Clubs' merger col­lapse

Con­cerns about prospec­tive site thought to have swayed mem­bers

Hawke's Bay Today - - Front Page - Laura Wilt­shire

A real op­por­tu­nity ex­isted for the clubs to pool their re­sources.

The Taradale RSA and the Taradale Club will not be com­bin­ing af­ter RSA mem­bers voted against go­ing ahead with a po­ten­tial merger its own com­mit­tee ini­ti­ated. Cur­rent and for­mer pres­i­dents of Taradale RSA, Mike Per­reau and Peter Grant met Taradale Club chair­man Lloyd Fit­ness yes­ter­day to in­form him merger talks were off. Per­reau said an RSA meet­ing on Sun­day had been highly emo­tive, and he was dis­ap­pointed with “or­ches­trated rau­cous be­hav­iour,” from some mem­bers of the club. Late last year, the RSA’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee had ini­ti­ated dis­cus­sions over a po­ten­tial merger with the Taradale Club to se­cure the fu­ture of both clubs. How­ever, a De­cem­ber 16 RSA meet­ing had be­come “highly charged” and the vote was put off to give mem­bers more time to con­sider the idea. In De­cem­ber Taradale Club voted unan­i­mously to work to­wards the merger. Per­reau said key is­sues were not ad­dressed at Sun­day’s meet­ing, which had sought to un­der­take due dili­gence on the part­ner­ship and look at its fea­si­bil­ity, be­fore a fi­nal de­ci­sion was made. Taradale Club chair­man Lloyd Fit­ness said he was dis­ap­pointed by the RSA’s de­ci­sion. “We had en­tered into dis­cus­sions as both clubs’ com­mit­tees had ear­lier agreed that our com­mu­nity could not sus­tain two vi­able clubs into the longer term fu­ture.” “A real op­por­tu­nity ex­isted for the two clubs to pool their re­spec­tive re­sources and cre­ate a vi­brant, well-per­formed club to serve our com­mu­nity for many years to come.” He said he was con­cerned about his club’s vi­a­bil­ity in the long term, how­ever, he had seen good growth over the last six months. “We’ve been trad­ing very sat­is­fac­to­rily. . . It’s look­ing likely we’ve turned the club around in terms of the mem­ber­ship growth, the book­ings of the func­tion venue, and even pa­tron­age by mem­bers.” He said the club was as­set rich and cash poor, but due to the re­cent growth he did not fore­see the club hav­ing to sell

Lloyd Fit­ness, Taradale Club

as­sets to sur­vive. He said from talk­ing to RSA mem­bers, he un­der­stood some were con­cerned about the Taradale Club’s lo­ca­tion on Whar­erangi Rd, which would have been where the merged club was lo­cated. He said there was huge growth hap­pen­ing in the area, in­clud­ing a hous­ing de­vel­op­ment across the road which would have close to 200 houses, and an­other 800-sec­tion de­vel­op­ment.

Pho­tos / Paul Tay­lor

Mike Per­reau, Taradale RSA Pres­i­dent.

Taradale Club chair­man Lloyd Fit­ness (left), with An­dre Beneke. The club is dis­ap­pointed with the RSA’s de­ci­sion not to merge.

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