History of the RNZPBA

In 1896 the first pipe band, the Caledonian Pipe Band of Southland, was formed in New Zealand. The origins of that band still exist today now known as the ILT City of Invercargill Highland Pipe Band.
In 1928 the Highland Pipe Bands’ Association of New Zealand was formed which comprised of a President, North and South Island Vice Presidents, a Secretary/Treasurer and 8 Board members representing 8 newly formed Centres. The governing body, which was known as the National Executive, therefore comprised of 12 people.
In 1982 the Highland Pipe Bands’ Association of New Zealand became the Royal New Zealand Pipe Bands’ Association and in 1985 became an incorporated society.
The association continued in the original form until 1993 when a review took place to streamline the organisation. One of the aims was a more agile entity.
A new organisational structure was recommended being a Management Board of just 3 people: a President and two Management Board members. The role of President would be contestable each year. The appointment of the two Management Board members would be on a two year term contestable rotation basis.

5 new Group Leaders roles, reporting to the Management Board, were proposed being: Finance and Administration, Promotions, Contests, Publications and Communications and Education.

The new operational model would be assisted by the appointment of an Executive Officer.

The recommended Purpose and Goals of the Association was to promote pipe bands and pipe band membership throughout New Zealand. To achieve that purpose, it was proposed the Association would:

  1. Promote membership of pipe bands and their contribution to New Zealand and its local communities.
  2. Provide education in all aspects of pipe band work to people at every level of experience and ability. Communicate and publish both within and beyond the pipe band community.
  3. Establish and administer the rules under which the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships will be conducted.
  4. Provide a cost effective, financial and administrative base for the achievement of that purpose.
  5. Do all other things which it considers will assist in achieving that purpose.
  6. In the new structure the Management Board provide governance and leadership but the voting rights for any changes to the rules of the Association, or Contests, resides with the member bands via a remit process which bands vote on.

The new structure was voted in by members in 1993 and that model continues today.

In 2018 a sixth Group Leader role was introduced for Centres.

In 2021 the Publications and Communication Group name was changed to Digital Group.