Obverse: A Crowned Effigy of the Sovereign.

Reverse: The inscription “THE NEW ZEALAND GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL” within a wreath of New Zealand flora (Pohutukawa blossom, fern fronds, and kowhai blossom) ensigned by a Royal Crown.

Size: 36mm in diameter.

Ribbon: 32mm wide. Dark blue with a light red centre and a narrow central white stripe.

Suspension: By a plain straight suspender.

Clasps Issued:

This medal was instituted on 7th May 1992. It was issued in bronze to recognise service in non-warlike operations for which no separate New Zealand, British Commonwealth, United Nations or NATO campaign medal was issued. By the time it was replaced in 2002, twelve clasps had been issued for non-warlike (peacekeeping) operations since 1954 in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.

The medal is still issued to New Zealand personnel who are currently serving in Cambodia, Mozambique and the Sinai. This is because these operations commenced before 1 January 2000. Operations which commenced on or after 1 January 2000 are recognised by the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002.

The medal is awarded with a clasp to describe where an individual served. It is worn as a war medal, in order of date of qualification. The New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 has also been issued in silver for warlike operations.

The design and colours of the ribbon are based upon The New Zealand Medal 1845-1847 and 1860-1866, thus are directly linked with the beginnings of New Zealand’s military history. As the first occasion upon which New Zealand had issued a war or warlike service medal outside of the two World Wars or the Vietnam War it was considered that the link with the first military campaigns in New Zealand best reflected New Zealand’s military heritage.

The clasp for “KOREA 1954-57” was instituted on 1st July 1998.
Qualification for Award
A person qualifies for the award of the Medal and Clasp who has served during the period beginning on 27 July 1954 and ending with 31 December 1957 in Korea, its adjacent waters, or Japan if:-
(a) that service was as a member of the New Zealand Army (within the meaning of the New Zealand Army Act 1950), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (within the meaning of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Act 1950), or the Royal New Zealand Naval Forces (within the meaning of the Navy Act 1954); and
(b) that service included a period of service as part of the British Commonwealth Forces, attached to the United Nations Unified Command in one of the following:
(i) on the posted strength of a unit or formation; or
(ii) while posted for duty in HM Ships of the Royal Navy or HMNZ Ships of the Royal New Zealand Navy; or
(iii) while seconded or on exchange with a Commonwealth or foreign defence force; and
(c) one of the following applies:
(i) that service was for 30 days or more, continuous or aggregated; or
(ii) that service was ended, before the completion of 30 days, due to death or evacuation owing to illness or injury or a disability arising from that service; or
(iii) that service was less than 30 days service, but the person was given a royal honour for gallantry in Korea, its adjacent waters, or Japan.

Other clasps have been awarded for:
Korea 1958-2000
Indian Ocean
Arabian Gulf

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

Regulations For This Award: View Regulations (PDF document)