The Band can trace its roots back to 1845 and the Maori Wars, and the story of the 58th Rutland Regiment, who were despatched to New Zealand from New South Wales. History records that many of the men of the Rutlands took their discharges in the young Auckland, some of whom joined the Band of the Auckland Volunteer Rifles when the Militia was formed in 1858. The first reported public appearance of the Band appeared in the ‘New Zealander’ of 23rd October 1860 for the laying-up of the Colours of the 58ths.From this beginning, the Artillery Band was formally established in 1864, and despite several changes of name and command, it has given 148 years of unbroken service in war and peace - making it the oldest Band in New Zealand with a continuous playing history. The oldest surviving photograph of the Band is dated 1885, and hangs today in the bandroom in Panmure, along with a splendid collection of archival photos spanning some 125 years.
Throughout this time it has formed part of the fabric of society throughout the Greater Auckland area and beyond, performing at military and civic events with great distinction and popularity - and to this day remains in constant demand and high regard.
The Band has lived through two world wars and other major conflicts, and has experienced the many ups and downs of the international and domestic political and economic climate, but it has survived them all. In more recent times, it has represented New Zealand at the World Expo in Brisbane in 1988 and at the 60thAnniversary of the Australian Reserve Forces in 2008. It also played a prominent part at the Commonwealth Games in 1990.
It is fiercely proud of its Artillery and military heritage, and of its close links with Auckland, and looks forward to celebrating its 150th Anniversary in style in 2014.