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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]


The military forces of New Zealand consist of a Permanent Defence Force, the Volunteer organisation, and the adult manhood of the colony, who, in case of need, would be called upon to enrol in the New Zealand Militia. His Excellency the Right Honourable William Lee, Baron Plunket, K.C.M.G., K.C.V.O., is Governor and Commander-in-Chief, and Colonel James Melville Babington, H.M. General Staff, who holds the rank of Major-General, is Commandant of the New Zealand Defence Forces. Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. Albert Pitt is Minister of Defence.

The Wellington Military District embraces the provinces of Wellington, Taranaki, and Hawke's Bay, and also includes the town and surrounding country of Gisborne. The District Staff headquarters are in Wellington city, and the chief staff officers are Colonel William Holden Webb, New Zealand Militia (late 109th Foot), Officer Commanding the district, and Major Lewis John Joyce, New Zealand Militia, Adjutant. The forces of the district comprise one corps of field artillery, two companies of garrison artillery, two companies of engineers, four battalions of mounted rifles, five battalions of rifle volunteers, one bearer corps, and two battalions of defence cadets. In Wellington there is a garrison band, and there are battalion bands at Wanganui, Napier, New Plymouth, and Woodville. In addition there are fifty-three rifle clubs in the district.