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Defence, Emergency, and Security Jobs

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About the Defence, Emergency, and Security Industry in New Zealand

Defence, emergency and security are critically important in New Zealand to maintain daily safety and security, as well as keep emergency responses up to date with technology and best practices. From day to day security to emergency situations small or large-scale, to protecting our borders, these services are integral to the peaceful functioning of our society.


New Zealand emergency services are overseen by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. The organisation’s primary function is to support and help communities to manage emergencies. They also provide leadership in risk reduction, as well as respond to and aid recovery from emergencies.


MCDEM works alongside a range of agencies that make up the civil defence and emergency sector in New Zealand. Organisations involved include communities and their local authorities, central government departments and agencies, emergency services, welfare agencies, lifeline utilities and education providers, researchers, international agencies, and non-government organisations.

Their strategy is built upon the “four R’s”:

  • Risk Reduction

  • Readiness

  • Response

  • Recovery


New Zealand has four main emergency services:

Fire and Emergency

Fire and Emergency has 637 fire stations in New Zealand and is called out to around 75,000 incidents per year. They respond to fires and other emergencies and are also involved in community safety education.


Police in New Zealand are responsible for keeping the peace, preventing crime, and enforcing the law. They also handle traffic management and are involved in firearms licencing processes.


The ambulance service responds to medical emergencies and accidents. Most of New Zealand is served by St John’s ambulance, apart from Wellington which is serviced by Wellington Free Ambulance.

Civil Defence

Civil Defence provides leadership in risk reduction and management of natural and man-made disasters. 


The jobs available in this industry vary widely - from administrative to front-line. Most of these roles will require specialist qualifications and training.


There are around 1440 security companies in New Zealand, including large corporates as well as medium and small sized companies and sole traders.


The sector can be broken down into the following categories:


  • Alarms

  • Security Systems      

  • Electricians    

  • Gates & Gate Fittings

  • Fencing Contractors  

  • Security Doors           

  • Cleaners – Commercial        

  • Storage Services       

  • Doors & Door Fittings

  • Closed Circuit TV      

  • Locksmiths & Key Cutters    

  • Private Investigators – Licensed      

  • Security Consultants 

  • Fire Protection           

  • Safes & Locks

  • Lockers & Security Cabinets 

  • Medical Alarms         

  • Infra-Red Equipment 

  • Home Automation     

  • Computer Security Systems 

  • Event Management   

  • Fasteners – Industrial

  • Document Management


The New Zealand Defence Force contributes to the defence, security and well-being of New Zealand. They maintain well-trained and equipped armed forces to deal with crisis situations.


NZDF also work in partnership with other agencies and government organisations to protect New Zealand’s borders and oceans. 


Headquarters for NZDF are located in Wellington. Other bases include:


  • Auckland

  • Papakura

  • Waiouru

  • Ohakea

  • Linton

  • Wellington

  • Woodbourne

  • Burnham

  • Tekapo          

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