NZ Defence force at its strongest due to drop in attrition rates

By Aroha Treacher

It appears the New Zealand Defence Force has done a 180, since the heavily criticised civilianisation of the defence force in 2011, which saw around 1400 jobs cut and the military weakened, as part of the Government's cost saving measures.

Now in 2014, a drop in attrition rates across the board, has seen a stronger defence force, making it very competitive to get in.

Eighteen-year-old Tim Sciascia is one of the few that has made the cut, he'll be joining in the January intake as a System Combat Specialist.

Frontline numbers have boosted the military capacity and successful re-enlistment has seen the military at its strongest since 2011 and with just over 14,000 military personnel and civilian staff.

According to Chief of Personell Defence Force, Brigadier Howard Duffy, “This follows a period of high attrition, so naturally these things tend to work in cycles, we think our people are more engaged with work are more settled and good deployments and seeing the leadership has made a real difference.”

Attrition rates across the board have dropped but it's the Navy that has had the most dramatic spike, falling to 7.99 from 15.91 in June 2013 the lowest rate in the Navy's modern history.

The military is now very competitive to get into, with around 6500 applying each year, they're taking just over 800. One of the barriers stopping people from getting in, is their physical fitness.