Obverse: A representation of the New Zealand Coat of Arms.

Reverse: A representation of a bouquet of New Zealand flora, composed of fern fronds and sprigs of the blossom of Pohutukawa, Manuka, Kowhai, and Mt Cook Lilies, with a scroll below inscribed with the words “FOR SPECIAL SERVICE”.

Size: 36mm in diameter.

Ribbon: 32mm wide, the ribbon has an orange-yellow centre with crimson, red, white, and black stripes on either side.

Suspension: By a plain straight suspender.

Instituted on 23rd July 2002, this gold plated base-metal medal is awarded for special services that are not normally recognised by a campaign medal. Operational service shall not count as qualifying service for the Medal, nor shall service towards qualification for the Medal count as qualifying service towards The New Zealand Operational Service Medal.
In order of precedence, it is worn after war medals but before Coronation, Jubilee, and New Zealand Commemoration Medals.

Awarded for service as part of an official New Zealand Government presence at one of the following atmospheric nuclear tests:
(a) at Maralinga, Australia, on 27 September 1956, 4 October 1956, 22 October 1956, or 25 September 1957:
(b) at Maiden Island (now part of the Republic of Kiribati), on 15 May 1957, 31 May 1957, or 19 June 1957:
(c) at Christmas Island (now part of the Republic of Kiribati), on 8 November 1957, 28 April 1958, 22 August 1958, 2 September 1958, 11 September 1958, or 23 September 1958:
(d) at Nevada, United States of America, on 1 September 1957:
(e) at Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, on 18 July 1959:
(f) at Moruroa, on 22 July 1973 or 28 July 1973.

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

Regulations For This Award: View Regulations (PDF document)