New Zealand

Capital: WellingtonArea: 267 . 710 km2Population: 4 . 430 . 407Official Language: New Zealand Sign Language, Te Reo MaoriArmed Forces Personnel: 9 . 000Medical Officers: 30Military hospitals / institutes / schools: / 1 /

Surgeon General
Andrew Gray QHDS, BDS, MFGDP (UK), PGDip DS, psc(j), FADI
Brigadier General

Director Defence Health
HQ NZ Defence Force
Wellington 5045

A better, stronger, healthier NZDF

To enhance Force strength through health

Basic Task of the Military Medical Service

Defence Health Strategy
The New Zealand Defence Force Health Strategy is designed to improve the health of New Zealand Defence Force personnel. The Defence health system is designed to be an integrated system of health for the successful delivery of comprehensive health support to all military members of the New Zealand Defence Force. The focus is on maintaining, improving, and restoring health.


At the strategic level the New Zealand Defence Force has a single Defence Health Directorate. The Directorate is commanded by the Director of Defence Health who has the overall accountability and responsibility for governance, and the professional and technical control of health within the New Zealand Defence Force.


At the operational and tactical level the New Zealand Defence Force has a Joint Operational Health Group. The objectives of the Joint Operational Health Group are to manage operational health risk, provide force health readiness and to generate deployable health capability. This allows the New Zealand Defence Force to create a single point of accountability for the allocation of health resources.

PhotoJoint Operational Health Group Training
The New Zealand Defence Health School provides core individual training for medics of all three services. This training focuses on providing a balance between practical and theoretical training to create deployable medics.

Field Deployments

Deployable Medical Support Elements
Naval deployable health elements perform Role 1 functions on board New Zealand Defence Force ships. The Navy’s multi role vessel HMNZS CANTERBURY has recently been refitted to include a surgical operating theatre, which can be utilised by Role 2 staff from the New Zealand Army.

Army deployable elements provide both Role 1 and Role 2 health functions, including life and limb saving surgery, for operational deployments. Air Force deployable health elements perform Role 1 functions for the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Air Force health staff is responsible for the provision of both fixed and rotary wing aero-medical evacuation.


Civil-Military Cooperation

The New Zealand Defence Force domestic health system employs a mixture of military and civilian health services. Basic Primary Health Care is provided by the military health system. Complex health care is typically provided by either the private health system or the public health system. The New Zealand Defence Force relies upon the close relation ship that exists between the civilian health sector and Defence health facilities.