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Review 2021 – Looking into 2022

On the 7th of November, the Board and Management team had our annual Planning Day in Christchurch.  We were fortunate to have no hiccups in attendance as a result of covid, and it was awesome to see everyone in the flesh after a year of virtual meetings!

Our Team

Iain Blakeley – President
Allister Macgregor – Board Member
Stu McHale – Board Member
Penny Wilson – Executive Officer
Mark Wilson – Contests
Chris Stevens – Digital
Scott Mitchell – Finance
Mike Sander – Education
Bryce Gilchrist – Centres

Pivots and Pirouettes

Our unofficial theme for the day was to be ‘Pivots and Pirouettes’ – in a year where we have had to adapt and innovate – the theme was apt. With Covid continuing to toy with our plans, we knew the year ahead was going to be a challenging one, so wanted to set the scene and focus on what can/should be done differently. How to we help our member bands upskill in governance, leadership, tuition and recruitment.

We are keen to push our presence and support up a gear, you have now seen our new look and feel with the rebrand, and this took up a good chunk of our planning day, where we talked about what it actually means to rebrand – that it’s more than just colours and logos.  Rob du Toit’s article articulates this nicely. The Board recognises that while we respect our history, we need a significant pivot (and pirouette) if we are to capture the minds and hearts of our youth.

Our future Virtuosos and Leaders

The last 20 years or so has seen a massive lift in alternative activity options for New Zealand’s Youth. Pipe Banding has had to wedge itself in there alongside winter sports, summer sports, regattas, CrossFit, Netflix, Facebook, tiktok, taiko drumming, mountain biking, parkour, the list goes on! Where does this leave time to craft the art we are so proud of? We cannot sit back and see if youth stop to see our stall at the market, we have to drive our message through all the media platforms we can.  We can’t promote ‘stale and bland’, we have to promote ‘fun, engaging, friendship and growth’.

The Board and Management Team recognise that bands don’t have the resources, time and expertise to facilitate the attraction and onboarding of new members, so we want to help as much as we can, to get the tools out there for bands to make use of.   We will help, through the use of promotional videos, target marketing and a website that takes interested parties on a journey right to your band hall.

We also want to start building a suite of learning media for our learners to engage with in between practices, in a method that is bite sized and engaging.  We also need to equip our up-and-coming leaders with the skills they need to manage and lead a band.

In Closing

On behalf of the Board, we really want to thank all our management team, who work hard to engage with the association bands – we often forget that this is a voluntary organisation – though you would think so given the hours our management team put in – so thank you!

Finally to close off, we want to thank our Publications Lead, Libby O’Brien, who has elected to step down from the management team to pursue a plethora of ‘alternative activities’!  Libby has put a lot of work into the RNZPBA publications, so leaves behind big (but fashionable) shoes to fill.  That said, Libby is still our resident news anchor for live streams, so will 100% still be on the scene.  Thanks from all of us Libs.

Feel free to fire through any questions you have for us as we traverse a world of pivots and pirouettes.