The suburb of Hobsonville in the west of Auckland has been around a long time. In fact when Captain William Hobson, the first Governor of New Zealand, landed at the site, he considered making it the first seat of a new New Zealand government, But after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Okiato (Russell) was chosen instead.
From 1920, Hobsonville was pretty much known as a New Zealand Air Force base. The base was wound down from 2002, and the huge housing and commercial development began taking shape to create the Hobsonville we know today.
Along the line, both a men’s and women’s bowling club were established in 1956/1957, and today the combined club is flourishing … fuelled by the burgeoning populace that has chosen to make this upper harbour locale home.
But it’s not just a mushrooming neighbourhood that has powered the Hobsonville Bowling Club to success.
Last year, we reported the huge contribution that the club’s social convenor, Nigel Rattray, had made to the membership through the implementation of a remarkable twilight bowls programme. And this year, the executive of the club, despite being voluntary, has gone about developing the club in an almost ‘businesslike’ way.
So much so, that the club has rightfully earned a place as one of New Zealand’s ‘clubs to be watched’.
The Hobsonville Bowling Club has attracted a club executive that won’t take ‘no’ for an answer … an executive that finds all the reasons they can do things …. rather than excusing themselves with all the reasons why they can’t do things.
And as a result, has earned Bowls New Zealand’s Club of the Year in 2023.
That award has been founded on the club’s implementation of a 11-point vision to ensure and assure success.
Firstly, the club is governed by a nine member (+ co-optees) executive made up of a rotating membership with diverse skills and experience in business, sports and local government. As a result (and secondly), the board has been able to implement a management regime to assure the club’s success as a valued bowls and community entity.
Thirdly, the club has a plan as to what it wants, and how it will resource what needs to be done in the near future. As well as (fourthly) a strategic business plan as to where the club wants to be in three to six years. That includes a roof over the greens.
Fifthly, they’ve earmarked ‘resourcing’ as a key focus … in particular, gaining and expanding sponsorship, grant-funding…