Clubs New Zealand 2018 Conference & AGM - WRAP UP

28 March 2018

The Clubs New Zealand 2018 Conference & AGM was held from 22nd through to the 24th March at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre and hosted by St John’s Club. Once again, the Expo, Conference and AGM gave clubs from right across New Zealand the opportunity to come together, enjoy each other company and learn about fantastic opportunities, new ideas and more. We would like to thank everyone who attended conference this year and we would like to extend a huge thank you and congratulations to St John’s Club for being fantastic hosts and on reaching 125 years of serving the Wanganui Community.

Below is a wrap up of the 2018 Conference & AGM and where possible we have included PDF versions of the speaker’s presentations for you to view. Photos from over the three days can be viewed on our Facebook page and we encourage you to share any snaps you have.


This year’s expo took place on Thursday 22nd March and continued through until Friday 23rd March and featured a wide range of exhibitors. The expo provides a wonderful opportunity for delegates to get face to face with our industry supporters and see first-hand how their products and services can benefit your clubs.  


The Clubs New Zealand 2018 Conference was launched with warm welcomes from Royce Tunbridge – St John’s Club President and Brian Ferguson – Clubs New Zealand President. Following the welcomes proceedings were handed over to Conference MC Marty Lindsay.

Hamish McDouall, Mayor of Whanganui opened the presentations for the day. Hamish began his presentation by acknowledging the 125th Anniversary of the St John’s Club. In 1893 when the St John’s Club was formed the All Black did not exist, it is hard to imagine a New Zealand without All Blacks, but clubs were there, providing social intercourse and welfare to their communities – the fact that clubs have come this far is a reflection of their importance in their communities.

Hamish touched on his experiences living in Auckland before moving to Whanganui with his family and the struggles that families, particularly those in large cities have managing their job, family, social commitments and the strain that this will put on clubs – however clubs have a fantastic opportunity to break down the ‘ten-foot walls’ people put around each other and bring communities together.

Hamish then discussed the roles of council and questioned whether clubs were on a first name basis with their local council’s regulatory team – if not, why? Councils have been tasked with managing alcohol, food, gambling and many other areas but they are not infallible –a good relationship and knowing who to talk to will make it much easier on everybody.

Tony gave a captivating and hard-hitting presentation on the business of hospitality and the need to change mindsets. There is much more to hospitality then simply providing a meal or a drink – people come to your club for the experience.

Clubs need to get rid of inflexibility and thinking that they cannot change. It’s the stuff you don’t do that hurts your business. Tony highlighted that in the hospitality game clubs have the biggest opportunity and its no longer good enough to keep doing what has always been done.

You need minimum standards of service (meeting, greeting, seating, repeat), you need the attitude, consistency and teamwork. Club decision makers need to know what’s hot, the marketing has to be good and you have to be prepared to WORK HARD.

Tony has a wealth of knowledge in the industry and has offered clubs 90 days of free questions.

Tony Wheeler
Raising the Bar Consulting
021 497 997

Download a copy of Tony's PowerPoint Presentation here

It was fantastic to have the Hon Simon Bridges attend the Clubs New Zealand 2018 Conference, and as Tom Fisher pointed out the last leader of a political party to speak at a Clubs New Zealand event was Robert Muldoon – there was a lot to catch up on.

Simon Bridges started by confirming that the National Party is a passionate supporter of clubs, with Simon himself a member of clubs in his home town of Tauranga. Simon wished to confirm that the National Party is a firm believer of smaller government and stronger communities, meaning that the government should be enabling and supporting NGOs, clubs, groups, the community assets etc that make New Zealand tick, without slowing them down and bogging them down with endless compliance – needless to say this was well received.

Before lunch we were joined by David McGrath; Chief Digital Officer at Clubs New South Wales. As a member of Clubs Australia, Clubs New Zealand has had the opportunity over the last 6 months to work closely with the NSWs team and David on our own technological pursuits as well as share and leverage off the work taking place in Australia’s Clubs.

David presentation focused on digital disruption and the need to get comfortable with disruption – because it is everywhere.

Clubs must be prepared to embrace the digital experience, it is everywhere – you don’t need to see the top of the stairs to take the first step.

Download a copy of David's PowerPoint Presentation here

After lunch we were joined by Nicky Sinden – host of Ados Addicted to Fishing. Nicky took delegates on a journey as she described the conception of an idea – to create the first fishing show hosted by a female. The challenges she faced in getting it off the ground and the shear determination required to make it happen.

Clubs need to be brave enough to come up with new ideas and run with them. Introduce refreshing change and something different – be prepared to put yourself out there.

As always, we like to finish up a full day of conference with a little entertainment and laughter and Nick Rado did not disappoint.

After pulling up Ferg for his negative body language, Nick took us on a journey of frankincense, vegan mother groups and the dangers of not completing the lists left for you by your wife.

Nick did mention the opportunity for clubs to be a part of Nationwide comedy tours and we will be following up to get the full details of these and how clubs can get involved.


The second Clubs New Zealand Conference Dinner was held at The Avenue Wanganui, which was an enjoyable evening kicked off by drinks around the pool (thankfully the rain cleared just in time).

Thank you to everyone who attended the conference dinner and helped to formally congratulate St John’s Club on their 125th Anniversary.

(we also learnt that photo booths go down a treat with club delegates)


The Clubs New Zealand Annual General Meeting started at 9.30am and prior to getting into the business of Clubs New Zealand, Dave Tilley gave a quick presentation – “Do you really know what your clubs bottom line is?” Dave highlighted the need to understand what you are looking at, and while a 2% change in takings might not seem the end of the world, it could effectively mean thousands of dollars are walking out of your club. Do not wait until it is to late, if you are unsure or are concerned contact Clubs New Zealand it is what we are here for.

After Dave’s presentation Lucy gave a quick update on the Clubs New Zealand App which is now live and free to download on both Apple and Android. Details will be coming out to all clubs soon on how your members can sign in and start benefiting from the Clubs New Zealand App.

Following Dave and Lucy’s presentations, the Annual General Meeting got underway and progressed smoothly throughout the morning.

As an election year the new board members were formally welcomed onto the board;

  • Aaron Gray – Northland
  • Tom Quinn – Waikato – Thames Valley
  • Royce Tunbridge – Manawatu, Taranaki, Wanganui
  • Murice Nutria (Bones) – Canterbury

We also thanked those who were stepping down from the board after many years of service to their areas and the Clubs New Zealand movement;

  • Dennis Conaghan
  • Collin Sullivan
  • Pat Mitchell
  • Keith Ballantyne

Capitation Fees for 2018

Each year the AGM must confirm the capitation fees for the current year, the board proposed that the capitation fee should increase by CPI to $4.00 + GST per member. Following some discussion, the vote was put to the floor and carried.

The draft minutes of the AGM will be made available on our website shortly for members to view.


There were two applications to host the Clubs New Zealand 2020 Conference & AGM – Club Buller and Canterbury Clubs.

It was agreed that the 2020 Conference & AGM would be headed to Canterbury.

The host the Clubs New Zealand 2019 Conference & AGM Tauranga Citizens Club. There was discussion regarding the need to change the dates for conference due to an event being held at the same time as the conference, this is not the case and the dates will remain 21/22/23 March 2019 at the Tauranga Citizens Club.


As mentioned before a huge thank you to the entire team at St John’s Club for helping and supporting Clubs New Zealand in delivering a fantastic Conference & AGM.

And finally, a big thank you to our conference sponsors!

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