Armed soldiers are guarding the streets of Waipukurau as part of a training exercise for NZ Army officer cadets, familiarising themselves with operating in an urban environment.
Officer Cadet Emma said they would be a common sight for two weeks.
"We have just come off doing open-country and jungle country training and now we are into urban," she said.
Urban training was "incredibly different".
"You have got all the buildings and structures and people to think about, whereas in the field and open country you haven't."
The army has previously used Waipukurau for urban training and the platoon has a busy schedule ahead.
"At the moment we conduct two tasks a day and we simply rotate around our command positions. Each cadet on this course will get assessed at different tasks - the tasks will be patrolling around the residential areas."
Their tasks are made more difficult by regular soldiers acting as insurgents.
On Saturday the scenario was an important meeting taking place at the Civic Theatre and insurgents tasked with entering the building.
The officer cadets did not know who were the insurgents and who were just nosey locals.
The exercise was advertised and local authorities said up to 150 military personnel would be involved, with soldiers in both civilian and military clothing carrying weapons with blank firing and pyrotechnic use possible.
"The council and the police will know we are operating in this area, just so people don't get worried or freak out when they see the Defence Force patrolling around the area. I believe it was in the newspaper too, so that civilians knew that we were going to be here."