Story: Armed forces

Defence Force personnel by gender and ethnicity, 2012

Defence Force personnel by gender and ethnicity, 2012

These graphs show New Zealand Defence Force personnel by gender and ethnicity at 1 January 2012. Not surprisingly, men hugely outnumber women in military (regular and reserve forces) roles – the gap is much smaller in the civilian employment category.

Europeans were the largest single ethnic group in all sectors of the Defence Force. Māori were well represented in the military compared to their proportion of the general population (14.6% in the 2006 census), though were under-represented in the air force. Pacific and Asian people were underrepresented in all categories.

Note: most responses in the 'other' ethnicity category were 'New Zealander' or 'Kiwi'.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Source: New Zealand Defence Force

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jim Rolfe, 'Armed forces - Historical overview', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 May 2023)

Story by Jim Rolfe, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Apr 2020