Frequents Asked Questions
Can both girls and boys join?
What if I move town, can I join another Unit?
Yes, there are over 100 Units across New Zealand that you could transfer to.
What does the New Zealand Defence Force provide cadets with?
The NZDF provides you with a uniform, except for footwear. They also supply Regular Force advisors and organise and pay for all the promotion courses you may be selected to attend. They also provide the subjects you will study.
How safe is my child?
Your child's safety has top priority accepting that no activity can be entirely risk free. Read about the risk management training that NZCF Officers undergo to minimise risk for your child while involved in NZCF activities.
Do I have to join the Armed Forces when I leave?
No, Cadet Forces is a youth development organisation and is not part of NZ Defence Forces.
How much does it cost?
Each Unit sets its own fees, payable by term or by the year. More information on possible costs can be found here. Please contact the Unit for further details.
How old do you have to be to join Cadets and where do you join?
You can join if you are 13 (thirteen) years of age or in Year 9 at Secondary School. You join the New Zealand Cadet Forces by enrolling with your local Unit.
How long can you serve for?
The majority of cadets serve for up to four years. After that, if you are a senior cadet, you can serve as a cadet until the day before your 19th birthday.
Can I get NZQA credits for my learning while in Cadets?
Yes. The New Zealand Cadet Forces has been instrumental in establishing an NZQA National Certificate in Cadet Forces - Foundation studies (Level 2).
Many cadet units are incorporating NZQA unit standards from this qualification into their training programme. You can have the units you achieve placed on your NZQA record of learning after you have paid the credit recording fee.
Because it is a National Certificate you can also use the credits earned to help meet the credit requirements of your NCEA levels 1-3.
Will being a cadet help me get into the Armed Forces when I leave school?
Cadet Forces is not a recruiting arm of the New Zealand Defence Force. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that young people who serve with Cadet Forces seem to adapt more readily to life in the Armed Forces.
Will I be sent overseas to fight?
What if I'm not too fit?
There is no requirement to meet a specific level of fitness to join Cadets. However, like many activities, if you are fit you will get greater enjoyment from your experiences.
Do I have to stay if I find Cadets is not for me?
No, you volunteer to enter Cadet Forces and you can leave at any time.