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. 

To apply for a medal and for general enquiries on medal entitlement, (for you or for a family member) or on which medals have already been issued (and when), please complete the application form and send it to:

NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals
Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 905
UPPER HUTT 5140

Or email us through the Contact Form.

Additional information you might want to include is: 

  • Rank and Service (Army / Navy / Air Force)
  • Regiment / Battalion / Unit / Ship
  • Period of Service
  • Next of Kin, Address and Occupation at time of Enlistment

Don't forget to include your current postal address, phone number, and e-mail address. 

How to apply for a Long Service Award

All Regular and Territorial members of the Armed Forces of New Zealand, as defined in the Defence Act 1990, who serve for the required period and have a record of irreproachable conduct and character, are recognised by a long service and good conduct award, governed by a New Zealand Royal Warrant.

Changes to the Long Service Awards eligibility criteria were announced on 4 Sep 2020.

To apply for a Long Service Award please complete the LSA application form and send it to:

NZDF Personnel Archives and Medals
Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force
Private Bag 905
UPPER HUTT 5140

Or email us through the Contact Form

For more information about the changes to the Long Service Award eligibility criteria, please read the Frequently Asked Questions:

 The full eligibility criteria are in the NZDF Long Service Awards Regulations 2020.