If you have a military medal or item that you would like to see returned to the recipient’s family or a descendant, we can help you …

Medals Reunited NZ has a resource network that allows us to research all New Zealanders and Australians who were issued war and service medals from the South African (Anglo-Boer) War, WW1, WW2, Japan, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, United Nations & Peacekeeping missions and beyond.  We also have access to international databases, auction houses and selected collectors world-wide.

Temporary Custody

We will undertake research of any medals or item of ephemera you wish to reunite with family or a descendant, however it will require you to entrust us with the ‘Temporary Custody’ of these items.  

As you can probably appreciate if we are not in possession of the medals (item of ephemera), it would be too easy for us to do all the research work and gain no opportunity to promote our work  (via website posts, press, TV etc) to enhance our reputation.  The items however remain yours until a successful outcome (or not?) is arrived at.

‘Temporary Custody’  means by having medals or ephemera item in hand,  I can also guarantee their return to the family or descendant when located, thereby avoiding any potential for ill-feeling or embarrassment should an owner/donor of the medals or ephemera subsequently decide to keep or otherwise dispose of them.  

This situation is rare however when it has happened (i.e. research of medals on trust) it can be costly in terms of my reputation, time spent in research, and expenses incurred sourcing documents or files (this can run into hundreds of dollars, from my own pocket).  When a family or descendant has been located, the owner/donor is very welcome to be involved in the handover.

Not only does ‘Temporary Custody’ also allow us the opportunity to establish the authenticity of medals/ephemera, assess condition and where necessary provide advice on repairs, cleaning, mounting, replacement etc., but it also gives us the opportunity to photograph the items suitable for publishing in a subsequent article when successfully reunited.  

Case Files & Research

Once we have received the medals/ephemera you will receive a letter acknowledging the safe arrival of you item and its receipt into our ‘Temporary’ Custody’. a case file is opened and research pursued until we get a definite result, one way or the other.  You will be advised of our findings when the research has been completed and the items reunited.  You will also be advised if  we are unable to locate any descendant to return items to.  In this last case we will consult you regarding the future of the medals or ephemera.  

Any item entrusted to MRNZ will initially receive a ‘research assessment’ which means I will spend a couple of hours putting the basics to together and assessing the potential of a quick resolution (reunite).  If because of apparent absence of family connections or the need to source information internationally, the item will be queued according to date of arrival and potential degree of difficulty to resolve whilst that information is sought.  Our aim is to get as many medals / ephemera items reunited as quick as possible but at the same time being  sure they are going to the correct family – so, if you are a donor please be prepared to wait for an outcome it may not be quick but be assured I WILL give you an answer.

Medals or Ephemera NOT Reunited

The research period can be lengthy, particularly if information needs to be sourced overseas (e.g. for UK and Australian resident medal recipients).  If, once we have exhausted our search resources, we remain unable to locate a descendant to return the item to, you will be contacted to discuss possibilities for its future.  

Our default position in the event there are no specific instructions for disposal of medals or ephemera is to deposit them with the national military service museum most closely associated with the named  recipient. e.g. NZ Army to the National Army Museum, Waiouru; Airforce Museum, Wigram; Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, Devonport, or their overseas equivalents.

At NO stage will any item entrusted to our care for research or disposal action (e.g. to a museum) ever be offered for sale or otherwise disposed of.

Requests to Find Medals

Regrettably we are not able to undertake specific search requests to locate family medals as the research work we have queued is sufficient to occupy one researcher full-time.  Therefore we must necessarily focus on researching and reuniting only the medals / ephemera that have been entrusted to us.

We can however place your request on our ‘Missing In Action’ website page which is circulated world-wide  bi-monthly. 

How to Contact Us 

Email:   [email protected]




              PO Box 8034  

              Nelson Mail Centre

              Nelson 7042  

              NEW ZEALAND




Ian            027-940-4495   (24 hrs)  

03-546-7728   (24 hrs)


Brian:        021-023-43312

03-547-3363   (a/hours only)


Contact Form 

Comments or questions are welcome.

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