NZ Soldier on Stretcher During Exercise - Source NZDF

Curing NZDF’s Long Covid

Part 2 on Defence Force Attrition and Rebuilding

Recovery from the ‘Long Covid’ effects on the New Zealand Defence Force requires rebuilding, repositioning and modernisation of the force while continuing to deliver the outputs specified by Government. In the context of growing insecurity, increasing need for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and a bleak economic environment this will take co-ordinated bold and innovative action by politicians, officials and commanders alike.

This is the second of a two-part article about New Zealand Defence Force attrition which has been caused, in large part, by the effects of Covid-19 on the country and Defence Force. The NZDF reported losses of 1556 full-time personnel (including civilians) between February 2020 and January 2022. Over half of those (878) were from the Army which represents significant loss (18.8%) in a full-time uniformed force of 4,659. Some ranks and trades have been hit much harder than others.

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