1 February 2017
The New Zealand Army will fire a 21-gun salute at midday on Monday, 6 February, at Point Jerningham, Wellington, to mark the 65th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II.
Firing such salutes developed from the naval tradition of visiting warships firing their cannons until all ammunition aboard was spent, demonstrating they were disarmed and had no hostile intent. Today all salutes are fired with blank cartridges – be it artillery, ship’s guns, or small arms.
The only permanent saluting battery in New Zealand is at Point Jerningham. It comprises four modified 25-pounder guns and is manned by soldiers of the 16th Field Regiment Royal New Zealand Artillery.
The battery is used for five planned salutes each year, marking occasions related to the Royal Family. It has also fired salutes in support of state welcomes (usually conducted at Government House), official welcomes and ceremonies conducted at Parliament Buildings and salutes to visiting warships.
The battery is situated in a natural amphitheatre and members of the public are welcome to witness the salutes.
At the same time as the Point Jerningham salute for the Queen, HMNZS Canterbury will fire a 21-gun salute at Waitangi to observe the 177th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.