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New Zealand Army

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The New Zealand Army (Maori: Ngāti Tumatauenga, "Tribe of the God of war"), is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946. The New Zealand Army traces its history from settler militia raised in 1845.

New Zealand soldiers served with distinction in the major conflicts in the 20th Century, including South Africa 1899–1902, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, Borneo Confrontation and the Vietnam War. Since the 1970s, deployments have tended to be assistance to multilateral peacekeeping efforts. Considering the small size of the force, operational commitments have remained high since the start of the East Timor deployment in 1999. New Zealand personnel served in the First Gulf War, Iraq and are currently serving in East Timor, Afghanistan and several UN and other peacekeeping missions.

Current Deployments

The New Zealand Army currently participates in three major overseas deployments:

  • Afghanistan - 140 personnel are attached to the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan Province.
  • Timor-Leste - An infantry company from 2/1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment is deployed in East Timor under Australian command, as part of the ANZAC Battle Group.
  • Solomon Islands - An infantry company from 2/1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment is deployed alongside two Australian infantry companies as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
  • In addition, small numbers of NZ personnel are deployed on various United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world, and with the Multinational Force and Observers.
  • On 4 September 2010, in the aftermath of the 2010 Canterbury Earthquake, the New Zealand Defence Force deployed to the worst affected areas of Christchurch to aid in relief efforts and assist NZ Police in enforcing a night time curfew at the request of Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and the Prime Minister John Key.