Description: Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) hat badge.

Maker’s Name: N/A

Condition: Very Good +

Comments: Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) hat badge. Complete with two lugs.

The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment is the main combat unit in the regular New Zealand Army.

The regiment was formed on 9 January 1947 as the New Zealand Regiment with a single infantry battalion as part of the newly created infantry corps. By 1 August 1947 the regiment was augmented by the reorganisation of the Jayforce (the New Zealand occupation force in Japan):

1st Battalion – redesignation of original regiment
2nd Battalion – redesignation of 22nd Battalion, NZEF
3rd Battalion – redesignation of 27th Battalion, NZEF

The 2nd and 3rd Battalions were disbanded in 1948 following their return to New Zealand. The honours and traditions of the 22nd Battalion, NZEF were then perpetuated through the Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) Regiment, the Hawke’s Bay Regiment and the Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment.

The 2nd Battalion was raised again in 1959 and saw service in Malaya before converting to a depot for the 1st Battalion in 1963. The regiment received its present name on 1 April 1964, when all of the Territorial Force battalions were absorbed into its structure, receiving battalion numbers:

1st Battalion – Regulars
2nd Battalion – Canterbury, and Nelson-Marlborough and West Coast Regiment
3rd Battalion – Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly’s Own) and Northland Regiment
4th Battalion – Otago and Southland Regiment
5th Battalion – Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment
6th Battalion – Hauraki Regiment
7th Battalion – Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Regiment

In 1973, the regiment gained an additional regular battalion, when the Regimental Depot was redesignated as 2/1st Battalion, RNZIR. This structure was in place until 1999, when the TF regiments resumed their separate identities following the re-organisation of the army structure. Today, the RNZIR has two regular battalions.

Reference: Ref Oldham 9/1