New Zealand Police Pipe Band

Contact Person: Kerryn Johnstone-Peipi
Position/title: Secretary
Phone: (+64) 21 401 037
Website: NZ Police Pipe Band
Month of AGM: November
Band Practices: Royal New Zealand Police College, Thursdays, 7:30pm
Piping Enquiries: Pipe Major Nick Eagle (+64) 21 376 284
Drumming Enquiries: Drum Sgt Olav Goud
Parades Enquiries: Kerryn Johnstone-Peipi (contact details above)
Tartan: MacLeod Society Centenary Tartan

The New Zealand Police Pipe Band was in 1936 as the Wellington Police Pipe Band thanks to the efforts of Detective Sergeant Neill McPhee.

From a band with no uniform (members used their family kilts) that played at the annual police picnic to the giddy heights of Glasgow Green and the cauldron of grade one at the World Championships the band has grown to be not only an integral part of the modern day police service but a respected and leading band on the world stage.

The band began competing at national championships in the early 1970’s moving up a grade each year from grade four to making grade one in 1975.

It’s first exposure to the international pipe band scene was in 1980 when the band performed in the Melbourne Military tattoo. In 1987 the band competed in the inaugural Australasian Pipe Band Championships in Sydney where it swept all grade one events on the way to its first grade one title.

1992 saw the band win its first New Zealand grade one title in Napier and since the 1990’s the band has gone on to win another seven national titles cementing itself in the top two or three bands from this country.

In New Zealand the band undertakes a wide range of public and police performances across the country from community and charity events, to public street parades, police graduations and commemorations and open-air concerts. The band’s membership also undertakes coaching and mentoring activities with a number of bands and solo musicians throughout New Zealand.

The has subsequently been a regular competitor at the world championships where it has established itself as a solid member of the grade one ‘fraternity’.

The band regularly attracts a range of international musicians wishing to join the band for a season of competition. Pipers and drummers from Scotland, Ireland, England, the USA, Canada, Asia, South Africa and Australia have not only enjoyed the camaraderie and bonds within the Police Pipe Band but have also provided valuable expertise and mentoring to assist with developing and raising the standards of the band’s kiwi members.

The band is a mixture of police sworn officers, non-sworn officers and volunteers and is based at the Royal New Zealand Police College.

The band wears the McLeod Centenary tartan in honour of the first New Zealand Police officer killed on duty, Constable Neil McLeod was shot and killed in 1890 and the band wears this tartan to honour all fallen officers from the New Zealand Police.

On its uniform the band wears not only the New Zealand Police Insignia but also the New Zealand Coat of Arms and the band’s Drum Major carries a mace carved with a mix of Gaelic and Māori traditional patterns intertwined to show the close historical links between the two cultures.