27 March 2012
The New Zealand Defence Force announced today its decision to fund three military bands to provide musical support at ceremonial events around the country.
The Navy Regular Force Band, based at Devonport will be responsible for providing music for all events in the upper North Island, while events in Wellington Central will be covered by the Wellington-based Air Force Territorial Force band. South Island events will have music provided by the Army Regular Force Band, based at Burnham. This band will also be used in the lower North Island, where the Air Force Territorial Force band is unable to fulfil the commitment.
As part of the structural change, seven part-time bands - four Army Territorial Force bands and three Air Force Territorial Force bands - will be no longer be funded by the New Zealand Defence Force, saving more than $2.6 million over five years.
Army and Air Force will work with the Territorial Bands around the possibility of ongoing affiliations, associations and transfer of existing bandsman into the other trades within the Territorial Forces.
Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, said the new structure will ensure that the musical requirements of major ceremonial events in New Zealand will continue to be met.
“Military bands are an important part of our military history and make a significant contribution to the NZ Defence Force, New Zealand Government, and local communities. We will be prioritising events like ANZAC Day and other important occasions to ensure they still receive coverage.
“While we are adopting a new structure, military bands will continue to have a presence throughout the country and provide musical support at ceremonial events,” Lieutenant General Rhys Jones says.
The decision comes after a consultation process which invited submissions on the proposed new structure. More than 130 submissions were received and considered as part of the consultation process.
Changes will be implemented by the end of June 2012.
For further information please contact Defence Communications Group Media Phone - 021 487 980