Applying to volunteer with NZMAT

Registrations of Interest to join NZMAT are invited from clinicians working in pre-hospital, primary, secondary and tertiary care settings within New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Assistance Teams (NZMAT) are multidisciplinary health teams incorporating doctors, nurses, paramedics, logisticians and allied health staff. They are designed to be self-sufficient, experienced teams that can rapidly deploy to provide medical assistance, in support of the local health response. If you are interested in registering with NZMAT, please read the information about volunteering before submitting a Registration of Interest Form. When the time is close for a Team Member course, applications are assessed from the NZMAT Registration of Interest Database.

Questions and Answers

The composition of a NZMAT team is based on range of skill sets relevant to each type of deployment. Deployments require experienced personnel who are well trained in NZMAT processes prior to the deployment.
If you wish to volunteer with NZMAT, please express your interest by completing the Registraion of Interest Form.
Prior to a Team Member course, applications are reviewed based on clinical skill, level and experience of the applicant to determine suitability for further training and possible deployment as part of NZMAT.

Please ensure you include all relevant information when you submit your Registration of Interest Form so an informed decision about your application can be made.
You will be contacted by the NZMAT Programme Manager to advise if further information is require or you have been accepted to participate on a Team Member course.

For more information regarding the New Zealand Medical Assistance Team, registration process or training please contact the NZMAT Programme Manager –

Interested in applying to volunteer with NZMAT?

You will be required to provide the following when completing the NZMAT Registration of Interest Form:

Passport ID Photo
Scanned copies of:

When deployed as a member of a New Zealand Medical Assistance Team (NZMAT), you are an employee representing New Zealand. As part of applying to join NZMAT you are required to read and sign the following two NZMAT Code of Conduct Forms

Deployment of NZMAT

The Ministry of Health has the authority to deploy a New Zealand Medical Assistance Team (NZMAT) following a request from district health boards (for domestic deployments) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (for offshore deployments usually in the south-west Pacific). NZMAT will provide medical support to the local population by integrating and engaging with local structures or by providing a self-sufficient capability.

Decision on NZMAT deployment

The decision whether to deploy NZMAT will depend on the following factors:

During a deployment

During a deployment CM Health will provide the operational base support for NZMAT in liaison with the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health will coordinate the overall national health response and liaise with DHBs and the lead New Zealand government agency (i.e., the National Emergency Management Agency or MFAT) as required.
During a domestic emergency event NZMAT will not replace the wide-ranging support from the health sector to the affected DHB. NZMAT may be deployed as part of this wider support and this will be coordinated within existing emergency management structures.
NZMAT personnel deployed in response to a disaster will have numerous skills, and will be able and willing to work in a variety of settings including in the community or in existing or temporary health facilities. The composition of the team may change over the period of the deployment to meet the changing demands of the situation.
Most NZMAT deployments will depart from Auckland where team personnel will be briefed and issued appropriate uniform and personal equipment.

Deployment Overview

Notice of NZMAT deployment

The Ministry of Health will decide whether an NZMAT should be deployed or put on standby in any situation. Potential team personnel will be selected from a database of trained personnel, based on the identified skills and mission requirements.
Trained personnel may be needed at any time, day or night, so will be required to provide 24/7 contact details. It is the responsibility of NZMAT personnel to keep their information on NZMAT’s personnel database (D4H) up-to-date and with the NZMAT Programme Manager.

Advance warning of deployment

On average, NZMAT personnel receive 1 – 7 days warning of a deployment. However, in extreme circumstance, there may be only 4 – 8 hours.
As the situation may change rapidly and other international emergency medical teams may be deployed into the affected area, last minute changes may be made to the team make-up. NZMAT personnel must therefore be prepared to be flexible, and to wait for new instructions if required.
If the Ministry believes a situation may require health support from outside the affected area, an NZMAT response may be put on stand-by as a contingency in advance of any formal requests from the affected area.
Note: NZMAT does not deploy unless a formal request for medical assistance has been received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Accepting deployment

Participation on a NZMAT deployment is on a voluntary basis. NZMAT personnel can accept or decline any given request for deployment participation – it is your decision. If you accept a deployment, it is expected that you have prior approval from your employer to be released from your work responsibilities and that you will go (i.e. you will not pull out at the last minute – except in exceptional situations – as this can put the NZMAT deployment in jeopardy).
Keep in mind that participating in an emergency response can:
Work responsibilities
It is the deploying person’s responsibility to make all arrangements with their employer (including obtaining permission to deploy) before accepting an offer to participate on an assignment from NZMAT. The person should discuss possible deployment with their employer prior to deployment.
Family responsibilities
It is the deploying person’s responsibility to make arrangements for childcare and other personal needs before accepting an offer to participate on an NZMAT deployment.

What to expect on deployments

Every disaster or emergency is different and many factors affect the conditions that you may face during a deployment.
Hours can be long and assignments are sometimes physically and emotionally challenging. Duty hours can be 12- or 16-hour shifts. Normal and ample accommodations may be available on some deployments but on others accommodations may be more austere.
Flexibility and personal preparedness are the key element to success as a deployed NZMAT personnel.

Length of deployment

In most cases, the maximum deployment is 14 days plus travel days as required. There is a possibility that deployments maybe extended depending on the needs of the mission. It is your responsibility to coordinate your volunteer time with the needs of your family, employer and/or any other obligations you may have

Leaving on deployment

The Ministry of Health’s National Health Coordination Centre (NHCC) or CM Health will arrange travel and accommodation, including any stopover accommodation enroute. Most NZMAT deployments will depart from Auckland where personnel will be briefed and issued with appropriate uniform and personal equipment.


Prior to departure personnel will be issued with a NZMAT ID badge and uniform. NZMAT personnel are required to wear their issued identification items and ID badge whenever engaging in an NZMAT deployment. Loss of these items on deployment is to be reported immediately to the Mission Lead / Team Lead. NZMAT personnel will not be allowed at a disaster/emergency site without proper identification.

Deployment-related expenses
Travel, accommodation and general living expenses will be arranged by the Ministry of Health or the lead DHB, so, as a general rule, NZMAT personnel will not incur deployment-related expenses. However, if you incur unavoidable deployment-related expenses the Ministry of Health or lead DHB will reimburse these when proof of expenditure is supplied. Prior approval for all deployment related expenses should be obtained wherever possible.


The Ministry of Health will organise for health and travel insurance for international deployments. It is your own responsibility to provide for and maintain your professional indemnity insurance.

Team Structure

Notice of NZMAT deployment

You will be assigned to a NZMAT team based your skill set and the response requirements. Each NZMAT team with more than two personnel will have a team lead who reports directly through to the NZMAT Mission Lead.
Size of team
The size of the team deployed may vary from 5 – 40 personnel depending on the specific needs of the mission. The size of a NZMAT will depend on the events size, location and nature of the medical assistance request received from the local health authority domestically or internationally.
Role of NZMAT personnel
Your background, training and skills will help determine your potential role within the team. Once trained and as you gain deployment experience you may be offered key positions, such as Team Lead. Every attempt will be made to match your skills, competencies and license or credential level with assignments during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. However, you may be asked to assist with activities that are less challenging than your usual professional activities.

Interested in Volunteering?

Find out how to register for NZMAT.