May 2019 Newsletter

May 1, 2019

Dear Members,

The purpose of this letter is to summarise the outcome of the AGM held on Sunday 5 May 2019, and to provide members with an understanding of the way forward for the Taupo RSA.

The Board of Management (BoM) reported that the Taupo RSA, as a social club, is extremely tenuous and that the 2019 AGM presented a watershed moment for its future. This assessment was based upon continued membership apathy, a fractious and toxic club culture, and the irrelevance of the RSA to the Taupo community: some of which influenced the failure of the AGM to elect an Executive Committee. Three members stood for election, none of whom sought the appointments of President, Vice President, or Treasurer. Consequently, the BoM volunteered to remain in office to exercise governance over the affairs of the RSA, going forward. Failure to retain the BoM would have resulted in the termination of the RSA in all respects except for welfare and cemetery functions, which would rely on volunteers. A motion endorsed the retention of the BoM.

The spoiling behaviour by a small group of member’s once again demonstrated the toxic culture of the membership, which prompted Garry Sparkes to remind the meeting that the purpose and values of the RSA were bigger than member self-interest. It was, therefore, pleasing to see the majority of members shared his sentiments. It re-set the atmosphere for a productive meeting.

Joan Williamson directed the conversation toward the future of the RSA, whereupon the BoM was able to reiterate the case for a club hub that includes the RSA, and that it be located on the Tongariro South Domain. We imagine a facility that is the home for other community clubs but operated by a commercial entity delivering food and beverage hospitality. This idea is founded on best practice employed by other clubs in other communities. However, beforehand the Taupo District Council has to review the future of the Tongariro Domain, but it is the BoM’s intention its case for a club hub be included in the review. Accordingly, the establishment of a club hub is considered to be the strategic goal for the RSA.

In the meantime, the BoM presented a concept of a virtual social club i.e. members socialise in various hospitality outlets within Taupo. It has become apparent that no one hospitality outlet in Taupo will attract all members, therefore, we encourage the various membership social groups e.g. housie, club social evenings, etc to use their preferred venues and advertise them well in advance.

The next step in planning the future of the RSA is to create a “think tank” consisting of personnel the BoM will approach. The purpose of this group is to define the path of progress towards achieving a new home for the RSA. Therefore, the BoM will be looking for personnel who are passionate about the survival of the RSA, have the business acumen, energy, and can contribute to delivering consensus agreement. One outcome from this exercise will be the preparation of a business case for establishing a club hub.

Randy Stone was accorded Life Membership of the RSA for his dedicated and unwavering service to the RSA. The unanimous decision reflected a well-deserved award. Moreover, in the absence of an elected President, Randy has volunteered to perform the Presidents duties. Phil Green has volunteered to act as Vice President. Phil and Vicki have also generously offered the RSA office space at 1/35 Miro Street for an initial term of one year. Accordingly, the office will be relocated in the first week of June.

The situation regarding the governance of the RSA presents an opportunity to deliberately implement a changing of the guard. To persist with present guard (the era of returned and served up to and including the Vietnam War) simply guarantees the total failure of the social component of the RSA, and the role it has to play in the social fabric of the Taupo community. Therefore, the BoM intention is to encourage the post-Vietnam era returned and served to pick up the vacant baton of governance and prepare the RSA fit for a new age, and to reintegrate it with the Taupo community.

Let the journey begin.