Thinking of standing for the Board?

Photo is of the National Office in the 90s with everyone pitching in to send the Motor Caravanner. Photo from John Spain's Down Memory Lane book
Photo is of the National Office in the 90s with everyone pitching in to send the Motor Caravanner. Photo from John Spain's Down Memory Lane book

From its earliest days the NZMCA has been blessed with dedicated members prepared to share their enthusiasm and expertise in leading the organisation.

It started with our founder Andy Anderson – the proverbial one-man band – whose frustration with motorhome registration costs was the catalyst for the formation of the club. And in the 63 years since it has continued, with firstly National Committees and then Executives steering the club through years of consistent development which has made the Association what it is today.

The current Board – which is still made up of volunteer members – leads a thriving national organisation which has grown far beyond those early leaders’ wildest dreams. Not surprisingly, the demands on the leadership team have increased dramatically too. Today’s Board oversees an organisation with more than 87,000 individual members, assets in excess of $12 million – including a portfolio of 45 leased or owned properties – and a National Office of employed staff.

Whereas in years gone by previous leaders took on much of the ‘donkey work’ themselves (running the insurance scheme, sending out membership invoices etc) the organisation has grown far beyond that level of hands-on involvement. Now, the Board’s primary responsibility is governance – setting the strategies and budget for the future; then working with the CEO and his team to ensure that their goals are met.

The NZMCA Board at the 2017 NZMCA National Rally & AGM held in Nelson
The NZMCA Board at the 2017 NZMCA National Rally & AGM held in Nelson

The Board today

The Board meets formally every two months (at shifting locations around the country to give interested members an opportunity to attend the meetings) and faces a full agenda of items needing Board input and approval.

Most of the agenda is usually handled in open meeting, with the Board then retiring to discuss confidential or commercially sensitive items ‘in committee’. Board members are expected to have thoroughly read and considered the agenda before each meeting so they are able to bring their thoughts to the discussion around the Board table.

NZMCA President Bruce Stanger – who has been part of the leadership team for almost 20 years – wants to remind members considering standing for the Board of the responsibilities involved in offering themselves for such a role.

“First and foremost, the Board members are responsible for the governance of the NZMCA, so need to have an understanding of business best practice and be able to make decisions,” he said.

“Having said that, they also need to understand that we are a club looking after our members’ interests first and the business operation is a result of that. “For me, having respect for the achievements of those many hard-working volunteers who have gone before us is vital. But, as Board members, we also need to have the ability to look to the future – to create a vision of the services and facilities required to ensure our organisation remains relevant to current members and those yet to come.” Bruce explains that Board members are allocated different tasks that best suit their abilities and are ‘expected to work well as a team member in the decision-making process while voicing their own thoughts and opinions’. 

The big projects the Board is working on at present include: the redraft of the Constitution and bylaws (which has been voted on and approved in 2019) ; the National Office IT upgrade; our ongoing lobbying to protect members’ right to responsible freedom camping; the future of the Certified Self-Containment scheme; and caring for the environment and how it affects our members – i.e. rubbish disposal, members planting trees at our Parks and helping clean waterways etc. Ongoing projects are property purchase, development and management and supporting CEO Bruce Lochore and his National Office team in developing and maintaining relationships with Councils, Government, DOC, and like-minded groups.

“Board members need to be good thinkers, good listeners and have a positive attitude to change and development, as well as being a team player with a bit of diplomacy,” concludes President Bruce. “Any members considering putting themselves forward for election are welcome to call myself or our Vice President Ross Hamilton if they require any further information on what the role entails.”