RSA facing uncertain future

As Anzac Day approaches, the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA is considering new options to ensure its long-term future, which include selling its Vipond Road site and relocating to the Orewa or Manly Bowling clubs.

Last year, in June, the RSA put a portion of its land, at Melia Place, up for sale. This was expected to bring in around $1.5 million – a cash injection needed to get the organisation back on a sound financial footing.

At the time the club was facing potential closure due to mounting debt and falling income from its restaurant and bar.

Hibiscus Coast Community RSA president Frank Coggan says a conditional contract for purchase of the land fell through at the end of last year. He says this left the RSA in a “fragile” financial state.
“Our income is a bit better, but we are still only holding on by the skin of our teeth,” he says. “Time is of the essence.”

At the committee meeting held on March 27, club manager Gerry Gibbs presented a summary of the club’s financial position. The report made it clear that the club is still hemorrhaging money.

The figures show that in the year ending June 2017, the net loss was $230,000. So far this year, the net loss is $126,000 but likely to be up to $189,000 by the end of June.

A buyer for the 5200sqm Melia Place site has still not been found. However, developer Location Group approached the club with a proposal to buy the whole Vipond Road site, which would mean relocating the RSA – potentially to Orewa Bowling Club.

The proposed sale and merger with Orewa Bowling Club is one of the proposals outlined in this month’s newsletter to members. The others are rebuilding or renovating the facility at Vipond Road, which could only happen if land is sold to fund the work; or selling the Vipond Road site and relocating to land occupied by the Manly Bowling and Tennis clubs.

Mr Coggan says that at a meeting on April 10 the committee resolved to recommend to members that the club stays put at Vipond Rd and rebuilds or renovates the buildings. This would mean selling some land. In the coming weeks, committee members hope to meet with the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board to discuss a feasibility study so that members can be fully informed.

While it’s the committee’s view that the club should not proceed with the proposed Location Group deal and should not relocate to either bowling club, the final decision rests with the members.

An extraordinary general meeting is to be held next month for that purpose.