100-Gun Salute Marks WW100

29 July 2014

A 100-gun Salute fired from the waterfront, in front of Te Papa, at about 9.20am will be part of an official ceremony (at Parliament Grounds) to mark the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand.

Gun salute.

A 100-gun salute on the waterfront will mark WW1

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On 5 August 1914, Britain’s proclamation of war was read out to an excited Wellington audience of 15,000 in the grounds of the New Zealand Parliament. In response, Kiwi men rushed to sign up to fight for King and country, eager to cross the globe to reach the battlefields before the ‘short war’ ended. 

Starting at 9am, Monday’s ceremony at Parliament will be hosted by David Carter, Speaker of the House, with remarks by Prime Minister John Key and Opposition Leader David Cunliffe. New Zealand Defence Force personnel will be there, dressed in First World War replica uniforms, with the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band. 

The programme will include the Last Post and national anthems, and flags will be lowered to half-mast. At the end of the ceremony, invited guests will place white crosses, from the Fields of Remembrance Trust, on the Parliamentary lawn. The 100- Gun Salute will not only be extremely loud, it will also make history. 

The 16th Field Regiment of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery will fire the guns and this will be the first time a salute of this size has been held in New Zealand in over 100 years. A 101-Gun Salute was fired in 1911 to mark the coronation of King George V. 

Both the ceremony at Parliament and the 100-Gun Salute will also be webcast on youtube.com/WW100nz 

WW100 is New Zealand’s programme for the First World War centenary, 2014—2019 – a mix of government projects, national and international commemorations and community events and activities. For more information, visit WW100.govt.nz

It’ll be loud – so look after your pets.

The gun salute will be fired at about 9.20am on Monday 4 August and take less than nine minutes. 

Ten 105mm Howitzer guns will be on the waterfront side of Te Papa from 7am. Defence Force personnel will be there to answer any questions, and hand out ear protection and information about the event. 

Public access to this part of the waterfront will be restricted between 6.30–9.30am and there will be no access while the guns are firing. People can watch from in front of the Wharewaka and the Rowing Club, outside the 25m exclusion zone.
Blank (not live) ammunition will be used. While it’s highly unlikely that reverberation from the guns will cause any damage to property, the noise may startle pets. We recommend you keep pets inside with windows closed and avoid walking dogs near the guns in the morning. 

If you have any queries or concerns about the gun salute, please phone the NZ Defence Force on 021 1883 777.