The South East Asia Association of New Zealand was formed in 1997 as an Incorporated Society and is made up of ex service personnel, ex service personnel family members and civilians, who either served with or supported 1 RNZIR in the South East Asia region, of Singapore and Malaysia during the period 1972 - 1989.

The Association is committed to recognising and honouring those many thousands who served in Singapore and Malaysia from 1972-1989, as during this period the personnel that did serve in the region, were not and had not received any formal recognition until recently.

In 1989 1 RNZIR and all New Zealand Military and Civilian personnel based in Singapore were returned back to New Zealand where 1 RNZIR took up residence at Linton Military Camp located in Palmerston North.

The Associations statement of intent is to:


This was with service as agreed under the Five Nation Treaty agreement between Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, (ANZUK) Malaysia and Singapore, between 1971 to 1975 then under New Zealand Force South East Asia up to 1989.

In 1989 1 RNZIR, along with the greater majority of other New Zealand military and civilian personnel based in Singapore, were redeployed back to New Zealand. 1 RNZIR took up its new residence at Linton Military Camp located in Palmerston North.

On 1 April 1964 1 RNZIR was formed and the title Royal was bestowed. This was marked by the Trooping of the Colours, at Terendak in July 1964. The ten regiments of the Infantry had became the seven battalions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. From when the 1st Battalion The New Zealand Regiment arrived in Malaya in December 1957, through the Infantry restructure to when 1 RNZIR redeployed to New Zealand in 1989, there was 32 years unbroken service in the South East Asia region, where it "kept the faith", with the friends and allies of that region.

1 RNZIR has the uniqueness of:

  1. Not serving in New Zealand for the 25 years between 1964 and 1989,
  2. Receiving its "New Colours" overseas in 1971,
  3. Becoming allied to;

The Royal Green Jackets,(through amalgamations and inheritances the affiliation goes back to the 1914-1918 war).

7th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment (the first by any NZ Battalion with other than a British Army Unit.

Royal Australian Regiment, (1 RNZIR is in effect affiliated to each of the regular Australian Infantry Battalions.)

The Royal Highland Fusiliers and

The First Commando Battalion, Singapore Armed Forces, (the first such alliance between a Singapore Battalion and a foreign military unit).

A. 1 RNZIR has the distinction of having more Regimental Alliances than any other unit in the New Zealand Army.

B. 1 RNZIR served under;

28 Commonwealth Brigade,

28 ANZUK Brigade and

NZ Force SEA

As can be seen there is a proud history of service in the South East Asia region in "Warlike" and "Non Warlike" service. This has led to a general feeling over the years amongst many of our members and affiliates that their service has not had any type of formal recognition. Their service has always had a special significance to them and that this crucial role they were involved in, is now an important part of New Zealand military history.


Even though the South East Asia Association of New Zealand (Inc) has a defined period for them as 1972 to 1989 this submission seeks to justify formal recognition of service in the form of an award to those;

  1. That served in Malaya/Malaysia with either the 1st or 2nd Battalion NZ Regiment and supporting units with the 28 Commonwealth Brigade from 31 July 1960 (end of Malayan Emergency) or 1 RNZIR and supporting units from 1 April 1964 to May 1965 on the Battalions deployment to Sabah and Sarawak (Borneo).
  2. That served in Malaya/Malaysia with the 28 Commonwealth Brigade from 1st October 1966 to 13 May 1967 (deployment of Victor Company to South Viet Nam), 
  3. Who remained behind in Malaya/Malaysia, who through no fault of there own, were unable to deploy for any period from 31 July 1960, but continued their role in the Far East Strategic Reserve, up to the cessation of that reserve on 31 October 1971.
  4. That served in Malaysia and Singapore with 1 RNZIR and supporting units during the period 1 November 1971 to 31 April 1975 with 28 ANZUK Brigade.
  5. That continued to serve in Malaysia and Singapore with 1 RNZIR or supporting units during the period 1 May 1975 until 1989 when 1 RNZIR was redeployed to New Zealand.

The above was taken from the submission for service recogniition by:

Chris Christmas.
Ex President.
South East Asia Association of New Zealand Incorporated