In August 2008 an approach was made to the Museum by the staff of MOTAT in Auckland inquiring if we wished to take back the 4-inch gun mount that was at present at the main entrance to MOTAT.
In August 2008 an approach was made to the Museum by the staff of MOTAT in Auckland inquiring if we wished to take back the 4-inch gun mount that was at present at the main entrance to MOTAT. It had been decided to redevelop this area and the mount was no longer required. As standard museum practice the item was being offered back to the donor.
After some hasty research it was found that this gun mount was ex HMNZS Kaniere and when removed from the ship had been installed at Whangaparaoa range. No doubt some of our readers would have trained on this particular mounting. In the seventies this mounting was no longer used and was donated to the fledgling MOTAT. This mounting is the last example that was fired in anger by New Zealand naval forces and was considered an important artefact.
It was decided to accept the offer by MOTAT and the navy museum would incorporate it as part of its collection. Further research revealed that the complete mount weighed in the region of fifteen tonnes. This could not be established accurately as no manual for the actual mark of gun could be found at either the museum or at Kauri Point armament depot. A safe working figure of twenty tonnes was established. After onsite consultation with the experts from Kauri Point it was decided that the mount could be lifted as a single unit by welding four seven tonne test lifting rings to plates that were bolted to the base. Temporary welds were also made to prevent the base from rotating while the mount was being lifted. This work was ably carried out by the Ship Repair Unit.
The day of the move arrived and the eighty tonne crane supplied by NZ Crane hire arrived on site made short work of the lift and safely placed the mount on HIAB Transports low loader. During the lift it was established that the mounting actually weighed ten tonnes, this enabled a smaller crane to be used at the naval base. The truck with pilot would have made an interesting spectacle for the motorists on the motorway and would have discouraged tailgating with the muzzle pointing aft. Things at the Naval Base North Yard were all set up when the mounting arrived and the off loading went smoothly and quickly. The mounting is now located at the Navy Museum.