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Welcome to Newsletter No.1 from the organising committee of the 2023 NZ & South Pacific Pipe Band contest to be held in Christchurch, NZ.

If your band in intending to compete at the contest, please take a few minutes to complete the Registration of Interest

This will be a two-day contest, held on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March, 2023

The contest will be held in the North Hagley Park Special Events area, which is just three blocks from the centre of the city, and adjacent to the Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum, The Arts Centre and Christchurch Art Gallery. Access to the area is via the Armagh Street bridge, corner of Armagh Street and Rolleston Ave.

Christchurch City Council is right behind the event, and is working with the organising committee in a very positive and proactive manner. Christchurch hasn’t seen a major pipe band contest since before the 2010 Canterbury earthquakes, but is now rebuilt, willing and able. The Christchurch City Council Events Team are excited by the prospect of a significant event in the city centre.

We have also partnered with the Hororata Community Trust who run the annual Hororata Highland Games. They’ll be assisting us with experience and expertise, and we’re discussing a mini–Highland Games and “have a go” area.
We’ll be announcing other partnerships in the near future.

The RNZPBA Contest Group will run the contest itself, and determine the final schedule of events, but needless to say, the organisers are working closely with the Contest Group to maximise the potential

We’ll have a selection of quality merchant stalls, as well as a host of food and beverage vendors, kids zone, plus a Highland Dance competition, Highland Games exhibitions and more.

Make sure you book your accommodation promptly. Hotels and motels are plentiful in and around the CBD and nearby suburbs, but demand will be high.

Transport for bands
If your band requires a bus, contact details include:
GoBus Transport, 03 335 0357
O’Neill Rentals, 0800 110 110,
Leopard Coachlines, 03 373 8100,
Johnston’s Coachlines, 03 358 5941/0800 66 2266,
Pacific Tourways, 03 359 9133,
Bentley Transport, 03 595 2168,
Ritchies Red Bus, (Greg Jowers)
Clarks Coachline, 03 349 4828
Torlesse Travel, 03 313 3543
Please be aware there is no bus parking at the venue, so keep this in mind when making your arrangements. We are working on some options – more info to follow as and when these develop.

Band tents
Because buses and coaches won’t be readily accessible when you’re at the contest venue, we recommend booking a tent site (details to follow). If you need to hire a tent, we have vendors able to help:
Event Hire 027 627 7833
Party Warehouse 0800 727 899
Hyde Park Hire 03 365 3339
Happy Hire 0800 30 9090
Johnson & Couzins 03 338 0301

Onsite facilities and other information
The venue will include food and drink vendors (including in the tent city area), toilets, a licensed hospitality facility, portable grandstands and limited other seating.

Planning for the Street March course has yet to be finalised, but we’re currently working on options in the general vicinity of the main grounds, minimising the need for transport. Initial programming will see the event run on Friday afternoon, but this is subject to confirmation.

Within the next month we will send a form to bands to register their interest in attending the contest. Information we’re looking to gather includes tent site booking, details of your accommodation including number of beds booked, if a band host is required etc.

If you have any queries at this early stage, please direct them to the secretary, Clare Fraser
– 2023 Contest Committee.