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"Appalling Abuse of Power" Over Opoutere YHA

"Appalling Abuse of Power" Over Opoutere YHA

Buoyed by 63% majority passing a motion that the Youth Hostel Association adhere to a 12-month moratorium in closing the iconic Opoutere Youth Hostel to allow all opportunities to be explored for its future, supporters were outraged to hear at Saturday’s YHANZ AGM in Wellington that that board did not consider the result to be binding on them and that the Easter 2018 closure decision would stand. It was stated that the board would treat the motion just as “information”.

Group spokesperson David Wildish says in his opinion this demonstrates an “appalling abuse of power” and shows that the YHA Board does not intend to listen to or be accountable to its many thousands of members. The board is planning to ignore duly formulated and passed resolutions by the membership of the Association, a registered charity that has been operating for over 85 years in NZ.

“We are a member organisation, who elect the board to represent our wishes. To be told members are of no account shows how out of touch with the membership both board and management are.

“Natural justice would see the board accede to the direction of the successful motion, because it provides the best opportunity to create the best outcome for all parties concerned.”

The Opoutere fiasco is symptomatic of wider issues with the YHA board/management and member disconnect, he says, which led to the board recommending against a constitutional notice of motion seeking to introduce a disputes resolution process into the YHA constitution, which would give members an ability to seek a resolution with the board should it be needed, curbing the board’s current power to do what it likes without appeal.

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“It is this power that has created what many members consider to be an arrogant, patronising and dismissive board that clearly thinks it can do what it likes. The Board’s conduct at the AGM was shocking to the many long term YHA members. Well respected and honoured members of the association stated that it was the most biased and poorly run meeting they had witnessed in decades of attendance.

“YHA founder, Cora Wilding must be turning in her grave.”

For more information, email the group on


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