Obverse: The 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:13

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. Thirteen clasps had been issued for non-warlike (peacekeeping) operations between 1954 and 2002 in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific.

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 1958-2000” was instituted on 18th August 2008.
Qualification for Award
A person is eligible for the medal if he or she –
(a) served in Korea, between 1 January 1958 and 31 December 2000, as a member of, or in connection with, a New Zealand Government contribution to United Nations Command activities involving the preservation of the Korean Armistice Agreement; and
(b) was, at that time, a member of any of the following:
(i) the New Zealand Naval Forces (within the meaning of the Navy Act 1954), the New Zealand Army (within the meaning of the New Zealand Army Act 1950), or the Royal New Zealand Air Force (within the meaning of the Royal New Zealand Air Force Act 1950):
(ii) the Armed Forces (within the meaning of the Defence Act 1971):
(iii) the New Zealand Defence Force (within the meaning of the Defence Act 1990); and
(c) if the person was engaged in service:
(i) for 30 days or more, continuous or aggregated; or
(ii) for less than 30 days, but –
(a) the service was terminated by death or evacuation owing to wounds or disability caused by that service; or
(b) the person has been given a New Zealand Royal Honour for gallantry or bravery for acts while engaged in that service; or
(c) the mission directive stated that the deployment was to be longer than 30 days, but the person had his or her period of service terminated after less than 30 days at the direction of the New Zealand Government department or agency that deployed the person, and the termination was for official reasons rather than for personal, compassionate, or disciplinary reasons.

Other clasps have been awarded for:
Korea 1954-57
Indian Ocean
Arabian Gulf

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

Regulations For This Award: View Regulations (PDF document)