Wellington RFU announces surplus at annual meeting

The Wellington Rugby Football Union announced a second successive financial surplus at its 139th annual meeting at the Paremata-Plimmerton club on Wednesday night.

Off the back of hosting the British and Irish Lions, combined with a positive Hurricanes season that returned a healthy dividend, a title winning Mitre 10 Cup Championship season and continued prudent cost management, the union posted a $204,000 surplus.

The 2017 surplus followed a similar result in 2016 when the union had a financial surplus of $191,000.

While the financial result was positive, chairman Iain Potter said the board would continue to target new revenue streams while continuing to review its business model to ensure it continues to position itself for the changing domestic rugby environment.

As well as the positive financial announcement, the meeting saw Brendan Gard’ner re-appointed as president for 2018. He will be joined again by vice-presidents Murray Blandford, Ina Hansen and Robin Dodd while Martin Isberg was elected a new vice-president.

Wellington rugby stalwart Wayne Guppy was admitted a life member of the union for his outstanding service to the sport in the region.

Guppy has served many roles within the union, including as president and vice-president, an assistant coach to the Wellington Lions, coach of the sevens team, a selector as well as fulfilling an important role as a coaching representative with major partner Ricoh.

The highlights of the 2017 year were also highlighted and included the Wellington Lions winning the Mitre 10 Cup Championship to win promotion to the Premiership under coach Chris Gibbes.

Other highlights  included continued growth in female and junior player numbers, the fan engagement associated with the British and Irish Lions international and the inaugural Community Rugby Awards.
Potter concluded that going forward a strong focus would be on positive initiatives that would to continue support and foster rugby participation in Wellington.

This included a house build project which is being supported by our key sponsors with the net proceeds going towards Wellington junior rugby and our key Charity Wellington Children's Hospital.

As part of the ten year plan for cultural change outlined in the Dame Margaret Bazley Report, the key document was development of a Wellington Rugby Charter. This has now been formulated by an independent group led by Ted Thomas and will be rolled out into the Wellington Rugby community throughout 2018.