News » 11th August 2016

Nationals Nelson 10/11 March 2017

We wish to extend all bands, supporters, and the general public a warm, sunny Nelson Welcome to our National Championships 2017.   We appreciated the positive and constructive feedback we received in response to the survey sent out after Nationals 2015.  We have attempted to use this feedback to bring you an even better contest. The contest will run along very similar lines to those held her in 2015, and incorporate some of the Fielding innovations. 

We will be back at Trafalgar Park with a wider range of food vendors, including ice-cream.  We aim to improve our signage and information over the loudspeaker about what is available and where.   We have access to a new area just cross the river footbridge for tent city.  This was not available last time as the whole area has been completely revamped.  This has been a major council upgrade and our event is likely to be the first to utilise the new facilities.  The walk from tent city to the final warm up area is very similar to the distance at Fielding.  The grounds where Tent city was located in 2015 will be the final tune up area.   We are planning to designate three separate areas which each band will have access to for about 20 minutes prior to going on for their event.  Our intention is to have the use of this area timetabled, so each band knows which area they have and when in advance. 

The exceptions for the contest organisation is that we wish to run one board only.  We wished to achieve this in 2015 but were unable.  Fielding managed this successfully, with the aid of an excellent announcer.  As they did in Fielding we aim to enter the circle in a similar manner, and exit on the other side, going directly for photographs after each bands first event.

We are not intending to repeat their contest organisation, and wish to retain a similar layout as in 2015 –

Friday: Juvenile, Grade 4 & 3 Set and Medley

Saturday: Street March, Grade 2 & 1, mace flourishing and displays 


We do however wish to share with you all the difficulties current posed to us in the organisation of the street march.  We wish to use the same course as last year however have been threatened by one shop owner to take out an injunction and prevent the running of this at short notice if we proceed past his shop.   The Council have encouraged us to apply for four different options of Street March Route.  We have done this, and await the decision which is made by two counsellors. All the routes are in the CBT, which is great and all will pose varying advantages and disadvantages.  Otherwise the organisation of the event is progressing smoothly. 


We trust you have already organised your bands accommodation, if not please let me know as soon as possible if you require help. The Marquee on the grounds for the bar will be bigger and better, with more seating and shade.  The Beer Tent and food stalls will remain open until 8pm on Friday evening for your bands relaxation, easy feeding and have the Gipsy Pickers booked for your entertainment.  The Saturday night function will be in the Marquee on the Grounds, with a Celtic Rock Band, booked, food stalls staying open.  This function will be free.  We had complaints about the beer – not enough local craft beers, not enough mainstream beers – we will do our best to suit most tastes.   

 We will send out a newsletter to all bands in the near future.

 Helen Gilchrist

Liaison Person

RNZPBA National Championships