National AGM: Committee Reports 2021

Please comment written reports below for members who cannot attend the AGM this evening.

IT Officer’s Report

This year’s report is unfortunately similar to last year’s, in that there isn’t a whole lot to report. The usual maintenance stuff. Due to covid it has, again, been a slow year for the committee, and for Larp in general. All our systems are ticking along, though we do need to perform a server upgrade on the nzlarps stack, and upgrade the software. Server upgrades are not my speciality, so if anyone wants to help with that, it would be appreciated.

EDIT: apologies for missing the AGM - I had guests and its suddenly almost 7pm.

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President’s Report 2021

Tena koutou katoa.

Covid 19 remains the biggest challenge to NZLARPs. Organisers of LARP across Aotearoa have reached an unspoken consensus with the community, that LARP doesn’t run under alert Level 2 or above, despite many being legally permissible.

Thanks to the mahi our country has completed, over the year beginning in November 2020, we’ve only had to be in Alert Level 2 or above three times. Unfortunately that has meant many games have elected to not run, some with extremely short notice.

Regardless, several events have run successfully.

Auckland Report: Project campaigns Saga and Exile both hosted their exciting conclusions this year. The Dying World project has run their second to last game, unfortunately their finale in the second half of the year has had to be postponed due to the current Alert Level. The Musketeers “sequel”, Vampirates of the Caribbean, ran in February, which was highly praised. Affiliate campaign The Green hosted two day games this year, their success is testament to their first-time GMs’ skill. We’ve also had several unaffiliated LARPs run, including the Auckland version of Scandal & Society.

Wellington Report: We had some wonderful short-form LARPs put on by Scandal & Society, Empty Vessels, Contagion and a handful of theatreform LARPs, as well as getting to have at least a few Consequence campaign events where possible. There were very unfortunate hiccups caused by COVID-19, quite notably game 3 of Consequence having to postpone their game a mere 2 days prior due to a case in Wellington due to the Trans-Tasman bubble. The Wellington region is looking forward to LARPing when we can safely do so.

South Island Report: Sadly larping in the South Island has been very low again this year. A couple of games have run in the Dunedin area, while Christchurch hasn’t seen any NZLARPS activity. Our first priority is membership, which is very very low currently. The audience is there; we just need to provide the games and the props and the encouragement. This is what NZLARPs is designed to do, so there’s hope for 2022.

NZLARPs can also celebrate our community spaces online. Despite membership numbers being low compared to recent years, our LARP Hall Discord server has had regular activity and has been a positive community space. Combining Diatribe and the use of Facebook page and groups, we have had good engagement with the society.

I would like to take this moment to thank those members of the NZLARPs and the wider LARP community in Aotearoa for their support, through word and action, of the community. As a recently published letter in the media put it: “The fact is, we’re a community that cares deeply about the health and wellbeing of each and every member, even if we don’t get on 100% of the time.”

Let’s hold onto that, and hope for the future to improve for our community.

Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui, kia atawhai, tatou tatou e.

Edit: It has been pointed out that I forgot to mention project Urbs Aeturna which was run in Auckland this year, apologies for that oversight.


Tautoko Rob, tino pai

Like @Adrexia I’m basically copy pasting from last year as literally nothing has changed apart from the numbers.

As Rob suggests, we’ve had a significant drop in numbers this year due to COVID causing financial stress, and also because there haven’t actually been many LARPs this year. Hard to see the value in a membership to a society that can’t provide their service! Hopefully in the next year or so this will pick up again as we are more able to run games for the membership.

In numbers - we started the operational year with 69 members, which has fallen to 59 as at 5 PM today, 29th October. This is a drop of 14% which we can attribute entirely to COVID (in my humble opinion) as the stats suggest our numbers were at a healthy 118 in January of last year. We will need to work to show our worth to the community in the next couple of years so we can build ourselves back up. This means we have lost exactly half our membership since January of 2020.

We have:
27 Auckland members, and 1 from Greater Waikato
26 Wellington members
5 South Island members (1 in Christchurch, 3 in Dunedin, and 1 “South Island”)

The South Island membership has never been super healthy, particularly with competition from the affiliation agreement with SAGA - SAGA members ($5 fee!) get access to NZLARPs discounts for projects, which makes our $20 fee … a bit of a no brainer to be honest. I don’t think NZLARPs benefits at all from this partnership with SAGA if we intend to have a south branch. If we are to continue having a South Island region, I’d suggest a committee interested in running an “Intro to Larp” style event like the one @Ryan_Paddy ran successfully up here in Auckland, as well as a few games. One thing Chch and Dunedin don’t really have is anything resembling a campaign LARP, which might be a niche we could wiggle into.

In saying that, definitely not throwing my hat in the ring there.


Marketing Officer’s Report

Due to the challenges COVID-19 has presented many of our events have been cancelled or postponed in order to maintain the safety of their participants. While these decisions have been difficult and disappointing, we are proud of our event organisers for putting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community (and Aotearoa New Zealand in general) first.

We know that both organisers and players put months or years of work into preparing for these events. With the vaccination numbers in the country on the rise, we look forward to a time when it is safe for us to return to the hobby we love. We are staying up to date with the latest government information about COVID-19 to help organisers run safe events when we’re able to do so.

Our numbers have dwindled, and the opportunity for recruitment has been tough when we are actively encouraging people to stay home. However, given the recent David Farrier piece and the well-thought-out letters and emails from members of our community, it seems our best foot was put forward and some of his readers seemed interested in joining the community just based on the words of those in our community that reflected the inclusive nature of our hobby we strive to achieve.

I am very proud of this community, and I cannot wait to LARP with you all again when we are able to.

(Did I steal this from our COVID-19 update on our website? No! It was stolen from me!)