Recruit training: Assessing the quality of recruit training in the New Zealand Defence Force

Recruit training: Assessing the quality of recruit training in the New Zealand Defence Force

Published: 08 Oct 2015

Category: Publication

Aspects of initial training for new recruits that work well and how the system could be improved. The review found that while training programmes are demanding, both physically and mentally, most recruits find the experience positive.

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Additional info

Additional info

This review was a follow-up to the 2014 report Maximising Opportunities for Military Women in the New Zealand Defence Force which recommended a review of the recruit training period.


The review found that:

  • most recruits had a positive experience during training
  • initial training is providing new recruits with the skills and knowledge they need
  • New Zealand graduation rates compare favourably to militaries in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States
  • low recruit to instructor ratios means individuals can get one-on-one help if needed
  • the Defence Force is getting what it needs from the programmes.

Improvement was recommended in:

  • how instructors are selected, trained and supervised
  • the level of transparency around discipline practices
  • creating a more positive learning environment.


Better support from the Defence Force for the training programmes was also recommended. This support included recognising that instructors influence the future culture of the NZDF, ensuring shared resources are available when needed, such as physical trainers and psychologists.

There were also individual recommendations for the Army, Navy and Air Force. These can be read in the full report. The Army, Navy and Air Force were all shown a draft copy of the recommendations. By the time the final report was published, work had already started on 80% of the recommendations.


ISBN (Online): 978-0-478-27873-6

ISBN (Print): 978-0-478-27872-9


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This copyright work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the work, as long as you attribute the work to the Ministry of Defence and abide by the other licence terms.