The final decision on whether to merge the Wanganui East and Laird Park bowling club's has been postponed for at least another 14 months.

The Wanganui East Club gave a majority "yay" vote to the merger in November of last year, which would see the club sell their Helmore St property and move over to the Laird Park club, using the the proceeds to build an indoor complex with artificial greens.

However, the voting margin was narrow, going 44-38 in favour, with an estimated 48 other members not in attendance that evening which theoretically could move the final number back the other way.

There is a strong "nay" group within Wanganui East who do not wish to leave their current clubrooms, which are solvent and financially secure, and shift to the Laird Park property, which is leased by Whanganui District Council.


Wanganui East sent the matter back to a subcommittee, and it was announced at the recent executive meeting that further discussions will now be held at the club AGM in June 2019.

Acting president Roger Neilson, who has taken over for Kerry Ridgway, said the extra time will allow the club to get a handle on the whole situation.

The club announced their decision to delay discussions due to "a lot of talk about it around the town," said another committee member.

Laird Park, with around 40 members, has supported the idea of merger since Wanganui East first raised it, although president Judy Titter said they can carry on without it.

Ridgway previously said the amalgamation would be "right down the middle" and both clubs had to be satisfied they would not be kicked out of Laird Park by WBC after a move.

"[The Wanganui East property] could fit about eight houses, we are told, so it must be worth a bit of money.

"With that money and support from community grants, we are confident our plans for an indoor complex can go ahead for the benefit of the sport in Whanganui."

However, club life member Barry Stevens said the sale of the 5000sqm property would not bring in enough money to build indoor bowling greens.

"If, after moving to Laird Park BC, the indoor complex was found to be uneconomical, the Wanganui East BC would have moved from a two-green club to another two-green club, and moved to a council-owned property from a property completely owned by the Wanganui East BC.

"Why should the Wanganui East BC move and risk everything by investing heavily in another bowling club with the present situation of membership declining significantly throughout New Zealand?"