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Lifestyle changes with marae and workplace clubs

Lions respond to lifestyle changes with marae and workplace-based clubs

This weekend more than 500 Lions meet in Queenstown for the annual convention of Lions Multiple District 202, which covers New Zealand and the South Pacific. The convention will plan to celebrate 50 years of service to New Zealand next year, consider a proposal for a major new sight-related initiative and look at the ways Lions Clubs are changing to win new members.

The convention will hear how Lions Clubs are responding to changes in people’s life styles and out-of-work commitments with a series of different approaches to clubs, including marae and workplace-based clubs.

Lions New Zealand Chairman Terry Hemmingsen said that throughout the western world service clubs have been losing members as lifestyles become more busy and there is greater pressure on people’s time.

“Given the contribution that Lions make in supporting a wide range of charities and community services, that loss potentially has a huge impact on the quality of life, our cities, towns and small rural communities,” he said.

“As New Zealand’s– and the world’s - largest service club with over 1.3 million members internationally and more than 12,500 members nationally, Lions is determined to increase its membership so it can continue to provide the community services New Zealanders have come to rely on.”

Terry said that to achieve that Lions were looking a creating clubs that fitted people’s lifestyles and working habits, rather than asking people to change their routines to fit in with a more traditional club structure.

As an example, new clubs either planned or just established in the Wellington region include a corporate Pacific club, a marae-based club, work-place-based clubs at Parliament and at the College of Education and a business club in Porirua, as well as a community-based club in Otaki.

Terry said there are still a lot of more traditional clubs around doing great work and the traditional structure works for many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas but in urban areas in particular, new approaches were needed.

“Next year Lions will celebrate 50 years of service in New Zealand. We’re determined it will be just as strong a force for good and community development for the next 50 years as it has since 1955,” he said.

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