About Us

The Defence Employer Support Council (DESC) is appointed by the Minister of Defence and is independent of the New Zealand Defence Force.


Its mission is:

"To increase the effectiveness of the New Zealand Defence Force through engagement with organisations in the economy and wider business community"

We aim to enhance the relationship that employers have with Defence People. These include reserve forces, cadet force officers, graduates of NZDF youth programmes, and service leavers.  DESC aims to promote the many benefits that Defence People can bring. DESC also provides a platform for the development of strategic partnerships between organisations and the NZDF.


Formerly known as the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council, DESC was established in 2006 with the aims of:

  • Promoting service within the reserve forces 
  • Provide advice to the Minister of Defence
  • Supporting good relations between reservists, cadet force officers and their civilian employers.

Since then the role of DESC has expanded to support a wider range of Defence People in their civilian employment.

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