2018 Club Management Conference - Wrap Up

1 November 2018

Last week more than 70 Club Managers from across the country made their way to Timaru Town & Country Club for the 2018 Club Management Conference.

Before we can get into wrapping up the conference we would like to once again acknowledge the conference hosts Timaru Town & Country Club. Thank you to Richard and the clubs Committee and all the volunteers. A huge thank you to Vince and your wonderful team.

We would also like to thank the entire team at both Oamaru Club and the Waimate Town & Country Club for welcoming the group as part of the club visits.

Please find below a wrap up of the 2018 Conference Presentations. PowerPoint presentations have been included where available.


There is no denying that the Club Managers Group and conference hosts have a knack for ordering in fantastic weather for BBQ, Beers and Bowls.

Once again, the conference kicked off with managers going face to face on the bowling green in the wonderful Timaru sunshine - thank you to the Timaru Town & Country Club Outdoor Bowlers who gave us their time and assistance to make this afternoon happen.

Following the bowls, everyone was in need of a feed and refreshment, before testing our knowledge with the Believe It Or Not Trivia Bingo where attendees were battling it out for a dinner with Keith Ballantyne – thank you to Brendan for coming along and demonstrating this product.

As in previous years the conference kicked off hot and heavy with the opening presentation covering employment matters and disputes.

Mike’s presentation emphasised the need for PROCESS, PROCESS, PROCESS. When faced with an employment dispute employers must allow themselves time to process the information – and take the time to follow the process.

Mike also discussed harassment and bullying and the growing number of claims that have come about as a result of misinterpretation via electronic communications.

Download Mike's Presentation Slides

Next up was Tony Mole, Vice President of the Institute of Liquor Licensing Inspectors and Brent Register from the New Zealand Police.

Brent and Tony reiterated the need for clubs to have robust systems and processes in place to support the compliance efforts. This includes re thinking the ‘sign in books’ that clubs are known for as they do not reliably allow your staff to identify authorised customers and visitors. Brent also suggested that clubs should look towards to technology and apps to support compliance.

There is a greater push from Inspectors, Police and Officers of Health to work together towards greater consistency across the country.

Tony and Brent covered a range of areas relevant to clubs including section 60, managers, special licences and systems, support and training and of course delegates were armed with some excellent questions.

Club Managers must get together with their local inspectors, police, and medical officer of health. If you don’t know these people, find out who they are and invite them for a cup of coffee.

It was also recommended that club staff complete the free online ServeWise Training produced by HPA a link for the training can be found below;

Health Promotion Agencies Free Online ServeWise Training

Next up was Scott Sheridan from Clubs New Zealand Insurance. Scott gave attendees an overview of Abbott Insurance and the Clubs New Zealand Insurance Offerings.

Clubs New Zealand Insurance Services offering for clubs is without a doubt market leading and it is designed specifically for clubs and the unique nature of our industry.

Scott also discussed the insurance market and where things are currently heading.

Download Scott's PowerPoint Presentation

We were very lucky to be joined by Dr Catherine Gardner who was able to give us all an insight into her journey of joining the Metro Police in 1989.

Finding herself in a very male dominated industry Catherine (who just simply wanted to do the job and do it to the best of her ability) had a number of challenges to overcome - including the practicalities of brawling in a skirt and that truncheon's apparently have genders.

Just as communities need a Police Force that represents the community, clubs need to be representative of the members and communities that operate in.  Having a diverse mix on your committee, in your staff and in your members will allow your club to tap into a diverse mix of ideas and skill sets that wouldn't be possible without those peoples involvement.

Ultimately workplaces are changing because the communities you operate in are changing - diversity is not about having a quota of women on the board, or a certain number or % of employees who are of a particular race, but it is about providing equal opportunity to a diverse range of people, it is also about diversity of thought, because diversity of thought breeds innovation.

Look out for each other and especially look out for your colleagues whether they are your fellow committee members, or your fellow bar staff.

Buzz Recruitment is a recruitment firm specialising in recruitment for the hospitality and tourism industry.

Demand in the hospitality and tourism industries is currently booming and nearly all operators are on the hunt for ‘good’ staff, but we have some challenges.

Kiwi’s don’t typically see hospitality as a long term careers, the pay is not often high - but there are a lot of benefits to working in the club industry that we can leverage. Clubs are seen as stable employers with strong community ties and values. Highlight your benefits when you are advertising, do you have car parking, gym access, career progression and development?

The next step is to advertise EVERYWHERE with a mix of free and paid options - forward planning is key in this very hot industry.

Download Buzz Recruitment's PowerPoint Presentation

The boys from DB Breweries joined us to give an overview of hospitality insights and category trends.

The hospitality industry has reached almost $10 million in sales, but we are seeing that traditional segments such as clubs are struggling and facing a decline in both volume and outlets. Clubs need to be prepared to change and innovate to meet the needs of members and even more importantly those that are not currently members - trends are only going to get trendier.

Download DBs PowerPoint Presentation

Bernie from RM Designs has worked with many clubs over the last few years to bring about change - and all clubs need to be doing something, even though you are clubs you are in the hospitality business.

Whenever a club is looking to introduce to changes to its venue irrespective of size you need to decide who you are wanting to attract and what you are wanting to achieve and you need to formulate an overarching plan - what are these changes going to look like in the end, that way if because of budget restraints you decide to cover work piece by piece you are still going to reach the end goal and not end up with a disjointed club.

A plan is needed not in reaction to change but in anticipation of change.

You need to arm yourself with information in order to make informed decisions, what is the average age of your members currently? Is there opportunity via subtle changes to attract a whole new demographic? When thinking ahead and planning changes it can be hard to tell current members that the changes you are making are not for them, it is in fact for those you are wanting to attract to the club - in essence future proofing the club. It is the duty of the current committee and management to ensure that the hard work, foresight and innovation of the clubs founders all those years ago is not lost because the current custodians are unwilling to innovate and change.

Download Bernie's PowerPoint Presentation

Last but not least for day one of presentations was Wibo from Next Payments also with Derek to demonstrate the CITO (Ticket to Go) and CRT Technology which can assist gaming venues to provide a safe and secure method for handling cash.

Ticket2Go has been operating in 19 countries around the world for 5 years and can assist clubs by;

  • Increased Security
  • No Cash Handling
  • No Hopper Refills
  • Very few cancelled credits
  • Reduced downtime on machines
  • And staff can focus their efforts on Harm Minimisation and Compliance

CRT then takes it all to another level with integration directly into your CITO system.

Download Wibo's PowerPoint Presentation

For day two attendees jumped on the bus for a trip down to Oamaru Club for the final day of presentations. Max Carr - Retired Forensic Accountant for the DIA spoke to attendees about the wonderful world of Gaming Renewals.

This was a brilliant presentation that highlighted many areas where clubs tend to get it wrong, but there are some simply things we can do differently that will make life easier for everyone.

The biggest problem that Max and the department encounter is clubs including costs that have nothing to do with the gaming operation - on the other hand costs that should be there i.e. power are not being included. You need to ensure that your accountant understands gaming.

If you are struggling talk to someone, there is no point in waiting to renewal time to ask for help.

Download Max's PowerPoint Presentation

Max also provided a few print outs which you can download a copy of below;

Club Fees

Guide - Licence condition prescribing minimum return to authorised purpose

3 year licence self assessment of your club

The final presenter for the conference was Patrick Brimmer from IGT who gave attendees an overview of IGT's new direction which is focused on innovation, flexibility and quality.

There is no denying that the gaming industry is changing and that the games produced need to change as well.

Obviously New Zealand has some pretty tight rules on the games which can be brought to our shores, but IGT are looking at ways to innovate while working within those rules. At the same time they are working with the regulators to try and bring about change.


Following the presentations the Managers Group Panel Discussion and AGM was underway.  This was an opportunity for group members to ask questions and generally bring about discussion.  There were some brilliant questions raised and some healthy discussion. 

The AGM as usual was short and sweet.  There is no change to the group committee - Lee Davis (Clubs of Marlborough) will remain as President of the group, Dean Candy (Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club) as Vice President and Raquel Renall (Havelock North Club) as Secretary.

The group voted unanimously in favour of taking the 2019 Club Management Conference to Sydney in conjunction with the AGE and information on this will be distributed shortly.

Finally, of course, The Club Management Conference would not happen without the support of our generous sponsors.

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