Vanishing Defence Heritage.
Darcy Waters 1999-2010
1 Structures /Pre 1910 Works
2 Structures /Post 1910 Works
purpose of this document is to ascertain as to what extent
military structures have been removed. This list has
from various sources. These sites listed have been
visited when there
has been any possibility of any thing remaining. With
these visits if any
thing remained then it was photographed as part of a project
of mine to
photograph military remains in the Wellington region.
list contains structures that I know have existed at some
time in the Wellington region since about the 1870's (excluding
stockades and Maori Pa's).
It is not complete due to the fact that some of the material
military works are unavailable at present for various reasons.
Also I have not yet checked out locations of Pill Boxes and
(for US Forces).
list will be revised as more information comes to hand.
Also available is a list of military remains in Wellington.
entries are divided into two groups - Group 1 covers
structures before about 1910 covering the period of
"Russophobia". Group 2 includes structures
built from about 1910 to
the present day. This includes structures built for
both our military
forces and the US forces ad well as some EPS associated structures.
bulk of the structures that have disappeared are not
surprising enough those from last century but those built
War 2. This is partly due to the fact that the sites
reminded people of
the war and hence loved ones they had lost during the war.
the end of the war until as recent as the 1980's numerous
have been removed for safety reasons - especially those on
Group 1 structures are built before about 1910 .
The first emplacements were built to defend the inner harbour
both Weapons technology and strategic thinking changed our
defences crept further away from the inner harbour.
- Fort Kelburn
Built 1884-7, Demolished Sept. 1963.
It was armed with Armstrong 6" disappearing breach
guns. Built out of bricks/masonry and iron
It was photographed and surveyed by the PWD prior
its demolition for motorway works.
- Military Camp
Mahanga Bay by the bottom of the road to
Fort Ballance. It consisted of a number of wood and
corrugated iron buildings and Bell tents.
'L' shaped with a small crane at the elbow, It
off a level clay filling that projected out with
- Low Battery
Built @1893 (not sure what type of armament)
Demolished probably after World War 2. Its magazine
- set in the hill
as at late 1998 still existed although there
have been attempts to seal it up.
- Ordnance Workshop
Before 1880 a corrugated Ordnance workshop
built. Most likely removed along
with the 1916 built
Ordnance Yard and its later additions
either when they
were shifted to Trentham.
- Original Drill Shed.
Erected 1880 at the then Constabulary Barracks
Still in use 1907 when construction started
on a new
Drill Hall. Removed when?
1871 work started on a Prison (never had permanent
inmates) which was never completed to originally
planned extent out of bricks made by prisoners
Terrace Goal. It was 3 stories high
at the rear plus
basement. The front part became Defence
the Boer War and became entirely occupied
in 1901. It was demolished in 1927 to make
way for the
new Dominion Museum and Art Gallery.
- Powder Magazine
Built 1847 and used until the early 1880's
the Kaiwarra Magazine in Ngaio Gorge was
It was still used in the 1920's for artillery
was most likely demolished for the new
Museum and Art Gallery.
- Defence HQ
Built 1901 for the New Zealand Railways
Three story brick building on the corner
of Bowen St.
and Featherston St. When the Railway
completed in 1938 NZR moved out and the
Defence Dept. moved in.
Demolished early 1980's
to top of page
Group 2 Structures
structures that are listed as Group 2 have all been built
since about 1910. Only a limited amount
of structures were built in
Wellington between about 1910 and the outbreak
of World War 2.
These include the growth of Fort Dorset
and the Trentham
Army Camp and their associated structures.
Also there was some work
done on Mount Cook partly due to the construction
of the Dominion
Museum and Art Gallery. Also there
was construction of a Battery and
associated works at Palmer Heads (which
was along with other existing
sites expanded or modified during World
During World War 2 a massive building program took place
which saw Gun emplacements, Pill boxes,
Observation posts and such
like appear all over the place.
In Wellington many of these structures
have been demolished
for safety reasons. Wellington City Council
was even as late as the
1980's all for the removal of military remains
but now wants to see
some of them preserved.
- Drill hall, Pattie St
Brought by the Army in 1927.
Final Parade held Sunday October 15 2000.
- Anti-Aircraft Battery
Built 1942. 2 emplacements fully
third partly completed while only the foundations
laid for the forth.
Most likely demolished when the land was
- Fortress Camps (2)
December 1941 2 canvas camps were established
in Johnsonville -
1 for the 13th Field Ambulance on
the old Johnsonville
School and 1 for a Battalion strength unit
Recreation ground. April-October
1942 saw numerous
buildings and huts erected for the Battalion
camp while in July 1942 the 13th Field
was also upgraded. Also a water main
was laid from
Khandallah. Later on the camp was
used for a short
time by US forces.
Some huts and a store were taken to the
the Nairn St. Park and the rest removed.
- Fortress Camp
Built 1942 on Nairnville Park.
It was a Phase 1 camp (consisting of cooking,
laundry, ablutions and mess-rooms built
of wood while
prefab. huts or tents used for sleeping
provided to cover bare minimum requirements).
removed after the war.
Nairnville Park, Built 1942 a phase 1 camp
and a existing Gymnasium converted (possibly
community recreation centre. Portable
huts used for
sleeping. Removed and the Park reinstated
Built 1942 on the Kaiwarra Park. It was
a Phase 1 camp. With a
recreation hall added shortly after. It
by the US Marines until 1944. Personnel
then transferred from the camp at Haitaitai
accommodated NZ Army Territorial Force
March 1945 a Army signals unit was shifted
Nairnville Park and WAAC's were also accommodated.
- Anti-Aircraft Gun
Located above and behind Fort Buckley probably
cover Kaiwarra/ lower Ngaio Gorge (and
the fuel tanks
in them). Removed when no longer
needed. Most likely
of small calibre.
- Anti-Aircraft Battery
Built 1942 on Tinakori Hill. The
3.7" Battery consisting of 4 gun
emplacements, Command post and quarters
personnel. The camp was removed after
the war while
the emplacements and Command post were
in 1969 in the interest of public safety.
- Construction Camp; Battery camp
Built 1942 at the then south end of Campbell
accommodate construction crews for the
being built atop Wrights Hill. Later
accommodate battery personnel. Removed
Work started June 1942 on a camp At Anderson
Occupied from June 1942 until January 1944
by the US
Navy. January 1944 some structures
were shifted from
the camp at Central Park including huts.
From then until
April 1946 the RNZAF used the camp as a
demobilisation depot. During April
and May 1946 many
structures were shifted to the Transit
Camp in Miramar
At Central Park work started Oct./Nov.
1942 on a camp
to house US Marines. It was occupied
The camp consisted of 25 buildings and
with additions and alterations and was
fully complete by
About January 1944 some structures were
Anderson Park and the rest removed with
park being reinstated.
At Nairn St. Park. Initially a canvas
camp it was
upgraded to a using huts camp in September
July 1942 it was extended to accommodate
Later on a store and some huts were brought
- Emergency Wing - Wellington
A 100 bed,
two story wooden building was built for
military use during WW2It was opened in
It was demolished to make way for new buildings
- Area 5 HQ
Winter Show Grounds. In December
1941 a base camp
was set up which supplied other NZ camps
Wellington as well as providing boot repairs
workshops. Initially guards for the
area were housed
here for some months until they were relocated.
accommodated was a signal company and a
company. This resulted in a considerable
facilities including numerous buildings
as well as a
Phase 1 camp on the flat areas of the grounds.
In July 1942 approval was given to accommodate
whole of Area 5 personnel complete with
buildings plus the erection of a canteen
and a YMCA.
It was removed after the war and the buildings
top of page.
- School of Artillery
The Karitane Hospital was taken over and
and additions authorised in April 1942.
consisted of 2 lecture rooms, ablutions
and 4 15ft x 8ft
portable huts. Also added was 16 more portable
In July 1942 Melrose park was taken over
and had a gun
park, store, accommodation for a guard
unit and a
lecture room (added later that year.)
The school was shifted July-December 1943
Plimmerton and the park and hospital being
- Camp, Hataitai Park
From 1941 until March 1942 the 1st Wellington
Regiment was occupying Wellington College.
March 1942 they moved to a camp on Hataitai
Latrine blocks, shower and ablution blocks,
cooking facilities were built. Sleeping
huts were also
included. Later on mess halls,cook houses
facilities were added.
September 1943 Army vacated and part of
was used to accommodate defence workers.
Demolished September 1944.
- Anti-Aircraft Battery.
At the outbreak of WW2
2 semi mobile guns were put on
Mt. Victoria with a tented
camp. The camp was later
replaced with a phase 1 camp.
The 3.7" Heavy AA
battery construction work (the
plans were received for it in
March 1942) was advanced enough
so that in June 1942 the
guns were installed and the
camp expanded to accommodate
a total of 176 personnel.
Demolished about May 1970.
- Houses -No.'s 213 and 215
Sold by defence Dept mid 1996.
Removed between 18th August
and 3rd September 2001
Prefab Buildings 217 Taranaki St
Ex Defence Dept, (located behind
213 and 215 Taranaki St)
Last used by a education group
Removed Between 18th August
and 5th September 2001
- Prefab buildings, Dominion Museum grounds
Erected during the war as part of the Combined
HQ that was occupying the Dominion Museum
Removed when no longer needed.
- Buildings E side existing DoD reserve
On the site of the current workshops there
existed a 'L'
shaped block. Built when ?.
Demolished about 1969/1970.
- Drill Hall
The Foundation stone was laid on the 1st
of June 1907
for a Army Drill Hall immediately west
of the old drill shed.
Under the drill hall was 3 x 25 yard long
ranges. From about 1930 there was a armoury
ground floor Buckle/Taranaki St. corner
It was demolished in the 1980's.
Probably other buildings removed in this
Built when? for what? Gone when?
- US Navy Barracks
Boat Harbour - Oriental Parade.
Erected 1942 the work included single
above existing boat sheds (which they used).
story buildings. These provided a sick
accommodation and working/repair facilities.
tanks and fuelling points were added.
After the US Forces left the buildings
were used as a
hostel for accommodating Junior Officers
of the Public
- Anti Submarine Mining Base and
Mine Sweeping Base
Established at Clyde Quay.
The first work done was a fuel tank and
pump for the
Naval Auxiliary Patrol Service. (They moored
western end of the boat harbour.).
On Harbour Board
land a store and battery building was authorised
January/February 1942 followed by a W/T
1942 a building was authorised for a HQ,
Quarters etc. for the Naval Auxiliary Patrol
At the end of 1942 temporary facilities
were erected for
the servicing of Fairmile and Harbour Defence
Also a Phase 1 camp was established at
the end of
- Defence Dept.
Built about World War 2.
2 story prefabricated building on the corner
of Bunny St.
and Featherston St. Its front doors
opposite the front doors to the railway
station across the
Demolished about August 1994.
- Base records
Was housed in a building at 220 Thorndon Quay.
Front door Had "Army Dept Base Records" on it
Building converted to apartments and retain during
-  WW2 Barracks building with four wings ("
H " shaped)
- Defence Housing located in the barracks
area of Fort Ballence.
- Defence house used by caretaker just below Fort Ballance removed
- Fire directors tower demolished 18th
- Emplacements, Bunkers, Pill Boxes and
similar on the
foreshore and near the road were demolished
Dorset and Associated -
(see also Fort
Dorset site profile)
- Emplacements, Point Dorset
2 x 6" gun Battery. Construction
demolished early 1960's
Steeples Rock Battery (2 gun 12pdr)
- Camp area, Fort Dorset
(see also Fort
Dorset site profile)
- Hobby hut/Squash courts - demolished Early
- Officers Mess and Kereru, Tiwaiwaka (officers
demolished Aug./Sept. 1999
- 22(D)Battery HQ, Q Store and Gun Bays.
- All camp buildings south of the parade ground.
- Remaining Camp buildings demolished September-December
- Coastal Battery
3 x 6" Counter Bombardment Battery.
Emplacements, camp and searchlight battery
demolished between somewhere during the
Some of the underground works remain intact.
- Air Raid Shelters
Built or made under the Emergency Precautions
(EPS) on public and private land of several types.
included Surface shelter, Timber trench, Slit
tunnels, Internal-buildings and even converted
- Pill Boxes & Road blocks/Check points and Field Defence
Built all over the place. Removed from
near the end
of the war up to as late as the 1980's.
WELLINGTONS DISAPPEARING MILITARY STRUCTURES
Vanishing Defence Heritage
Darcy Waters 1999-2010