Defence Forces, Emergency Services and Security

Defence Careers

We’re New Zealand’s Navy, Army and Air Force – three Services, one force – a Force for New Zealand. We stand up for what is right. Together we protect New Zealand’s interests at sea, safeguard peace and stability within our neighbouring regions and further afield, and help others in times of need with agile air operations across the world.

This could mean fighting alongside our allies in a combat zone, helping safeguard peace and stability in a war-torn country, or going in after a natural disaster and helping save lives and rebuild communities. Or it could see us doing search and rescue, or boarding a suspected pirate ship. It’s impossible to detail everything we do because it’s so varied. That’s why it’s so rewarding.

We need to be ready for anything – and ready to react quickly and efficiently. It requires millions of dollars worth of complex technology and equipment. And it needs a huge amount of teamwork, with everyone knowing exactly where they fit in.

Our people are our priority. To build a sustainable force for the future our people need to have a range of ambitions and skills.

Pre-Military Training

Military Prep School (ATC) Advance Training Centres offer free youth guarantee military preparation and computing programmes for students between 16-19 years old in the Auckland, Northland and Waikato regions. Incorporating a focus on structure and discipline along with real life employment skills, ATC aims to provide a safe and exciting learning environment where recruits can focus on their education and career goals.

Gain your NCEA levels with an injection of military style training and pathway to your dream job in the defence force, or related trades.

Emergency Services

New Zealand has four main emergency services - the Fire service, the Police, ambulances and Civil Defence.

Fire Service

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has 450 fire stations around the country and is called out to around 63,000 incidents each year. Firefighters get called out to put out fires and to deal with other emergencies. They also spend time educating the community about preventing unwanted fires.

For more information on keeping yourself and your house safe, visit the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police are responsible for enforcing the law, maintaining public safety, and assisting with emergency management. Police in New Zealand are trustworthy and are here to help you.

If you need help, but it is not an emergency, call your local police station.

New Zealand Police

Ambulance services

Ambulances respond to medical emergencies and accidents, treat patients at the scene and, if needed, transport them to hospital. They are available to help in emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

St John delivers ambulance services to all of New Zealand except for the greater Wellington region, which is serviced by Wellington Free Ambulance.

St John Ambulance services

Wellington Free Ambulance services

Civil Defence

Disaster relief is the job of Civil Defence. Their job is to help people get through natural or man-made disasters, including storms or floods, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires or volcanic eruptions.

Nationally, Civil Defence is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. But local Civil Defence is led by your city or district council. For details about who to contact in your area, visit the Get Thru website.

Who to contact | Get Thru

Natural disasters

Security/Prison Officers


Security officers/guards patrol or guard an area or building to prevent fire, trespassing, theft or vandalism. They may also complete investigations for individuals and businesses, or provide personal protection to a client.

The National College of Security Personnel and Technology Limited The National College of Security Personnel & Technology is a Government registered private training establishment established in 1996, specialising in NZQA accredited professional education programmes for the security and investigation industries. The college has established itself through its training history as a leading provider in training to the security industry.

Prison Officer

Corrections officers are responsible for the safe, secure and humane containment of prisoners and for actively motivating them to make positive changes in their lives.

Corrections officers, probation officers, case managers, psychologists, instructors, nurses and programme facilitators are just a few of the many frontline staff who work with offenders in prison and the community, on a daily basis, to improve public safety and support offenders to turn their lives around. Take a look at our new frontline jobs website to learn more about working on the frontline at Corrections.