The New Zealand Memorial Cross is awarded to the next of kin of New Zealand service personnel who, since September 1939, have been killed on active service or later died of their wounds.
The Memorial Cross is in the form of a cross patoncé in dull silver, 32 millimetres (1.3 in) across, with arms slightly flared at the ends. A laurel wreath appears between the arms of the cross. At the top of the vertical arm is a St. Edward's Crown, with a fern leaf at the end of each of the other arms. At the centre is the reigning monarch's Royal Cypher.
The reverse is plain, with most crosses engraved with the name, rank, and service number of the person commemorated.
There are two versions of the cross:
- with the cypher of King George VI, awarded for the Second World War. Worn suspended around the neck from a 12 millimetres (0.47 in) wide mauve ribbon attached to the cross by a silver ring;
- with the cypher of Queen Elizabeth II, for post-1945 conflicts. There is no ribbon, but it is awarded with a pin on the reverse to be worn as a brooch.