Eight months in the role - President (Ferg) Bryan Ferguson

3 November 2016

Recently I was asked, how I was finding the role as President of Clubs New Zealand?

My first response was that I am really enjoying the role, it is just a continuation of my previous roles both as President of the Otorohanga Club and Area Board member for the King Country Area however, while the transition to President of Clubs New Zealand has been relatively easy the work is very different.

I have been fortunate to visit many Clubs in both Islands including attending my own National Board meetings, 6 area meetings including several Club AGMs. There has also been a small number of judicial matters including a request for me to chair a special AGM all of which seem to come with the role. That been said I treat the position as a privilege and I am looking forward to reporting the year-end financial result to you next month and subsequently at the conference in Marlborough next year.

There will always be highlights in this role however the ‘Papanui Clubs’ win the 2016 Hospitality New Zealand Awards for Excellence – Best New/Redeveloped Bar/Restaurant stands out. This recognition is significant and creates a bench mark for others but also dispels the myth that most Clubs in New Zealand are old and tired. Our congratulations go to Keith Ballantyne (Manager) and Tony Bailie (President) including their brave and determined committee. I understand there were challenges getting to the nomination stage of the awards especially given that Hospitality New Zealand is 99% Pub’s, Casino’s and Taverns. A truly great result.

The next challenge for us all is to ensure we embrace the world of technology.  At the National Office in Wellington we are in the testing stage of our new cloud based database and member management system.  This technology will provide a great deal of efficiencies that will enhance all aspects of club business.  I am committed to ensuring we remain focused on modern trends without compromising our good old fashioned service to members. The key is not to be afraid of technology.

The changing environment of taking a bet in our clubs is also providing many challenges. The TAB is currently undergoing significant changes to their business with the flow on from their revitalisation work set to affect us all. The TAB are important partners with Clubs whether you have a TAB or not and we will continue to work with them as we seek to find effective ways of gaining a ‘win/win.  

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with several key political people.  Hopefully as I get to know these connections we can start to improve our relationships with the various bureaucracies across the country.  In the next few weeks Larry and I will meet with the Gambling Commission to put our case to them directly about the challenges of our Clubs Class 4 Gaming operations.  This is a chance meeting that we are looking forward to.  Only time will tell how our recommendations will be viewed.

Ferg Heather and PM resize

President Clubs New Zealand Bryan (Ferg) Ferguson, Heather Gifkins (Fergs Wife) and the Right Honorable John Key

Last month Larry and I attended the Clubs Australia and New Zealand AGM.  This partnership is another that is hugely beneficial to us.   Their support and knowledge of the Club Industry is very worthwhile.

Finally, our small team at National Office are achieving big things and are always willing to help so don’t hesitate to call them if you have any issues. There is much to do and I am enjoying being part of it.  I look forward to meeting many of you as I travel around the club scene.

Bryan Ferguson
President Clubs New Zealand

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