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Spiritual support in the NZDF

The NZDF is committed to supporting NZDF personnel in all aspects of their health – and Wairua / Spirit is no different.
This section looks at what can happen if you lose your spiritual way, and some of the ways the NZDF can help.

Spiritual support in the NZDF

NZDF is an inclusive organisation

The NZDF prides itself on being an inclusive and diverse organisation. We welcome and value the diversity of our people and their whanau/families.

We aim to ensure that the NZDF has a strong and inclusive workforce and that all NZDF members are able to participate, compete and be rewarded fairly regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age, beliefs/opinions, or family circumstances.  It is important to the NZDF that all members and whanau/families feel they belong, are valued and encouraged to participate in NZDF life. The different life experiences that individuals and their whanau/families bring into the NZDF adds richness to our community.

Losing your spiritual way

There will be times in your life when you will feel you have lost your way. This can leave you feeling unsettled or disjointed within yourself, or you may feel like you don’t ‘belong’ anywhere.

These feelings can start to affect other areas of your life, such as your relationships with your family or the people at work – at its worst you may even have a strained relationship with yourself.

The good thing is that even if you feel you have lost your spiritual way, you can find your way back.

It might just take a little help from others to re-establish your connections with those important people and places.

Spiritual support in the NZDF

When thinking about such things as: life, meaning, purpose, spirituality or God, you might find that you may want to explore these concepts more.

The good news is that every Camp and Base has Chaplains that would be really happy to have a totally confidential conversation with you on these matters (or any matters). Just ring and make an appointment or drop by their office.  

Although they belong to their particular faiths, all of our chaplains are expected to be conversant with, and supportive of other faiths – and at a local level will make contact with a representative of another faith if someone in NZDF requires or requests it.

The role of NZDF Chaplains

The role of NZDF Chaplains is to provide spiritual, religious and pastoral ministry to NZDF members and their families, in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

They are also there to advise commanders and their staff on religious, spiritual, moral, ethical, cultural and welfare matters.

Chaplains minister to NZDF personnel and their families in the following key areas:

  • Spiritual support, both publicly and privately, at every level of the NZDF
  • Pastoral care at home and abroad
  • Moral guidance through formal teaching, counsel, and personal example
  • Relationship guidance and confirmation of ‘NZDF recognised relationships’
  • Officiate at commemorative, ceremonial and other church services such as weddings and baptisms

Though found in the ‘Spirit’ section of this website, Chaplaincy support is not only limited to ‘spiritual things’ but can also be helpful with all aspects of health and wellbeing.

Always available. Always confidential

While NZDF Chaplains wear the uniform of our respective Services, Chaplains operate under a special set of rules:

  • Service personnel have the absolute right to see a Chaplain should they ever wish to do so, whether they are in New Zealand, on active service overseas or even in prison! 
  • Whatever is said to a Chaplain is a private matter and (under most conditions) may not be divulged to anyone, this being a right enshrined in military and civil law.

Who are the NZDF Chaplains?

Chaplains have a long record of service through times of peace and war.

The NZDF has over thirty Chaplains, both full-time and part-time, who serve in the Army, Navy and Air Force. They are all commissioned officers of the NZDF and wear uniform, but they do not carry arms.

NZDF Chaplains are ordained ministers from an assortment of denominations, but if they are unable to offer your religious preference they will assist you in finding someone who can.