IN WELLINGTONWellington , New Zealand.
© Darcy Waters 2000
Wellington has seen two periods of large scale defence construction. The first was in the 1880's and 1890's when the British Empire was at war with Russia. The primary perceived threat at the time was seaborne. The second period was during the Second World War. With the Japanese involved the threat of attach again loomed. This time however the threat was not only seaborne but also airborne.
In 1942 Construction of defence works was at it's peak. Early that year the Japanese were still advancing in the pacific (although the tide was to turn against them before the year's end).         In Wellington existing Coastal batteries were strengthened and new batteries constructed. This was to defend against the seaward threat. To defend against the airborne threat a ring of batteries was built equipped with 3.7" calibre Anti-Aircraft guns. These were built during this period of defence construction.
In March of 1942 plans were received for constructing anti-aircraft batteries using British 3.7" guns. As soon as these plans arrived construction was started on them. The Heavy AA (Anti-Aircraft) Batteries built around Wellington Consisted of the following:
In Wellington six of these batteries were built. They were at Somes Island, Mt. Crawford, Mt. Victoria, Brooklyn, Tinakori Hill and Johnsonvile. All of them were 4 gun batteries except for the one at Johnsonvile.
Of these 6 batteries built three have been demolished. Mt. Victoria and the Tinakori Hills batteries were demolished as they were on public reserve land and were a safety hazard. Mt. Victoria -about May 1970 demolished by the Ministry of Works Tinakori Hills - Demolished 1969 also by Ministry of works. Johnsonville - Demolished - when?
The remaining three while by no means safe from
demolition are not under imminent threat. Their emplacements and
command/observation posts remain although stripped out of fittings
These Anti-Aircraft Battery sites represent obsolete
technology. AA defence now days tends to be predominantly SAM's
(Surface to Air Missiles) with guns being used for some close- in
defence roles. They when combined with the other remaining works
such as our coastal defences are a valuable resource that could
be used as an educational resource for looking at an aspect of our
nations heritage which unfortunately many people tend to overlook.
© copyright Darcy Waters 1999-2003