Sad News for Clubs of Marlborough

One of the oldest friendly societies in the country, The Clubs of Marlborough, has gone into voluntary receivership and will close on Sunday.

About 50 staff members have been told they will lose their jobs.

President John Cragg said in a statement entitled “A sad day for Marlborough” the combined clubs had no other options due to ongoing financial difficulties.

“We have had to bite a very unpleasant bullet and close the business to avoid still further losses,” Cragg said.

“Our concern for existing employees remains our top priority at present, and all available resources will be made available to ensure they are assisted through the process to secure alternative opportunities.”

Hospitality New Zealand and Accommodation Association chief executive officer Julie White said she was “sad on many levels” to see the Clubs of Marlborough closing after operating for 134 years in the region.

“I am sad on so many levels, and the economic point is the less infrastructure we have will have a negative knock-on effect for people, places and communities basically.”

Cragg said steps had been taken to connect staff with a range of employment and financial assistance through Work and Income.

The committee expected the closure would be felt by the region’s accommodation, hospitality and retail sectors, as the number of events hosted by the clubs was estimated to bring up to $5m a year to the regional economy.