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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




The Boy Scouts Association of New Zealand

The Boy Scout movement in New Zealand began in 1908, the same year in which General (later, Lord) Baden-Powell launched the movement in the United Kingdom. The first Dominion Chief Scout was Lt.-Col. D. Cossgrove, who was responsible for the early organisation of Scouting and placing it on a firm footing in this country. Colonel Cossgrove was an acquaintance of Lord Baden-Powell, and it was through personal correspondence and the adoption of Baden-Powell's ideas that the foundation of the organisation in New Zealand was based.

The principles and practice of the association are founded on the basis of the Scout Promise and the Scout Law. Prior to July 1953 the New Zealand organisation was a branch of the Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom. Since that date it has been an independent association, although it follows closely the pattern of Scouting in the United Kingdom.

The aim of the association is to develop good citizenship among boys by forming their character; by training them in habits of observation, obedience, and self-reliance; by inculcating loyalty and thoughtfulness for others; by teaching them services useful to the public, and handicrafts useful to themselves; and by promoting their physical, mental, and spiritual development.

The organisation in New Zealand is based on 12 Scout areas into which the country is divided. Each area is represented on the Dominion Council and the Dominion Executive Committee, which are the bodies responsible for the policy and welfare of the movement. The uniform head of the movement is the Dominion Chief Scout, who is usually the Governor-General.

The Scout area is composed of several Scout districts which are based on localities. Each district contains several Scout groups consisting of Wolf Cub Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Venturer Scout Units, and Rover Crews. It is in these latter units that the training of the boy is accomplished. This is achieved by a pattern of training, progress through which is marked by a series of achievement and proficiency tests for which badges are awarded. The tests are carried out at regular weekly meetings and weekend and annual camps. Scout leaders are also trained, and for this purpose a training headquarters is established at Tatum Park, near Manakau, Levin.

Today (1965) the movement is expanding rapidly and is the largest voluntary youth movement in the country. Its present membership is approximately 42,000, of whom some 4,400 are uniformed officers. In addition over 11,642 lay persons actively support the movement at all stages and provide the administrative support for the uniformed sections. There are over 850 Scout groups in the country.

The Dominion headquarters of the movement in New Zealand are at Central House, Brandon Street, Wellington.

by Alistair Hugh MacLean Millar, Assistant Dominion Secretary, Boy Scouts' Association, Wellington.

  • Standard reference works are Scouting for Boys, The Wolf Cub Handbook, and Rovering to Success, all by Lord Baden-Powell. The handbook on Venturer Scouting, by various authors, is entitled The Venturer Scout Leader's Handbook and is published by Scout Headquarters, Wellington.


Alistair Hugh MacLean Millar, Assistant Dominion Secretary, Boy Scouts' Association, Wellington.Alford Dornan, New Zealand Secretary, Boys' Brigade, Wellington.Marie Louise Dansey Iles, M.B.E., General Secretary, New Zealand Girl Guides Association, Christchurch.Gladys Mary Gebbie, Organising Secretary, Girls' Life Brigade, Auckland.John Sidney Gully, M.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Assistant Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.John Sidney Gully, M.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Assistant Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.George Frederick Briggs, National Secretary, Young Men's Christian Association, Wellington.Eileen Higgs, National General Secretary, Young Women's Christian Association, Wellington.Olive Rita Croker, M.A., Botanist, Wellington.