2024 Tohu Awards: Call for Nominations

Line of Defence Magazine - Autumn 2024

Tohu Awards
2023 winners of the annual Minister of Defence Tohu Awards. Image supplied.

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Tohu Awards, recognising employers and organisations around New Zealand who help support the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).


The annual Tohu Awards, hosted by the Minister of Defence and run by the Defence Employer Support Council (DESC), recognise those who employ Reservists, Cadet Force Officers and graduates of Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) Programmes.

This event, and the awards made, are an official acknowledgement of the service and ongoing commitment provided by organisations in communities around the country to support the NZDF.

With the support of independent organisations and employers, part-time service personnel can attend training exercises and serve on deployments, providing a boost in numbers alongside NZDF Regular Force personnel.

To that end, employers of Reservists and Cadet Force Officers are vital to supporting the NZDF’s readiness and effectiveness.

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In return, employers often benefit from the additional training provided by the NZDF to their employees, including skills across leadership, teamwork, communication, discipline, planning, management and more.

Positive relationships between employers and part-time personnel in their civilian workplace often benefit both parties, with personnel being both engaged in their military roles and more likely to be motivated and committed to their employer.

This year, organisations can nominate themselves for an award category.

Nominations for all Employer Awards Categories close on 17 May 2024. A nomination form can be requested by emailing secretariat@desc.govt.nz

2023 Employer Award Category winners

The Reserve Employer of the Year (Large Employer Category) was KPMG, which supports Reservists’ duties alongside their civilian career in KPMG NZ. The company enables cover of civilian engagements and considers emergency response leave for Reservists when they are required to respond to domestic emergency events at short – or even no – notice. Their HR policy includes 10 days of Reservist leave.

The Reserve Employer of the Year (Small Employer Category) was Reswax (Resin and Wax Holdings Ltd). The company’s employment contracts allow for flexible working arrangements enabling time to be spent on both Reserve and civilian tasks.

Contribution to the Limited Service Volunteer Programme award recipient was Taylor Preston. The company is an enduring supporter of the LSV programme, and its recruitment manager Barry Walsh is a long-time active benefactor. Taylor Preston has employed more than 30 graduates, and these graduates are given time off to talk to current trainees about their LSV experience and work journey.

The New Zealand Cadet Force Officer Employer of the Year was awarded to Toi Ohomai Te Pūkenga, Tauranga, and was nominated by Cadet Force Major Elisha Crawshaw. Toi Ohomai is a strong supporter of the New Zealand Cadet Forces (NZCF), notably to the Cadet Units in the Western Bay of Plenty. The organisation has HR policies in place that recognise the value of skills obtained through the NZCF training programme.

Winners of the 2023 Reserve Employer of the Year (Small Employer Category) Reswax

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