GirlGuiding New Zealand
GirlGuiding New Zealand (in Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

 Ngā Kōhine Whakamahiri o Aotearoa) is the national Guiding
Girl Guides
A Guide, Girl Guide or Girl Scout is a member of a section of some Guiding organisations who is between the ages of 10 and 14. Age limits are different in each organisation. It is the female-centred equivalent of the Scouts. The term Girl Scout is used in the United States and several East Asian...

 organisation in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. 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.


Lieutenant Colonel Cossgrove served in the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 with Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout and Guide movement. Following Baden-Powell's ideas Cossgrove established Boy Scout troops
Scouting New Zealand
Scouts New Zealand, officially registered as "The Scout Association of New Zealand" is the national Scouting association in New Zealand, affiliated to the World Organization of the Scout Movement since 1953. It has 18,649 members...

 in New Zealand in 1908. 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. By the time the book 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 Guide movement. 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 of Guiding
Girlguiding UK
Girlguiding UK is the national Guiding organisation of the United Kingdom. Guiding began in the UK in 1910 after Robert Baden-Powell asked his sister Agnes to start a group especially for girls that would be run along similar lines to Scouting for Boys. The Guide Association was a founder member of...

 in 1912 and, in 1923, the organization changed its name and programme to Guides New Zealand and became a full member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a global association supporting the female-oriented and female-only Scouting organizations in 145 countries. It was established in 1928 and has its headquarters in London, England. It is the counterpart of the World Organization of the Scout...


From 1923 to 1968 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

From 1923 to 1973 there were 10 laws and the motto was Be Prepared.
In 2007, this organisation changed its name from Guides New Zealand to GirlGuiding New Zealand.

Girl Peace Scouts

The Girl Peace Scouts existed until amalgamation with the Girl Guides in 1923. The name, Girl Peace Scouts, applied to girls between 12 and 20. 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. Good Turns were an important part of Peace Scouts. Girls always wore three pieces of ribbon tied in bows with the ends knotted to remind themselves to do good turns. The crest was in the shape of a fleur-de-lis
The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys is a stylized lily or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be "at one and the same time, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic", especially in heraldry...

 with the motto, Be always ready, inscribed below.

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
I will be loyal to God and the King,
I will try to help others at all times
I know the Scout Law and will obey it

At the time there were 9 Scout laws.

Fairy Peace Scouts

Fairy Peace Scouts were established for the younger sisters (aged from 7) of Peace Scouts in 1918. The programme was based on Māori legends and the UK Brownie/Rosebud programme. The leader was called the 'Fairy Mistress' and waved a wand. The motto was Be true. The uniform was a white dress and a Peter Pan hat. Before being enrolled, girls had to prove they could lace their boots, tell the time and skip on both feet. They then had to repeat the fourfold promise and the six 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)


Pippins is for 5 and 6 year old girls. It offers an informal programme, designed to develop awareness of oneself, others and the environment. The section started in 1983 in Southland, from 1984 throughout the country. 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.
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.
The mascot of the Pippins is an apple because, when cut, an apple shows the Guiding Trefoil.
A navy blue or Guides New Zealand aqua (all girls in one unit will wear the same colour) popover is worn over suitable clothes. 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. 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


Brownies is for girls between 7 and 9½ years old. Brownies meet in “packs” which are split into “sixes” of 4-6 girls in each. Each six has a leader and a second. Brownies cluster in a Brownie Ring, symbolising looking inwards towards family and friends and giving service around the home. While in a Brownie Ring, Buzz Time is used to share ideas and make decisions.
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
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


Guides is for girls between 9½ and 13½ years old. Guides meet in “companies” or “units” which are split 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.
I promise, with the help of my God,
to be true to myself,
to do my best to help my country,
and to live by the Guide 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)

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 and help 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" The Guides mascot is a cartoon human girl called Gidget
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.


Rangers are girls between ages 13½ and 19. 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.
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.

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.
They can also wear a Navy Blue V-Neck T-Shirt and same sweatshirt or hoodie as other Branches

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. They were originally termed ‘Junior Leaders’ but this was changed in 1995.


The Lone Peace Scouts
Lone Guides
Lone Guides or Lones are those Girl Guides and Girl Scouts who do not attend group meetings for a variety of reasons. They are organised into groups that keep in touch, for example, by letter or email. Members carry out their organisation's normal programme on their own as much as they are able....

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

These units (Pippins to Rangers) are affiliated to the Salvation Army
Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian church known for its thrift stores and charity work. It is an international movement that currently works in over a hundred countries....

. 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.

Other units

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.


Otimai is 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. 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
Foxlease is a training and activity centre of Girlguiding UK near Lyndhurst, Hampshire, UK. The Foxlease estate has been owned and managed by Girlguiding UK since 1922. The estate is and main house is known as The Princess Mary House, in honour of her marriage...

 in the UK.

Trefoil Park

Trefoil Park is a section of land in a rural valley between Whangarei and Kaikohe was gifted to the Guide Association by an anonymous family in 1980. 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 (née Pearson) for her work in Guiding – 25.2.1995.


Arahina is 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
Ministry of Defence (New Zealand)
The New Zealand Ministry of Defence is the arm of the New Zealand Government charged with providing advice on defence matters, as well as providing civilian administration and oversight over the New Zealand Defence Force....

. Institute of Basic Life Principles - History and Grounds

Cracroft House

Cracroft House is located in Christchurch. It was built in the 1860s and was gifted to the Guide Association in 1959 by Mr and Mrs Cracroft Wilson.

Kaitoke Lodge

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

See also

  • Mona Burgin
    Mona Burgin
    Annie Mona Burgin MBE , usually known as Mona Burgin, was a teacher and active in the Girl Guiding movement. She is principally known for her role training adults....

  • Scouting New Zealand
    Scouting New Zealand
    Scouts New Zealand, officially registered as "The Scout Association of New Zealand" is the national Scouting association in New Zealand, affiliated to the World Organization of the Scout Movement since 1953. It has 18,649 members...

  • Lieutenant Colonel David Cossgrove
    David Cossgrove
    Lieutenant Colonel David Cossgrove served in the South African War with Robert Baden-Powell, founder of Scouts and Guides in the United Kingdom...

  • Helen Gibbins

External links

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