ROYAL NEW ZEALAND INFANTRY REGIMENT

BELT COLOURS - rifle green with two thin red stripes (similar to belt used by the Durham Light Infantry)

OTHER INFORMATION

Personnel of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, with the exception of those serving in Territorial Force battalion groups, wear the regimental belt of the Durham Light Infantry.

In May 1966 when the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment deployed to Borneo on its second operational tour, this time to Sarawak, it relieved the 1st Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry. At the time, it was noted that the colours of the Durhamsí regimental belt were the same as those of the New Zealand battalion.

The commanding officer of the Durhams offered the Regimentís regimental belt to the New Zealand commanding officer and was happy for the 1st Battalion, Royal NewZealand Infantry Regiment to adopt it. The commanding officer, adjutant, and regimental sergeant major of the New Zealand unit were the first to wear the belt.

It is interesting to note that the Durhams had been allied to the Canterbury Regiment for more than 50 years and that the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regimentís second in command was aware of this, having originally enlisted in the Canterbury Regiment. Later as Brigadier Lin Smith, MBE he introduced the belt in New Zealand for wear by the 1st battalion and, in 1970, the unit ordered 1000 belts to be worn by all ranks.This led to the beltís adoption as a Corps belt for the Regular Force members of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

With thanks to George Pearson

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