How old do I have to be to join?
New recruits cadets must be 13 - 15 years old (or younger, and have started high school - Year 9). Cadets may serve until their 19th birthday.
How much does it cost?
The annual subscription fee is $180 per year (or $150 if there is more than one cadet in the family). New recruits also need to pay a $50 uniform bond. Camps typically cost $20 - $40.
How safe is my child?
Your child’s safety is our top priority. Every activity is supervised by an NZCF Officer. All NZCF Officers must undergo a Police Safety Check and complete a course where they are formally trained in risk management and cadet welfare. Formal risk management and planning is carried out for all activities we run. No activity can be completely risk free. NZCF Officers are trained to recognise and minimise risk to a point where it does not impact negatively on your child's learning experiences.
NZCF Officers are required to undergo additional training before they are allowed to supervise some activities. To take cadets tramping, the officer must have completed the NZCF Officer Bushcraft Course and hold an Outdoor First Aid Certificate. Officers are required to qualify as Range Safety Officers before they can supervise shooting. Cadets also need to pass a safety test and drills before they can shoot.
Regular Officer Update training weekends are conducted to ensure officers remain current with their skills and knowledge.
For some activities (eg flying, abseiling, rock climbing) we engage qualified instructors to teach and supervise the activity, though there will still be an NZCF Officer in attendance.
Do I have to stay if I don’t enjoy it?
No, we are a voluntary organisation. If you decide cadets is not for you, or if you have to leave for other reasons, you can resign at any time. You just need to return your dry-cleaned uniform and any other equipment you have on loan.
If you move, you can request a transfer to another unit. There are over 100 cadet units in New Zealand, from Kaitaia to Invercargill.
Will being a cadet help me get into the NZDF?
Cadet Forces is not a recruiting arm of the NZ Defence Force. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that young people who serve with Cadet Forces seem to adapt more readily to life in the Defence Force.
What if I’m not too fit, or have a medical condition or disability?
There is no requirement to meet a specific level of fitness to join. However, like many activities, if you are fit you will get greater enjoyment from your experiences. If you are not capable of participating in the majority of activities because of a medical condition or other disability, the Cadet Unit Commander will meet with your parent/caregiver for a discussion before deciding if you are able to join.
Will I be sent to war?