Published: March 31, 2007

New Zealand Police cop National Championship

Dunedin, New Zealand – March 10, 2007 – The New Zealand Police Pipe Band won the New Zealand Pipe Band Championship under sunny skies against a field of four other Grade 1 bands. Still reeling from the sudden death of the band’s bass drummer, Jock MacKenzie, Manawatu Scottish decided not to take part in the contest.

New Zealand Police won the March, Strathspey & Reel event and finished second in the Medley competition, while Dalewool Aukland & District won the Medley and was second in the MSR. The New Zealand system uses total points tallied from judges’ marks, and New Zealand Police took straight firsts in piping.

Grade 1
1st New Zealand Police
2nd Dalewool Auckland & Districts
3rd Canterbury Caledonian Society
4th Hamilton Caledonian Society
5th City of Wellington

New Zealand Police on its way to winning the New Zealand Pipe Band Championship, in Dunedin, New Zealand, March 10, 2007. Click to supersize!
The City of Dunedin Pipe Band won the Grade 2 event.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Curiously, I was quizzed as to my presence on this discussion, for as an on-looker and listener at the competition, I was a bystander by nature – not by name. Although I may agree with some of Bystander”‘s observations in respect of the Grade 1 band performances

  2. As noted, it was fantastic weather for both days in Dunedin. I think NZ Police were the hot favourites to win even if Manawatu had competed, and they didn’t disappoint on the day. Their MSR was classy and had a ripper medley. They had played consistently well over the NZ season beating Manawatu at Turakina and won all the drumming titles except for Dunedin. What a shame guys you weren’t able to match it in Dunedin. Definately the band to watch for from this neck of the woods.

  3. Fantastic weekend and would have to add that the most popular win for the weekend was for Dalewool Auckland & Districts clean sweep of Grade 1 drumming (including the Tom Weir memorial Gold Medal for the first year presented to Glenn Miller as Drum seargent). They too have won all contests in their area for the season – was a treat to hear them play on their recently purchased SLOT world champion drums – Kiwis’ haven’t heard anything like it over here! MP3’s will be available on http://www.pbforum.co.nz

  4. Yes, it was a brilliant day. The highlight for me was seeing and hearing Auckland and District’s drum corps win the NZ Championship with a clean sweep through all events on a set of the most beautiful HTS 700’s I’ve heard in this part of the world. Great dynamics, excellent scores, hot drum sound and quite a young corps. Their bass section was also singing and made for a beautiful performance alongside a smaller pipe corps than other bands. Congratulations to NZ Police for the overall championship, winning by 5 points from other bands that should also be watched over the year or two. NZ pipe bands are getting better and better.

  5. Absolutely fantastic contest, wonderful weather and the best ground I can ever remember competing on, it was wonderfully manicured and looked like carpet. For me the NZ Police were quite outstanding, playing easily the biggest band we have seen in NZ with terrific ensemble. Great pipe tone from a big pipe corps (18). To me they had the international presence. The other grade 1 bands played between 9 – 12 pipers which to me just wouldnt be internationally competitive. Yes, A & D had a very nice drum sound but slightly unbalanced ensemble wise with only 10 pipers. Great contest.

  6. Awesome weekend, nice of the police supporters to pop in here. The reality I heard around the park was apart from playing a big band the Police were quick lucky to have taken the day. Guess we shall have to wait for next year !

  7. Does it matter that the other grade one bands could not have been internationally competitive? It wasn’t the Worlds, it was the New Zealand pipe band champs. Yes Kiwi Piper, without hearing all bands I believe that the Police were favourites with the Judges, but other bands were tipped to take the title from what the masses have said. And anyway, as many lasses have told me, it’s not about the size of the beast, it’s all about how you use it. ‘Nuff said.

  8. Yes, the Police had a big, impressive looking band but A&D did well to pruduce superior musical performances on a more accurately tuned instrument – with only 10 pipers. The real surprise for me were the Canterbury Cale’s who could feel a little unlucky not to be placed higher. Best I have ever heard them play by a long shot. The Police had a huge drone sound which I really liked, it was just a shame that their chanters were so quiet by comparison. The result was fuzzy technique which when coupled with very round and boring musical interpretation (especially in the MSR) left me thinking they were very lucky to be placed as highly as they were. It is a shame as they look like they could be so good. I guess they could be compared to the great big present in fancy wrapping paper that so often disappoints when you open it. The most pleasing thing about G1 in NZ is that the overall standard of the top bands is continually improving. I am sure Manawatu would have matched that improvement and won again if they could have been there.

  9. From the comments below, it seems to me that there’s a concerted effort to slag the NZ Police for their efforts and ultimate victory. I’m sure there were a lot of people in that band that worked really hard week after week to raise the standard of their playing. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but I don’t see this being the appropriate place to bear a grudge. I don’t think it’s right that their success should be muddied. It’s very unsportsmanly. Personalities and rivalry aside, five of the eight adjudicators placed the NZ Police first and their win in the MSR was convincing–there was a big margin between first and second. Whether Manawatu would have/could have been up there we’ll never know because they weren’t a part of the competition. We can express a million opinions on technique, sound, interpretation and so forth but none of it counts: the adjudicators’ decision is final.

  10. I wouldn’t call any of the opinions expressed slagging to be honest. It’s just people coming on and expressing their opinions. Kiwi Piper, you expressed your opinions and yet you do not call this slagging of other bands that were not up to the same level of the NZ Police. Others have come to this site and disagreed. It’s not slagging. The New Zealand Police band played well on the weekend, and they won. However as you say, everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is what is coming out here.

  11. I fail to see how Kiwi Piper found the NZ Police to be hot favourites prior to Dunedin. Most people were of the opinion that after Manawatu withdrew from the event the competition was left wide open. Also Manawatu beat the NZ Police convincingly at their regional champs just two weeks before the NZ champs, so NZ Police did not have such a consistent season either really. NZ Police did have an international size band (whatever that is) but were certainly not of an international standard. Their sound, as G1 Fan pointed out, was not very acurate and their playing was dull. Their medley was far from exciting and their MSR was lacking expression, much the same as what we heard at last year’s world champs where they came second to last in the qualifier! There were two other bands at Dunedin who had much better sound and played much better music but because of numbers were not given the credit for how well they played.

  12. Congrats to the NZ Police and all other bands. Perhaps disscussion could take place off the international stage that is this website? Hate to be boring and out of line but the forum is a great site. Cheers

  13. The story’s of international interest; that’s why it’s on this international site. I’m finding the discussion interesting, too, and don’t read any of it as slagging.” Long may it continue. Here.”

  14. To correct Bro Town on one small point, Manawatu beat the Police by one point in each music event at the Wellington-Hawkes Bay Centre contest. An aggregate margin of 2 points is hardly a convincing beating.

  15. From our point of view (Police), we were very pleased with the way the competition went in Dunedin, who wouldn’t after all, we did win it. Our overall view is that things could have been better on the board from all of the sections within the band but I think most bands feel that way after the event. The focus and feeling in the band is very positive at the moment and we are still just really building the band up to a standard that we feel we could be more competitive overseas in the future, more than we were on our last overseas tour, no doubt about that. The band is building to a reasonable size now with lots of young players and talent coming on board. With the additional help and assistance from very experienced international players outside NZ, the band is developing along well despite any of the negative opinions/comments that are posted on this forum. Our view is to the future, looking forward towards the next New Zealand season and the pending tour to Canada and Scotland in 2008. Great result to A&D for the medley as a band and an even better result go to Glenn and his team in the drum corp. Obviously the most consistent drumming on the day and that’s what counts at the end of the day.

  16. Nice to see a good fight out for Grade 1 this year in NZ, very sad not to have Manawatu out there playing, but good to see them on the sideline watching eagerly A summary of the bands in grade 1 from a bystanders point of view: NZ Police – winners of the day, huge numbers by NZ’s standards, nice to see a band giving Manawatu a run for their money this season. In my view, still haven’t got the sound the Manawatu have, and you could certainly hear that that the numbers – though impressive, hindered clarity – these sound issues need to be addressed if they are to be serious contenders on the world stage. Still – well done to the cops, great to see you getting back up there! A&D – have come a long way with little numbers over the last few years. 10 pipers on the day was a little disappointing, expectation is that they should be playing much tighter with little numbers. A big sound was produced though. Great to see the back end take leaps and bounds with a young section belting out a tight sound on the ex-SLOT drums – midsection really shone here. Well done, lets hope numbers improve for next year. Canterbury Cales – nice sound, good music selection, small piping numbers here also. Think they were placed right – in my opinion not quite up there with the Cops, A&D and the Tu. But think they have the goods to pull out a gooden next year if they stick to their guns. Hamilton Caledonian – 1st year in grade 1! Awesome presence on the park for the underdogs. Have made huge leaps and bounds from grade 2 – fronting 15 pipers for all events – very youthful looking band – huge future under current leadership. If the last few years are anything to go by, this band will hit it with the big boys very soon. With 2 other bands and a juvenile band, there is a good feeder system of youth to the Grade 1 band. Noted as a public favourite – with great visual presence. Watch these guys! City of Wellington – a very tough few years for these guys – great to see them out on the park putting up a good fight, a back end still a section to be reckoned with. Piping wise, again a band lacking in numbers – not surprising considering band issues. Great to see music pulled together in such a short time. I think they did them selves proud – I hope to see them back on top for next years season. All in all, a very close competition – piping in NZ continues to grow, with great musicality and innovation. The drumming scene still needs a **** of a lot of work to get up to ‘world standard’. But think things are due for a turnaround here. Well done to all bands in all grades Good luck to Manawatu! We shall drink to your successes!

  17. That’s okay I expected that kind of response, these forums are full of people that hide behind names and titles etc. I was just curious to find your background to establish how you manage to have such a high understanding of what it takes to be a serious contender at the Worlds level, that’s all. Maybe if you made yourself available to all us NZ bands, we could all learn something from such a huge wealth of knowledge. Have a think about it? Cheers Raymond

  18. Haha, nice call Raymond. Most of comment seems to be from people not involved with either A&D or NZ Police, funny that. Still I guess there no such thing as bad publicity ! I cant recall this much comment on a national champs for years.

  19. Attempting anonymity within the NZ pipe band community is an exercise in futility, but at least the illusion encourages otherwise timid people to say what they think. I’m not generally that keen on the Street March event at NZ contests but it was the highlight for me in Dunedin. Facing North in the middle of George Street with Knox Church on the left, the rolling hills in the background, the Mayor resplendent in his dazzling civic costume humming along to the Rowan Tree, the older people of Dunedin out in force, even small bands sounding big with the echo off the buildings and the big bands sounding great. Dunedin was good.

  20. For the sake of clarification I am not Bystander. Dunedin for me was one of the better Nationals for organisation, venue, weather, hospitality and the reasonably even competition at the top of each grade. Looking forward to 2008 with the hope that the advancement in standards of the last few years continues and once again there are closely fought performances in all grades.

  21. Yes, the Police had a big, impressive looking band but A&D did well to pruduce superior musical performances on a more accurately tuned instrument – with only 10 pipers. The real surprise for me were the Canterbury Cale’s who could feel a little unlucky not to be placed higher. Best I have ever heard them play by a long shot. The Police had a huge drone sound which I really liked, it was just a shame that their chanters were so quiet by comparison. The result was fuzzy technique which when coupled with very round and boring musical interpretation (especially in the MSR) left me thinking they were very lucky to be placed as highly as they were. It is a shame as they look like they could be so good. I guess they could be compared to the great big present in fancy wrapping paper that so often disappoints when you open it. The most pleasing thing about G1 in NZ is that the overall standard of the top bands is continually improving. I am sure Manawatu would have matched that improvement and won again if they could have been there.

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