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Exciting prospects for Pauanui Club

By Pam Ferla

New general manager of Pauanui Club, Kevin Flynn (Flynnie), has a strong background in hospitality and also loves the outdoors. So when he’s not working at the club you may find him riding a wave, on a mountain bike, hitting a golf ball or training for Pauanui Half Marathon.

He is a director of Flynn Consulting Group, which works across the hospitality industry. His experience includes chief operating officer at Good George Brewery and Distillery, head of Support Services for SkyCity Entertainment Group (Hamilton), Security and Risk team leader, New Zealand Post group and branch manager at Turners Auctions, and a variety of roles within New Zealand Police.

Kevin’s nickname, Flynnie, has quickly caught on at the club. Flynnie and his wife Keri-Anne spent holidays in Whangamata for 35 years before moving from Hamilton to live in the laid-back beach town a couple of years ago, and they have never regretted it. He was looking for a new opportunity when he was approached by Pauanui Club board members about the general manager’s job.

“This club has a fantastic board, with people who are commercially savvy and energetic about the club’s future and this is one of the reasons why I accepted the Manager’s role.

I see some fantastic opportunities and exciting prospects for the future of this club and I’m very grateful for the way the Board, the team and the club members have welcomed me here.

“Pauanui is such a beautiful place and I think maybe I’ve fallen in love with it since working at the club. I get up each day and drive to work in Pauanui and it’s pretty cool.”

Flynnie has been actively involved in rugby all his life and supports Whangamata Rugby Club. He has put his hand up to take part in Pauanui Half Marathon in March (he doesn’t know how he will be placed, but does intend to finish); and you could have spotted him riding those wonderful waves after the recent storm! His favourite place to surf is the estuary end in Whangamata.

Asked what his strengths are, he believes he is strong in leadership and empowering a capable team. In this challenging time for hospitality, he sees the challenges for Pauanui Club as the average age of the population and the conditions of some of the club’s facilities and service utilities. “Some facilities will need upgrading as funds allow. Then, from a team perspective, there’s a shortage of qualified chefs and duty managers for the bar. And for the weeks ahead, we need better weather! But though it’s been a challenging summer so far, there are still some peak holiday periods coming up for us.”

He believes an important part of his role is protecting club members’ experience.

​“It’s all about hospitality. I do see this club as the heart of the community and a central hub for sports, events, functions and the club itself. Important things for us to focus on are continuing the popular Summer Series and expanding this, as well as other events throughout the year. I also want to introduce weekly and monthly initiatives such as tradies hours and senior citizens’ lunches as well as the wine club. Our Recreation Centre is a fantastic asset that the club can use to host lots of events throughout the year.

We are also going to introduce a club members’ newsletter, which will keep them informed of activities, events and our progress. They are also welcome to call in and ask for Flynnie, or talk to another member of our team.”

The Flynns have two sons. Connor also works in hospitality and runs a family business, The Bach Pop-up, over summer months, returning to work in Queenstown during winter. Liam is a builder with Holah Homes and has worked on new builds in Pauanui over the past couple of years. Keri-Anne is involved in a family owned business in Waihi.

Pauanui Sports and Recreation Club was founded over 50 years ago and was recently re-named Pauanui Club. Facilities include a restaurant and café as part of the golf shop. The club’s many activities include golf, bowls, mini-putt, market days, fishing competitions and an impressive Summer Series holiday programme.

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Caption: New general manager of Pauanui Club, Kevin (Flynnie) Flynn,

is excited about the club’s future.

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