WTMC Membership Categories – Some Changes for 2015

Updated 24 Aug – incorporating changes to the proposal based on your feedback.  Senior Member is now Adult Member, and the Veteran Household sub is reduced from $85 to $80.

The committee has been doing some work on the membership categories. We took some steps to make changes a few years ago to make it easier to join up children and to lower joining criteria from 3 overnight trips to two. We’ve had a chance to see how these changes have worked, and are looking to make further changes now to make joining and participating in club life simpler and easier.

This proposed changes will affect how much you pay to be a club member and what you are entitled to. So it’s important you understand it, think about it and let us know what you think.

Why are we thinking about this?

Making it simpler
New members who are joining as a couple or a family have a bewildering array of combinations of couple, associate and child membership options, and the pricing doesn’t make sense – for example, a couple gets more benefits than a senior and associate, but pays less money. You also have to delve deep into the Club Policies to figure out differences between for instance a Senior and an Associate, or a Child and a Junior. We tried asking some members questions about these sorts of things, and we either got blank stares or confident explanations that were completely wrong!

Making it better value for families
In the last few years, a thriving families group has started within the club. Family trips don’t use as much club facilities as other sorts of trips – families tend to have bought lots of camping and tramping gear and have people-movers to lug it around in, so there’s less use of club gear and transport for family trips. But the costs for joining up a family are quite high, and that means that the majority of people on family trips are non members. How do we encourage these people to join and nurture the WTMC’s next generation?

What’s the current proposal?

Simplify the categories
We propose to fold the current Senior, Associate, Couple and Child/ren membership categories into just two easy-to-understand categories – Senior Adult and Household.

If you are joining by yourself, you get a senior an Adult membership. If joining as a couple or family, you join as a household – 1-2 adults and unlimited children who all live at the same address. At least one of the adults needs to have qualified for membership in the usual way.

Veteran membership similarly changes to Veteran and Veteran Household. The privileges offered to Life members are also offered to their household.

Friend of club membership is retained for former members who still want to keep in touch with us. Junior membership is still available, primarily for teenagers with parents who don’t tramp, but until we build up a youth wing we don’t expect to see it used much.

Simplify the benefits
All members (other than Friends of the Club) that are 18 or over will have all the benefits of club membership. That includes member rates on club trips and at the lodge; voting rights at the AGM; FMC membership and a discount card; a copy of the Journal for each household; and after six months’ membership, access to discounted training and the ability to nominate new members.

How much will it cost?

For all but couples, your membership cost will stay the same or go down. Couple membership is still a great deal – it gives you over 30% discount compared to two senior members.

Current Category Current Cost Proposed Category Proposed Cost Difference
Senior $62.00 Adult $62.00 No change
Senior + Assoc $100.00 Household $100.00 No change
Senior + Assoc + Children $138.00 Household $100.00 $38 cheaper
Senior + children $100.00 Household $100.00 No change
Couple $85.00 Household $100.00 $15 dearer
Couple + Children $123.00 Household $100.00 $23 cheaper
Veteran $52.00 Veteran $52.00 No change
Veteran + assoc $80.00 Veteran Household $85 $80 No change
Veteran + assoc + children $118.00 Veteran Household $85 $80 $38 cheaper
Veteran + children $90.00 Veteran Household $85 $80 $10 cheaper
Veteran Couple $76.00 Veteran Household $85 $80 $4 dearer
Veteran couple + children $114.00 Veteran Household $85 $80 $34 cheaper

What happens next?

We want to know what you think! Send your comments or thoughts to the WTMC president at  or speak to Amanda or Mike Gilbert at a club night, or join the discussion on the forum (https://www.wtmc.org.nz/phorum/list.php?2).

To understand exactly what’s going on, review the document that shows all the proposed changes to the website, Club Policies and the Club Constitution:
Membership Types and Categories – wording changes

Once we know and understand member thoughts on this – we will make any appropriate changes and present a final proposal at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in late 2014. (We need to change the constitution, so an EGM is required; but in any case, a change like this needs your participation and agreement).

Then in 2015, the new categories will be active and your subs will reflect that.

But wait – there’s more!

At the same time, we are also looking at the costs and benefits of the club to members and non-members alike.  We’re asking two questions:

  • How do we encourage people to join the WTMC, particularly people who go on trips with the club but don’t see the benefits in joining?
  • How do we encourage WTMC members to stay members?

Everything is open for discussion – joining fees, conditions of entry, non member surcharges, what you get from WTMC membership, the lot. Put your thinking caps on and look to join that discussion in the weeks ahead!

13 thoughts on “WTMC Membership Categories – Some Changes for 2015”

  1. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your consideration. As Noel Thomas says “Friends of the Club” is not an option as we like to keep in touch with the club. In April this year we held a get together in Turangi attended by many veterans and past members as a reaction to the Club not holding a 65th anniversary celebration which was a deep disappointment to us all especially as some of the older members are no longer with us. Ten years between anniversary celebrations is a long time for some of our ageing friends to get together. The newsletter never makes any reference to past members. Norm Whiteside and I have been members of WTMC since 1959 (55 years) but this has never been acknowledged.

    We note you are proposing to raise the veteran couple fee by $4. While this isn’t very much $80 is, most of our age group are pensioners. Some of us are still very active and also belong to other tramping clubs nearer to where we live. For example, Judy and I pay $50 a year for our Howick Tramping Club membership.

    Our costs to the WTMC as a “veteran couple” are no more to the club than a “single veteran” member. As mentioned by Noel Thomas, our only contact is the newsletter online, a single copy of the annual magazine and a single copy of the FMC publication.

    Reply
  2. Hi, thanks to all for the great prep work on revision of Membership categories. Membership as an ongoing commitment is decreasing internationally, as the next generation approaches social connections like clubs differently. Same applies to tramping clubs, political parties, or car modelling!

    Stuff I have read about this for my work has suggested that membership behaviour is changing everywhere- might come in the form of a single initiative or project -some thing with a focus, and more importantly with a beginning and end. Younger people may not “join” for the long term, but for being involved in a campaign, or specific development programme, e.g development programme focussed on water skills (tubing, river crossing etc); or snowcraft plus some development tramps, ecology focus. or exploring the Ruahines. Am short on specific examples and ideas, but someone else may have better ideas. My point is that for upcoming generations, engagement in clubs is not likely to be based on the things that drew former generations in. How about we ask some of our younger non-members who come on our trips?

    Reply
  3. Hi Mike, thanks for engaging on this. At the moment we have only 13 members falling into the Associate category (and the majority of these have children members).

    Reply
  4. Amelia, thanks for that feedback, it’s appreciated. Just to clarify re Veteran, you need to have been a member for 20 years to qualify for this category.

    Reply
  5. Thanks for going to such great lengths to put this together and describe it.

    Out of curiosity are there many Associate members under the current scheme? I hadn’t even realised that membership type existed until now, and thought the only option for partners to join was as a Couple.

    Reply
  6. By the way, there may be a lag between when you submit your comment and when it appears – your comment gets moderated if you’re a first time commenter. We’re hitting them as fast as we can so it shouldn’t be much of a delay. Thanks for your patience!

    Reply
  7. Excellent work guys.
    Even though our little is too small to bother registering with club yet (we were going to wait till he needed a bed at the lodge, when it becomes worth him joining for the savings), and so we would be paying more – I love the simplification in the general couples area to being a household instead.
    All in all, I think this is positive 🙂
    One question – what IS the definition of a veteran?

    Reply
  8. Mike , I appreciate the dilemma caused by having active veterans and non active veterans such as ourselves. For us friends of the club is not an option. In our active years the club was the complete focus of our activities and although we are no longer active we still feel a strong sense of loyalty to the club that has led to continued membership from the 60,s or in Lyns case the 70,s. If we looked at membership on a straight monetary basis one veterans membership would have given us all the benefits we use.
    While the $9 is not a game breaker I guess we are entitled to feel a little hard done by . May be another category such as “remote veterans” could be considered

    Reply
  9. Hi Allan, thanks very much for your comment below, it’s appreciated. The financial impact is something we’ve given some thought to. This proposal is designed to be cost neutral – as it currently stands, the total membership fees we collect would drop by less than $200 per year. However, our informal research indicates the change will result in more families joining, so the picture is more likely to be a positive one.

    Does $38 make that much difference? The family trampers who haven’t joined have emphatically said ‘yes’. The growth of the families group means that the more members we have in this area, the more who can lead trips and take on other leadership roles.

    Because both transport and the lodge are self funding, a significant proportion of the membership costs are actually related to a household. Things like the journal, mailing out FMC bulletins, journals, invoices and so on make up a large portion of your membership sub. These costs are the same for a household of one, or a household of 12. We’re currently pulling together some updated, detailed info about exactly where your membership sub goes – watch this space.

    Please keep the feedback coming! We’ll be reviewing all the feedback together before we publish the next revision of the proposal.

    Reply
  10. Hi Kelly, good to see your comment and your feedback! As a club we need to talk through all the changes here and figure out what makes things fairest for everyone. That includes whether we have the veteran household rate right or not. In trying to come up with a blended rate to cover couples and families maybe we’ve got it a bit high. We are really keen to get feedback on these proposed changes.

    The veterans are a pretty mixed bunch, ranging from people like yourselves who mainly want to keep in touch with the club and your friends, to some of the ‘junior’ veterans in their 40s and 50s with young or teenage families. This latter group are still tramping and often with their sons and daughters, so they make full use of the benefits the club has to offer.

    As an aside, it’s worth considered whether a Friend of the Club membership might work better for you? This is designed for people who aren’t active but still want to stay in touch with the club. You still get access to the membership contact list, the newsletter and get our annual Journal, but you pay non-member rates for tramping trips and lodge stays. If you move closer to Wellington or start using the lodge more than once or twice a year, you can also easily change back to a full member if it make sense to.

    Reply
  11. Does a saving of $38 each year really make that much difference in a family budget?

    What are the cost implications for the the club as a whole of this proposal?

    Membership covers so much more than equipment, so I don’t follow that because families have their own equipment and transport that they should have their membership costs reduced.

    Reply
  12. Why have you increased the veteran couples membership by $9? I have been a member since 1959 and Judy since 1972/3. Many of the veterans of our age group keep in touch with the Club and friends through the Newsletter and our on going costs to the Club are minimal.
    The only occasional get together with other Club members is at the Lodge on Ruapehu as most of us live away from Wellington.
    Kelly

    Reply
  13. Why have you increases the membership fee for veteran couples by $9? I have been a member since 1959 and my wife Judy since 1972/3.
    Many veterans of our age group keep our on going membership with the Club to keep in touch with our friends. Many of us live in other parts of the country.We rarely utilise any of the Club facilities and only occassionally the lodge at Ruapehu, our on going costs to the Club are minimal. The only contact with the Club is through the newsletter!

    Reply

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