New Zealand Cadet Forces
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Cadet Forces is a really fun organisation to belong to.

How do I set up a Cadet Unit?

The following brief information provides advice and direction for those considering the formation of a unit of the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF). For detailed information please write to:

The Commandant
HQ New Zealand Cadet Forces
Trentham Military Camp
Private Bag 905
Trentham 5018

What are the essential requirements for a successful Cadet Unit?

For a Cadet Unit to be successful long term, it must have the following:

  • A minimum community population base of approximately 4000.
  • A support committee that understands its long-term commitment to provide resources, especially fund raising programmes, for the Unit. This group must identify suitable leaders, who have the commitment, time, and motivation to be eventually commissioned as NZCF Officers and a pool of potential cadets..
  • A suitable venue for meetings and parades. The venue needs to include:
    office and storage facilities;
    classrooms; and
    an area for use as a parade ground.
  • At least three potential officers or adult leaders who have the necessary skills or who could be trained.

The officers will command the unit and plan and run training activities for the cadets. Previous military or cadet experience is valuable, but not essential.

A training programme, based on the applicable Corps Training Manual, which consists of the following:

  • forty parade nights (usually consisting of 2-3 hours per night); and
  • weekend activities (at least one per month).

What are the planning stages for the formation of NZCF units?

The following information details the steps necessary to form a new Cadet Unit. Some of the stages can be undertaken concurrently, and the order of completing the stages may vary but all requirements must be satisfied:

  • request a brief from the local Regular Force Area Co-ordinator (AC);
  • seek support from the local community and Sea Cadet Association, Cadet Corps Association, Air Training Corps Association, RSA and others as appropriate;
  • approach local bodies and dignitaries for support;
  • co-ordinate a public meeting to gauge local support and enthusiasm. The AC will brief all interested parties. It is essential that the sponsors and the public are made aware of the full requirements for forming a new unit, their role, responsibilities and the time it takes to fully establish a viable unit.
  • locate suitable premises for the unit. Consultation with the AC is encouraged. Occupancy must be a viable long-term facility;
  • identify a support committee that is both willing and able to assist in the formation of the new unit and raise funds for the ongoing support of the unit;
  • The support committee should apply to the District or National HQ of the Sea Cadet Association, Cadet Corps Association or the Air Training Corps Association as appropriate, for recognition as a Branch of that organisation;
  • Sponsors are then to make written request to the Commandant for support and advice on the formation of the Unit. This request must be forwarded through the recognised national civilian support organisation, or the AC or both.
  • On receipt of approval for this limited assistance the support committee, in liaison with the AC, is to:
    • identify potential officers;
    • conduct an officer selection board for the potential officers;
    • Identify the Cadet Unit Commander;
    • identify cadets and, if possible, some cadets who may be able to act as cadet leaders;
    • identify suitable Supplementary Staff and/or instructors.

After not less than nine months have passed.

Not less than nine months after commencement of weekly “parades” the AC makes an assessment of the viability of the unit and forwards a written report to the Commandant. The AC’s report covers such issues as the depth and strength of local support, likely strength of the unit, funds and facilities available.

This page was last reviewed on 18 January 2016, and is current.