Obverse: The New Zealand Coat of Arms.

Reverse: A representation of a New Zealand fern frond, in the right field, and to the left, 2 swords in saltire, points upward, with a Naval Crown between, and in the centre an eagle, volant affronte, the head lowered and to the sinister; and in the exergue the inscription “THE NEW ZEALAND DEFENCE SERVICE MEDAL”.

Size: 36mm in diameter.

Ribbon: 32mm wide. The medal ribbon has stripes of green, dark blue, green, red, green, light blue, and green.

Suspension: By a plain straight suspender.

Instituted on 8th April, 2011, this bronze medal with an antique finish is awarded to recognise attested military service since 3 September 1945. The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Defence Service Medal allows for one or more clasps to be awarded with the medal. On all occasions the Medal is awarded, the Medal shall be awarded with one or more Clasps bearing the inscription of the type of service that is to be recognised. The Clasps to the Medal are of bronze and oblong in shape. The number of clasps awarded to an individual are determined by the type(s) of military service undertaken by the individual. There are four clasps that can be awarded with the New Zealand Defence Service Medal: REGULAR, TERRITORIAL, C.M.T. and NATIONAL SERVICE.

The medal ribbon reflects the colours of the Navy, Army and Air Force as dark blue, red and light blue respectively. Light green stripes have been added between these colour stripes to reflect the volunteer and territorial elements of the Services. When the ribbon is worn alone, a small silver rosette may be worn on the ribbon to represent each additional Clasp.

Royal Warrant For This Award: View Warrant (PDF document)

Regulations For This Award:View Regulations (PDF document)