Departing Jensen remains adamant

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 02/07/2012

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Bowls Manawatu got its way yesterday, but president Tony Jensen remains implacable about his position.

The Manawatu centre's changes to the election of executive members were pushed through at the special general meeting at the Palmerston North Bowling Club.

But Jensen, so annoyed by the apathy of clubs who couldn't even muster a quorum of 19 at the abortive meeting on May 27, said he wouldn't reconsider his decision to stand down at the end of his term.

"I'm not the reconsidering type," he said. "I've moved on to other things."

Bowls New Zealand's Paul Cavanagh attended and he said he had tried everything to get Jensen to change his mind about resigning.

There is widespread concern about who will take Jensen's place at the annual meeting on July 15.

Yesterday's meeting was held because three clubs – Takaro, Palmerston North and Johnston Park – engineered it.

And because it was held a half-hour before the annual club tournaments programme meeting, where dates are set for next season, and after the three clubs hit the phones, every club sent delegates. Where only 14 delegates fronted last time, this time there were 34 of the potential 38.

The special meeting purged the ancient system, used by very few sports these days, whereby only club delegates could be elected and tended to work in their clubs' interests. Now any registered bowler can be elected.

Bowls Manawatu had originally sought to move to an eight-member executive, as is the maximum now, as well as a president, two vice presidents (one male, one female) and the immediate past president.

But the three clubs in their new remit opted for a six-member executive, as Palmerston North Bowling Club president Steve Toms explained.

"We are battling to get people to do these jobs."

And many of the best are fully committed running their clubs.

Bowls Manawatu hasn't had a full serving executive for years anyway.

When Jensen called for a show of hands, it was a clear majority, with only about five against and couple of others mumbling.

Also purged was the requirement that the president must have served two years on the executive. And even if there are sufficient nominees, all nominations must be taken from the floor at the annual meeting.

A few of the country clubs voiced disquiet about the changes, a Foxton & Beach delegate concerned that all of the executive could come from one club. Another said the smaller clubs didn't have sufficient quality administrators to make themselves available for the centre.

Takaro's Eric Franklyn explained that under the new system, the executive "will be open to any person who is a registered bowler".

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Delegates will still be able to veto nominees at the annual meeting.

Jensen ran a tight ship in a meeting which lasted only 15 minutes.

He ruled that delegates had to discuss the remits and nothing else. Even the great Northern bowler Phil Skoglund wasn't permitted to speak because he wasn't a delegate.

- Manawatu Standard

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