Merger

The Otago Chamber of Commerce & Otago Southland Employers Association to Merge

Update 11 November 2020

Progress is being made on the merger of the the Otago Chamber of Commerce (OCCI) and Otago Southland Employers’ Association (OSEA) into a single, unified entity.
 
This follows the unanimous approval of a resolution to merge by OSEA last month, and a 78% majority approval by members of the OCCI.
 
An interim board has now been established to oversee the merger. The board comprises twelve members, half of whom were nominated by OSEA and the other half by OCCI. The OSEA nominated Nina Klemm, Andrew Leys, Will Martin, Darryl Munro, Emily Richards, and Michael Turner. Those nominated by OCCI are George Benwell, Mark Cameron, Neil Finn-House, John Guthrie, Grant McKenzie and Bex Twemlow.
 
The chairperson elected by the transition board is Neil Finn-House.
 
While the merger operations continue in the background, both OSEA and OCCI continue to operate on a “business as usual” basis under their respective existing board – so you will still see the OCCI/OSEA name used for the foreseeable future; leaving the interim board to focus on more immediate and strategic priorities following its recent incorporation.
 
No decision has been made regarding the name of the new organisation and there will be no changes to membership fees until at least 30 June 2021.
 
We look forward to building a strong, unified organisation that not only continues the work the OCCI and OSEA has done to support business in the region for more than a century but builds on it. 
 
We will keep you updated on progress and invite you to contact us if you have any questions about the merger or are concerned about how it might affect your business.

 

Announcement 22 October 2020

Following the unanimous approval of a resolution by members at the OSEA Annual General Meeting in Dunedin last night, the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers’ Association will merge to form a unified business membership organisation from next month.

This vote followed the OSEA Special General Meeting last month in which the resolution was (also) unanimously supported by all members present.  The OCCI members also voted twice on the proposal.  At their first meeting the proposal was supported by 68% of those who voted.  Subsequently, at the AGM and with a virtual vote, 78% of OCC voting members supported the merger.

The now-confirmed merger entails OSEA and OCCI becoming joint founding members of a new incorporated society. The society will be governed by an interim board that will oversee merger operations.

The two organisations will officially begin working together almost immediately.  The newly merged entity will continue to provide the services currently provided by OCCI (and OSEA) across Otago and Southland under their existing names – so you will still see the OCCI/OSEA name used for the foreseeable future.

No decision has been made regarding the name of the new organisation, on which we will be seeking member feedback.

There will be no changes to membership fees until at least 30 June 2021.

The OSEA has been serving and supporting business in the south for 130 years, and OCC for 159 years.  Just as businesses must adapt to change, so must the organisations that serve them. This evolution will enable us to better serve our members and increase member benefits.

We look forward to building a strong, unified organisation that not only continues the work the OSEA/OCC has done to support business in the region for more than a century, but builds on it.

We will keep you updated on progress and invite you to contact us if you have any questions about the merger or are concerned about how it might affect your business.

 

Background information:

Prior to the member vote on the merger, the Otago Chamber of Commerce Board released the following information for members: