GirlGuiding New Zealand

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GirlGuiding New Zealand
GirlGuiding New Zealand
Ngā Kōhine Whakamahiri o Aotearoa
Headquarters Christchurch
Country New Zealand
Founded 1908
Founder Lieutenant Colonel Cossgrove
Membership 20,562
Chief Guide Helen Gibbins
Affiliation World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

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GirlGuiding New Zealand (in Māori Ngā Kōhine Whakamahiri o Aotearoa) is the national Guiding organisation in New Zealand. GirlGuiding New Zealand currently splits New Zealand into 22 regions around the country with 20,562 members (as of 2003).

There are three main principles to Guiding, remembered by the trefoil and the three fingered salute. These are: Search for and acknowledge God or a higher being, a girl’s duty to her country through service and keeping the guide laws. [1]


Lieutenant Colonel Cossgrove served in the Boer War with the famous Robert Baden-Powell, founder of Scouts and Guides in the UK. Cossgrove liked Baden-Powell's ideas so much that, in 1907, he established the Boy Scouts. His daughter Muriel wanted an organisation for girls so, after correspondence with Baden-Powell, Cossgrove started the Girl Peace Scouts and, on Baden-Powell's suggestion, wrote the programme in the book "Peace Scouting for Girls" which was published in 1910. However, by the time this was published, there were over 300 girls already practicing Peace Scouting in Christchurch (Cossgrove's home), Dunedin and Auckland, creating confusion about the starting year. Letters from Muriel in 1908 discussing Peace Scouts with a friend have been found and this is generally the accepted date for the origin of the New Zealand movement.[2] The Peace Scouts became an incorporated society in 1919 and Cossgrove was the head until his death in 1920. Leadership was then continued by his wife and son. The organisation became officially affiliated with the UK branch in 1912 and, in 1923, the organization became a full member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.[3] [4]

In 2007, this organisation change its name from Guides New Zealand to GirlGuiding New Zealand.[5]

"Peace Scouting For Girls"

The Girl Peace Scouts is the name for the original Girl Guides of New Zealand. Founded in 1908 by Lieutenant Colonel Cossgrove (also the founder of Scouting New Zealand) when his daughter Muriel wanted an organisation for girls too. [6]

Cossgrove wrote a programme for the newly created Peace Scouts after consulting, in 1908, with his friend (and leader of Scouting in the UK) Robert Baden-Powell. At this time the Girl Guides had not been established and Baden-Powell suggested to Cossgrove that it might work in New Zealand. The book was published in 1910, however there were already over 300 Peace Scouts across the country by that time. [6]


The name applied to girls between about 12-20 from 1908 - 1923.[7]


The oath was carried out with a girl's left hand on her heart and the right in the standard three fingered salute while repeating:

On my honour I promise that
1. I will be loyal to God and the King,
2. I will try to help others at all times
3. I know the Scout Law and will obey it

At the time there were 9 Scout Laws.


In the shape of a fleur-de-lis with the motto inscribed below

Be always ready
Good Turns

An important part of Peace Scouts. Girls always wore 3 pieces of ribbon tied in bows with the ends knotted to remind themselves to do good turns.


Any girls who could afford the uniform were expected to wear a khaki blouse and skirt (coming below the knee), a leather belt around the waist (with a knife) plus a khaki hat with a brim.

Fairy Peace Scouts[6]

Established for the younger sisters (aged from 7) of Peace Scouts in 1918 and ran until amalgamation with the Girl Guides in 1923. The programme was based on Māori legends and the UK Brownie/Rosebud programme. The leader was called the 'Fairy Mistress' and waved a wand.


Before being enrolled, girls had to prove they could lace their boots, tell the time and skip on both feet.[7]. They then had to repeat the 4 fold promise and the 6 laws:

1. I must always speak the truth
2. I must make myself useful to others
3. I must be gentle and kind to everyone
4. I must not make money for doing a good turn
5. I must always smile and look pleasant
6. (missing)
Be true

Girls wore a white dress and a Peter Pan hat

Sections of GirlGuiding New Zealand


Pippins is for 5 and 6 year old girls. It offers an informal programme, designed to develop awareness of oneself, others and the environment. [8]

Pippins were trialled in 1983 in Southland and were such a success that they were promoted throughout the country in 1984.[9] They were originally formed for 6 year olds but this was later expanded to 5 year olds too.[10] The name of 'Pippins' was given to this age group as apples are an important food export item for the country and the Apple and Pear board initially sponsored them.[9]. Cox Orange Pippin apples were the first variety to be exported from the NZ to the UK. [11]

Pippin ideals

Pippins have no formal ceremonies or enrolments like the Brownies and Guides so they have no Promise or Law to memorise. They do have the Pippin saying for appropriate occasions:

Pippins care, so Pippins share with other children everywhere.[12]

The mascot of the Pippins is an apple because, when cut, an apple shows the Guiding Trefoil. [8]

Pippin uniform

A navy blue or Guides New Zealand aqua (all girls in one unit will wear the same colour) popover is worn over suitable clothes[1]. The popover has a useful pocket on the front for putting things in. Girls can sew (or get her parents to sew) any badges earned on the front of her popover, these will include her special Pippin badge and her cloth regional badge. [8] Pippins can also wear a Pink T-Shirt with The New GirlGuidingNZ Logo and a Picture of An Apple and A GirlGuiding Hoodie or Polar Fleece

Pippin badges

Badges especially for Pippins are:

  • Apple patch
  • Caterpillar patch, gained every time 5 caterpillar clauses are completed
  • Overnighter badge

When linking (moving) up to Brownies, the girls are given their Pippin/Brownie Link badge..[13]

Pippin activities.[13]

  • Overnighters (for which the ‘Overnighter’ badge is gained) is when Pippins, from the same or a mixture of units, take a trip to a hall and have a sleep over with games and activities
  • Pippinics are regional occasions where girls can meet other Pippins from all over the area at an event which usually lasts all day


Brownies is for girls between 7 and 10 years old. Brownies meet in “packs” which are spilt into “sixes” of 4-6 girls in each. Each six has a leader and a second, usually girls with more experience. Brownies cluster in a Brownie Ring, symbolising looking inwards towards family and friends and giving service around the home.[14] While in a Brownie Ring, Buzz Time is used to share ideas and make decisions. [15]

Brownies began as Fairy Peace Scouts in 1918, changing their name to the same as the UK with amalgamation in 1923.[2]

Brownie ideals[15]

Brownies use the same promise and laws as the Guides.

The Brownie mascot is a yellow sun with a smiling face to send out warm feelings to the girls [16]

Brownie uniform[17]

Brownies have a jade/aqua t-shirt with the smiling sun on the front. Alternatively they can wear a polo shirt of the same colour with a navy collar and the Guide logo on the front. They also have a matching sweatshirt. Finally, there is a navy sash for badges, to be worn over the right shoulder. These can be worn over any blue pants or skirt. Also available is a top similar to the Pippins but with a Sun on It

Brownie badges[18]

  • Taha Wairua (Faith) Patch - Earned once promise activity completed, for ever 4 more Faith, Promise and Law clauses completed (booklet with syllabus must be bought separately) another small patch is earned
  • Themes – A badge is earned when four are completed
  • Specialised Badges
  • Unit Badges
  • Bear Patch and Paws - booklet with syllabus must be bought separately
  • Brownie Heritage Badge
  • 8 Up Badge
    This is completed in two parts, preferably the one a year for the girls' first two years at Brownies. 16 activities must be completed in total, 8 for each part. These include:
    • Promise Activity
    • Clauses from Specialised Badges
    • Two Unit Badges
    • Biscuit Patch
    • Two paws on the Patches programme
    • An activity with a Guide unit'
    • Community service and fundraising
  • Challenge 9
    This badge is designed for girls aged 8 1/2 and older. This is also a two part badge, to be completed in about one year, a lot under the girl's own organisation. 9 clauses must be done for each part from the two sections of 'Unit Activities' and 'Own Choice'.


Guides is for girls between 10 and 14 ½ years old[15]. Guides meet in “companies” or “units” which are spilt into “patrols” of 4-6 girls in each. Each patrol has a leader and a second, usually girls with more experience elected by her peers. Guides form a ‘horseshoe’ shape for ceremonies. This symbolises a service and awareness which is beginning to look wider than just the family and friends.[14]

Originally starting as Peace Scouts, the collaboration with the British Girl Guides (and adoption of the name) was not until 1923. From 1923-68 the promise read:

On my honour I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and the King/Queen
To help other people at all times
To obey the Guide Law

1923-73 there were 10 laws. The Peace Scout badge and motto was also dropped and replaced with the UK equivalent, the motto being: Be Prepared. Before the collaboration, there were two Girl Guide units in Invercargill but the first registered company was the Cavell Guide Company in Auckland (the new site of the national office).

Guide ideals[1]


I promise to do my best To do my duty to God To serve my country and help other people And to keep the Guides law.

  • NB: ‘God’ may be substituted for a more appropriate name depending on the Girl’s religion
  • The promise included doing duty to the Queen until very recently (the 1970 version of the promise included it)[19]

As a Guide, I will try to:

  • be honest and trustworthy
  • be friendly and cheerful
  • be a good team member
  • be responsible for what I say and do
  • respect other people
  • use my time and abilities wisely
  • face challenges and learn from experiences
  • and care for the environment

The Guide motto is "Be Prepared"[2]

The Guides mascot is a cartoon human girl called Gidget [20]

Guide uniform[17]

Guides wear the same jade/aqua polo shirt and sweatshirt available to Brownies (as well as Rangers and Leaders). The same navy sash from badges is worn, complete with badges. Again, these can be worn over any blue pants or skirt. They can wear a Navy T-Shirt with the New Logo or a cornflower blue polo top and same sweatshirt as pippins and brownies.

Guide badges[21]

  • Themes – A badge is earned when four are completed
  • Specialised Badges
  • Unit Patches
  • Patrol Patches
  • Leadership Certificate
  • 1st Aid
  • Ranger Awareness
  • Go with Gidget – earned when joining
  • Keep on going with Gidget – a smaller badge earned to go around the Go with Gidget badges for every four clauses completed
  • Senior Guide
    A Guide must:
    • Participate in unit activities
    • Take part in a colour party, a Guide’s Own, Thinking Day, a district, regional, zone or national event
    • Complete 2 Patrol Patches
    • Gain 2 Specialised Badges
    • Finish 3 Unit Patches
    • Carry out 2 hours of community service
  • Guides Aotearoa Award
    This is the highest award in Guides and girls must complete everything by the time they are 14 ½. Girls need to:
    • Achieve their Senior Guide
    • Take part in theme evenings
    • Complete 3 more Patrol Patches
    • Gain 1 Keep on Going With Gidget
    • Achieve another 3 Specialised Badges
    • Complete BP challenge stage two
    • Achieve 2 more Unit Patches
    • Carry out 6 hours of community service
    • Gain the leadership certificate, camp permit and the ranger awareness badge
    • Take part in an ‘adventurous experience’


Rangers are girls between ages 13 and 19[15]. Rangers meet in “units” which are not divided into patrols, all girls work together to decide the programme. Rangers form a ‘V’ shape for ceremonies. This symbolises the girls being right in the community, offering service and friendship to all.[14]

Ranger ideals[15]

The promise is the same as the Brownie and Guide with an attachment on the end for the further responsibility of being a Ranger:

to be of service to the community

The Guide laws are the same as the Guide.

A cartoon human girl named Woozle is the Rangers' Mascot who was introduced in 1984. The original Woozle went to help in Third World countries in 1995 and was replaced by a new species: Macwoozlefum zealandii.[22] [23]

Ranger uniform[17]

Rangers wear the same jade/aqua polo shirt and sweatshirt available to Brownies (as well as Guides and Leaders). Badges are displayed on a red badge tab and a red scarf is worn to distinguish Rangers from the other girls. Again, these can be worn over any blue pants or skirt. Rangers can design their own uniform for special activities e.g. camps, subject to approval. [15] They can also wear a Navy Blue V-Neck T-Shirt and same sweatshirt or hoodie as other Branches


  • The Twelve Point Challenge
    One clause from each of the 12 points must be completed each year to keep the badge. The 12 points of Rangers are:
    1. Action Outdoors
    2. Contemporary Issues
    3. Dynamic Health
    4. Environmental Awareness
    5. Faith
    6. Future Focus
    7. Heritage
    8. International
    9. Leisure
    10. Promise and Law
    11. Service
    12. Technology
  • Interest Certificates
    If enough clauses of any of the twelve points are completed, an interest certificate is received in that particular point
  • Marketing Certificate
    To promote advertising and selling of Guide Biscuits
  • Leadership Certificates
  • Peak Award
    The half way point to a girl achieving her Queen’s Guide. Tasks to be completed are (in no particular order)
    • Be enrolled
    • Hold the 12 point challenge
    • Complete 6 interest certificates
    • Hold the Marketing certificate for 1 year
    • Complete 20 hours community service
    • Complete ‘Introductory Leadership’ stage 1 and 2
  • Queen’s Guide
    The most prestigious award in Guiding in New Zealand. This award challenges Rangers to look wide, try new things, and meet new people. She must be capable of a showing initiative, being reliable, responsible and respected by her peers. Girls much achieve:
    • Peak Award
    • 6 more interest certificates
    • Hold the Marketing certificate for 2 years
    • Complete another 20 hours of service
    • Complete the Practical Leadership certificate
    • Plan, organise and complete a ‘Special Activity’ of the girl’s choice
    • Take part in a weekend Residential Experience
Upon completion, the Ranger’s peers must agree that she is worthy of the award, plus the district/zone advisor must interview her. The certificate is presented by the Governor General of New Zealand, acting as a representative of the Queen.
  • The Young New Zealander’s Challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh Award
  • The Commonwealth Award – Introduced in commonwealth countries in 1984 to encourage awareness of other countries and cultures.

Ranger in Leadership (RILS)

A RIL is a Ranger in Leadership: a young woman who is training to become a leader, taking part in organising Pippin, Brownie or Guide programmes, under the supervision of the leader.[13] They were originally termed ‘Junior Leaders’ but this was changed in 1995.[25]


The Lone Peace Scouts originally started in 1923. The first member was Miss Nancy Borton of O Kaiawa, Hampden, Otago. In 1926, the Lones were split into two sections, the Post Guides for girls who were physically handicapped and were at home or in hospital (see below) and the Lone Branch for girls who live too far away. In 1934, the first Ranger and Brownie Lones were established.[2]

Lones ideals

In 1929 the motto was established as: Solae Sed Sodales translating to: Lones but of a sisterhood[2]

Lones uniform

The uniform is the same as their counterpart. Their promise badge used to contain an ‘L’ but this was dropped after the last re-vamp of the logo.

Red Shield Guides[15]

These units (Pippins to Rangers) are affiliated to the Salvation Army. All practices are the same as regular Guiding units except the promise has the following added:

I promise not to drink alcoholic beverages, smoke or take harmful drugs, and to keep myself clean in thought and deed.


The International General’s Award is available to all Guides aged 12-15.

Other units[15]


When there are too few girls for separate units, they are amalgamated into one unit. This unit will carry out activities adapted to suit all ages and still be relevant to the different sections.

Joint Guide/Scout

This is seen as a temporary measure only when there are too few leaders and/or children. Boys cannot become enrolled as Guides.

All Units Badges

These badges can be completed at any time during a girls time in Guiding (most of them are completed annually). Different programme levels are provided for the different year groups. With badges such as the Biscuit Patch and the ANZAC Heritage, two or three tasks from a large selection are available so girls do not repeat challenges.

  • ANZAC Heritage
  • Biscuit Patch
  • Friend Maker
  • International Education
  • JOTI
  • JOTA
  • Walk A Mile
  • Water For Life
  • WAGGGS current international initiative (eg Our Rights, Our Responsibilities)


The second verse of Taps is sung at the end each Brownie and Guide meeting, plus other occasions such as campfires and enrolments:

Day is done, gone the sun
From the sea, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh

In summer months Daylight Taps may be sung:

Thanks and praise for our days
‘Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky
As we go, this we know:
God is nigh

And, to embrace the multicultural nature of the country, a Māori translation has been added:

Haere Ra, e tea o,
E te tai, te puke, te rangi
Kei te pai, piri mai
Te Atua [26]

National Guiding Centres

Otimai[2] [27]

The first Guiding centre in New Zealand, gifted as a training house by Mr and Mrs Wilson (the Chief Commissioner of the time) in 1927. Situated only 30 minutes from Auckland city centre, in Waitakere, it is controlled by the Auckland Region.[28] The name in Māori means 'welcome, come stay' and the motto is: faith, love and service. When first gifted, there was no electricity, running water or sewage system to the house but working bees and help from the community improved and extended the place with an official opening on 27 April 1928. ‘’Little Otimai’’ is a small cottage on the grounds, used for patrol leader trainings and Rangers. A ‘luncheon party’ was held for the Robert and Olave Baden-Powell on Thinking Day 1931 as part of their tour of the country. There is a chapel hidden in the woods of the grounds styled on a similar one at Foxlease in the UK.

Historical plants on site

  • Norfolk Pines: Planted to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (1897)
  • Oak Tree: Acorns were sent from Windsor Park for George VI coronation

(1937). Unfortunately the original tree became diseased but another was planted with an acorn from the same tree.

Otimai Song

Composed by a Ranger in the ‘early days’. Sung to: 3 cheers for the red, white and blue.

There’s a home proudly known in the Guide world,
’Tis the home of each Ranger and Guide,
And above it our flag is unfurled,
And it’s there we all long to abide.
The trees of the forest are quite near to us,
And the birds in their branches so high,
And it’s there that our Chief has made clear to us
Faith, service and love, Otimai
Faith, service and love, Otimai
Faith, service and love, Otimai
And it’s there that our Chief has made clear to us
Faith, service and love, Otimai
There is faith that is meant for the Guider,
And love that is meant for the Guide,
And service is surely for the Ranger,
Whose purpose is known far and wide
With nature’s sweet beauty to remind us
Of ideals that are pure and high,
And it’s there that you will always find us,
In New Zealand’s Guide home, Otimai
In New Zealand’s Guide home, Otimai,
In New Zealand’s Guide home, Otimai,
And it’s there that you will always find us,
In New Zealand’s Guide home, Otimai.

Guiders in charge

  • Freda Knight 1928 - 1958
  • Betty Harrison 1958 – 1968
  • Louise Austin 1968 – (after 1977)

Trefoil Park[25]

In 1980, a section of land in a rural valley between Whangarei and Kaikohe was gifted to the Guide Association by an anonymous family. Much fundraising was carried out in the first couple of years to level the ground and build suitable accommodation on site. Gala day and concerts were held, plus the production of “Trefoil Treats”, a recipe book, sold 6,000 copies. 1982 saw many working bees to get the camp functioning and the ‘Camp of the Marsden Cross’ was held in January 1984 to open Trefoil Park. 200 Guides, 36 leaders and 20 Rangers attended the event which was opened by Joye Evans, Chief Commissioner of the time. The chapel at Trefoil Park is dedicated to Shirley Crawford (nee Pearson) for her work in Guiding – 25.2.1995.

Trefoil Park Song

Tune: It’s a Small World

It’s a camp of laughter, a camp of fun
And a camp of friendship for everyone
If you’re a Girl Guide
Then the gate’s open wide
Won’t you come on, come
Trefoil Park’s the place to be
Trefoil Park’s the place to be
Trefoil Park’s the place to be
It’s fun for you and me
When we wake each day there are chores to do
Then there’s games and hikes when the work is through
If you’re a Girl Guide
Then the gate’s open wide
You can join us too – (chorus)
Then our campfire glows in the evening
It is story time and our voices ring
If you’re a Girl Guide
Then the gate’s open wide
Come on let us sing – (chorus)


A National conference and training centre in Marton. Arahina means ‘to have been led’ in Māori. Owned from the mid 1950s until 2000 when it was bought by the [Institute of Basic Life Principles] from the [Ministry of Defence].Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; invalid names, e.g. too many

Cracroft House[19]

The house was built in the 1860s and was gifted to the Guide Association in 1959 by Mr and Mrs Cracroft Wilson.

Kaitoke Lodge[29]

The lodge was donated to Wellington Province for camps from Mr and Mrs John Hoggard in 1962.

Chief Commissioners/National Presidents

  • 1926: Mrs W.R. Wilson[2]
  • Joye Evans (at 1984) [25]
  • -2005: Linda Tarbutt
  • 2005-: Helen Gibbins

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Guide to Guiding in New Zealand/He Aratohu mō te Kaupapa Whakamahiri i Aotearoa Guides New Zealand: Christchurch (2000)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Iles, Marie (1976) 65 Years of Guiding in New Zealand The Girl Guide Association New Zealand (inc): Christchurch
  3. An Encyclopedia of New Zealand - Girl Guides
  4. Guides NZ - A Brief History
  5. "Girl Guides Get New Look" (Press release). GirlGuiding New Zealand. 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Iles, Marie (1976) 65 Years of Guiding in New Zealand The Girl Guide Association New Zealand (inc): Christchurch
  7. 7.0 7.1 Guides NZ Website - About Us
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Guides NZ Website - Pippins Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Girl Guides Association Southland Province, History of the Decade 75-85. Annual Report and Financial Statements Craig Printing Co. ltd.: Invercargill
  10. The Pippin Leader’s Guide/Te Aratohū mo te Kaiārahi Poiki Guides New Zealand (2002)
  11. ENZA (Eat New Zealand Apples) Website
  12. Anne's Guiding Pages
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Pippin Leader’s Guide/Te Aratohū mo te Kaiārahi Poiki Guides New Zealand (2002)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Hopkirk, M.A. (1965) Ceremonial for Girl Guides The Girl Guides Association of New Zealand (inc.): Christchurch
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 A Guide to Guiding in New Zealand/He Aratohu mō te Kaupapa Whakamahiri i Aotearoa Guides New Zealand: Christchurch (2000)
  16. Guides NZ Website - Brownies
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Guides NZ Website - Guide Gear
  18. The Brownie Girl's Guide (2nd ed. 2005) Guides New Zealand: Christchurch
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 English, M. and Landels, C. (1970) A Handbook for Guides Girl Guides Association of New Zealand (inc.): Christchurch
  20. Guides NZ Website - Guides
  21. The Guide Girl’s Guide/Te Kaupapa Whakamahiri (undated) Guides New Zealand: Christchurch
  22. Guides NZ Website - Rangers
  23. Ranger’s guide/Te Aratohu mō ngā Kaikiaki (undated) Guides New Zealand: Christchurch
  24. Ranger’s guide/Te Aratohu mō ngā Kaikiaki (undated) Guides New Zealand: Christchurch
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 West, D. (1995) The Story of Guiding in Northland: Celebrating 35 years as a province Calders Design and Print co.: Whangarei
  26. Guides NZ Website - Taps
  27. Burgin, A.M. (1977) The Story of Otimai 1927-1977 Auckland Girl Guides Association: Auckland
  28. Otimai Website
  29. Wellington Province Girl Guides Golden Jubilee 1924-1974 Close and Manley Ltd.: Levin

NB: Where one reference has been used to research the entire sub-section - the single footnote has been put after the heading. If something has later been added to this section from a different source, this reference has been added after that particular sentence, the rest of the sub-section is from the original source.

External links

Members of the Asia Pacific Region of WAGGGS

Full members: Australia | Bangladesh | Brunei | Republic of China (Taiwan) | Fiji | Hong Kong | India | Japan | South Korea | Malaysia | Maldives | Nepal | New Zealand | Pakistan | Papua New Guinea | Philippines | Singapore | Sri Lanka | Thailand
Associate members: Cambodia | Cook Islands | Kiribati | Mongolia | Samoa | Solomon Islands | Tonga | Vanuatu