The steps taken by 273 Clubs to leave Australian control and align with a new Kiwi-run organization, seemed to be a great opportunity to finally achieve the long sought-after independence for NZ Clubs – first attempted in 2004. (Some of these Clubs were established in this country long before Australia followed suit). But how did it turn out? What went amiss with the successor to the very successful original Steering Group, causing some Clubs to seek a viable local alternative or even consider returning to Australian control?
Rebus NZ Inc was established in December 2015 when it saw that much of the Steering Group’s hard work was in danger of being squandered by governance difficulties within Probus NZ Inc (the Steering Group’s successor). Especially critical was the loss of use of the Probus name in circumstances which will be debated long into the future. REBUS has offered Clubs a simpler accreditation structure and has enjoyed increasing success with close to 50 Clubs now becoming affiliates and with more under consideration.
We believe that the following reasons have contributed to Rebus’s results to date:-
- Initial Rebus Committee (Steering Group) composed of Life members, Past Presidents and senior members of the Probus Club of Hibiscus Coast (later to become a Rebus Club):
- Selection of a distinctive name – not dissimilar to Probus:
- REBUS name successfully trademarked for security and logo designed:
- Mission Statement “Steering a safe Course through our Retirement Years” adopted:
- Establishment of an easily accessible and responsive website – www.rebus.nz:
- Design and production of quality Rebus-themed regalia and affordable pricing:
- Public Liability Insurance cover of $10m protecting affiliated Clubs against any claim made on them by a third party suffering property damage as the result of a Club or a Club member’s negligence:
- Access to “Fit to Travel Insurance” arranged for members of affiliated Clubs who have medical conditions uninsurable by other Travel Insurers:
- Strong emphasis on Rebus acting strictly as a Service Centre – providing a non-intrusive relationship and taking no income from sales of Regalia or travel insurance:
- The Rebus Board benefits from two valuable additional members of the original Steering Committee joining the Board, following their resignation from Probus NZ Inc. Note: Probus NZ Inc were handed 273 Clubs and some $30K in funds from the Steering Committee at the time it disbanded. (The Rebus Chairman also served on the Steering Committee as its Administrator):
- Regular production of Newsletters (including Rebus Chronicles and monthly Club News):
- Dedication to maintaining 24/7 response to Club communications – email or phone:
- All undertakings to affiliated Clubs as outlined in the Rebus pledge, fully met:
- Affiliation fees set at a rate reflecting a Service Centre structure with lower overheads:
- Presidents of affiliated Clubs become members of the Society with the right to attend and vote at Special or Annual General meetings:
- Transparency in prompt disclosure of Financial reports. (10 days after balance date) Modest income surplus in the first year ended 31 December 2016 of $1400.60:
- Stability in Officers and members of the Rebus Board with two additions during 2016/7 from new Rebus Clubs, allowing two members from the Rebus Club of Hibiscus Coast to retire at the May 2017 AGM:
- Deputy Chairman appointed to ensure succession planning for future safety of the organization.
Rebus NZ Inc has been successful in stemming the flow back to Australia with almost 50 Clubs having decided to become Rebus affiliates. More have the issue under consideration – if not for this year, then for the next affiliation period 2018/9.
How does Rebus NZ Inc which styles itself as a “Service Centre”, differ from other organizations offering accreditation?
- No costly regional structures through which Clubs must communicate:
- Clubs have direct access to the Chairman and Secretary by well- posted phone and email addresses:
- Presidents of Clubs automatically become members of Rebus and can attend and vote at meetings:
- Rebus acts in an advisory capacity only – as and when invited:
- Because of its structure and objectives, Rebus operates a modest budget to ensure that promised services are delivered in a cost-effective manner:
- As in the UK, where there are in excess of 2000 Probus Clubs, absolute autonomy is achieved after Clubs adopt and adhere to a Standard Constitution which enshrines long established principles.
How does a Club find out first-hand, more about what Rebus can offer?
Simply call 09 424 7115, 09 424 7759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask if it is possible for a personal visit to be made to your Club to speak either to your Committee or the full membership. During the last 18 months, The Chairman and Secretary have visited several such Clubs and are happy to consider additional meetings where practicable.