Rotorua to host prestigious pipe band champs

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City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band.  Photo/Stephen Parker
City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band. Photo/Stephen Parker

Rotorua will hold the prestigious New Zealand Pipe Band Championships in 2018.

The two day event starting on March 8 will be held at the Rotorua International Stadium and will see about 60 New Zealand pipe bands participating.

Organisers hope bands from Australia will also enter.

Organising committee chairman Kevin Nally, who submitted the proposal on behalf of the City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band, said the event will attract a large amount of visitors.

"The average size of a pipe band is about 30 musicians so depending on the number of bands that enter there could be 2000 competitors."

"All the bands will have a number of supporters and people will travel from all over New Zealand to attend the event. With the number of members of the public that we expect will turn up there could well be 5000 to 8000 people attending the events," he said.

The City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band's proposal was presented at the Royal New Zealand Pipe Band Association's annual meeting in Palmerston North in March and was met with a unanimous approval for Rotorua as host in 2018.

The association has a commitment to alternate the venues between the North and South Islands. However there is discussion around securing Rotorua beyond 2018 as the North Island venue.

Mr Nally credited the work of Rotorua Lakes Council staff in winning the bid.

"We were able to produce an impressive package to the meeting put together for us by Events staff from Rotorua Lakes Council."

Mr Nally said the competition will be an event that holds something for everybody "combining highly skilled musicians, colour, military drill and spectacular entertainment especially the street march event involving all competing bands to be held in the CBD on the Saturday morning.

Sport and recreation portfolio lead Charles Sturt said Rotorua was delighted to hold the event and it fits in well with the Sport and Recreation strategy.

"Rotorua has a strong reputation with the pipe band fraternity - we had the New Zealand brass champs here in 2015 and the pipes and drums of Rotorua have a very proud tradition," he said.

Closer to the time Mr Nally and the City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band will be calling on volunteers to help at the event.

"One of the secrets of running this event successfully is the availability of volunteers to assist."

To find out more you can visit the Royal New Zealand Pipe Band Association's website or contact Nally directly at

You will be able to see the City of Rotorua Highland Pipe Band in action this Monday in the ANZAC parade that will march from Lakefront Drive to the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre at 9am.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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