NZ Artillery before World War 1
The Defence Act of 1886 severed the Armed Constabulary from the New Zealand Constabulary and created both the NZ Police and the NZ Permanent Militia (NZPM). The NZPM was made up of
In 1888 the NZPM was reduced in size by a cash-strapped Government and reorganised into a Garrison Artillery and a Torpedo Corps.
In 1897 another reorganisation saw the demise of the New Zealand Permanent Militia and the creation of the New Zealand Permanent Force which was divided into two companies:
During the South African War (1899 - 1902), the NZ Permanent Force was stretched to cover both its normal peacetime commitments and its training of the 10 Contingents of Mounted Riflemen who left NZ. Initially, no Permanent Force NCO's and Men were actually seconded overseas but several Officers were seconded to Royal Artillery units for experience. The few rank and file who got away went as Mounted Riflemen. One battery, leaving with the Second Contingent, was equipped with Hotchkiss machine guns supplied by the Elswick Ordnance Co. but the equipment was too heavy for the horses. The other New Zealand battery to serve in South Africa was a field battery trained and equipped by the RA in South Africa and manned by Mounted Riflemen 'converted' to Gunners for the purpose.
In 1902 King Edward VII granted the title 'Royal' to both companies of the New Zealand Permanent Force. No 1 Company, which took precedence, was designated 'Royal New Zealand Artillery', while No 2 Company became 'Royal New Zealand Engineers'. The RNZE eventually developed into a coast artillery electric light (searchlight) section, and in 1907 was absorbed into the RNZA, leaving:
This organisation lasted until 1926, when distinctions between sections were abolished and RNZA 'detachments' at the various stations became 'cadres.'
In 1909 the Government greatly increased the size of the military by introducing conscription. The artillery was again reorganised to become
and a further reorganisation in 1911 saw the country divided into four military districts. The NZA became