NZ Business - - BRIEFCASE -

IN THE CITY of Sails, there’s an op­por­tu­nity to be­come a part of one of the more ven­er­a­ble as­so­ci­a­tions lo­cated in the cen­tral city. One which pro­vides a range of at­trac­tive ben­e­fits for cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual mem­bers.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Westhaven Ma­rina is em­i­nently ac­ces­si­ble, ex­plains GM Hay­den Porter. “You don’t even have to be a boat owner, al­though some in­ter­est in the water ob­vi­ously helps.”

That’s re­flected in the club’s mem­ber­ship; more than 60 per­cent of in­di­vid­u­als don’t own a ves­sel.

“A great deal of mem­bers join for the so­cial and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. While we try not to mix too much busi­ness with plea­sure, there’s no doubt that from the as­so­ci­a­tions and friend­ships which arise from mem­ber­ship, plenty of busi­ness takes place be­tween our mem­bers.”

Far from an as­so­ci­a­tion for old boys, the RNZYS pro­vides a range of at­trac­tive ben­e­fits, par­tic­u­larly for cor­po­rate mem­ber­ships. With nine func­tion spa­ces, a board­room, as well as the sort of fa­cil­i­ties more com­monly as­so­ci­ated with a yacht club such as a restau­rant, bar and lounge, the club pro­vides an ideal venue for events.

One long-stand­ing mem­ber is Com­modore Steve Mair; in many re­spects, this highly suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur has tied his busi­ness to the RNZYS. Three of his busi­nesses re­late to the marine in­dus­try in one way or an­other.

A life­long mariner, Mair is one of the youngest Com­modores the club has ever seen and is deeply in­volved in the marine and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties. “Just be­ing a mem­ber is one thing, but if you get in­volved and get stuck in, you’ll get a lot more out of it. You are likely to forge life­long friend­ships and, no doubt, es­tab­lish plenty of com­mer­cial re­la­tion­ships.”

He says the RNZYS has al­ways played a role in his busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, through the fa­cil­i­ties on of­fer on the one hand, and the valu­able as­so­ci­a­tions with good peo­ple on the other.

“For me, be­ing a part of the RNZYS is all about the peo­ple you meet. That means life­long friends and busi­ness re­la­tion­ships and a life­time of mem­o­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Porter con­firms that among its mem­ber­ship are many in­flu­en­tial mem­bers of New Zealand so­ci­ety, while many of the coun­try’s top com­pa­nies also main­tain cor­po­rate mem­ber­ships.

“Busi­ness fo­cused mem­ber­ships are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, as they pro­vide sub­stan­tial ben­e­fits.” Rolled into the cor­po­rate package is four in­di­vid­ual mem­ber­ships, eight hires per year of func­tion rooms, a 20 per­cent dis­count on food and bev­er­ages, mag­a­zine pro­mo­tion and a list­ing on the Squadron’s web­site.

Mem­ber­ships are geared to the small busi­ness com­mu­nity too, start­ing at just un­der $500 per month. An in­di­vid­ual mem­ber­ship starts from around $25 per month.

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