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Board Report: 10 June 2012

Dear Clubbies,

Key points covered included:
  1. Strategic plan - last month I gave you a quick update on progress with the strategic planning cycle. Over the weekend we signed off the strategic plan. This is a future focused document that guides Surf Life Saving in New Zealand. Staff will now develop management plans and budgets to deliver against the strategic plan. A condensed version of the strategic plan will be circulated to clubs in due course.
  2. Finances - the organisation's financials are presented 3-4 times per year at Regional Club Chairs meetings. It was suggested at the last Northern Club Chairs meeting that more detail be provided on finances in this report. The Board has a Finance, Audit and Risk sub-committee made up of Brent Warner, Nicki Nicol and recently myself that provides oversight to those functions. So this section of the report will now be presented by that sub-committee as follows:
    Both in structured monthly meetings and on an as required basis the subcommittee provides monthly oversight and due diligence for the financials of the organisation reviewing, bank balances and reconciliations, current and 12 month cash flow reports, balance sheets, debtor and creditor positions along with monthly and yearly profit and loss reports along with the financials for projects like Regional Lifeguard and Beach Education and we are pleased to report that the organisation is on target to end the year with a small profit.
    At various times during the year the subcommittee engages with the organisations auditors and approaching year end the level of engagement increases to ensure we meet the required reporting standards. With new staff, systems and financial management programs installed at various times throughout the year we have engaged with the auditors to provide independent oversight while confirming we have addressed items raised in the previous year's audit letter and we are pleased to confirm to date no concerns have been tabled. 
    At various times during the year the subcommittee engages with the organisations auditors and approaching year end the level of engagement increases to ensure we meet the required reporting standards. With new staff, systems and financial management programs installed at various times throughout the year we have engaged with the auditors to provide independent oversight while confirming we have addressed items raised in the previous year's audit letter and we are pleased to confirm to date no concerns have been tabled.
  3. AGM - this is a reminder that the AGM will be held in Wellington on 22 September in conjunction with the 'In it For Life' awards luncheon. Club Chairs are urged to confirm their delegates as soon as possible and remember national member award nominations close 29 June. This is an important event for Surf Life Saving in New Zealand.
  4. Governance - the Board recently undertook a self-assessment review and developed a skills matrix using a framework provided by Sport New Zealand. This is to highlight skills gaps and development opportunities. The skills matrix will be given to the Board Appointments Panel to assist them when they are interviewing board applicants. A call for Board position nominations will be made by 23rd June.
  5. SLSNZ President - Bob Harvey, who has lead the organisation in this role through our centenary celebrations and was the driving force behind our wonderful publication "Between the Flags" has advised me that after three years in the role he wishes to stand down . Bob offered to remain in this role for a 3rd year at the last AGM to give stability to our organisation's leadership during a challenging period. As an organisation we are indebted to Bob's energy, vision and wisdom through vast period of change. Bob was instrumental in us receiving a Prime Minister's Grant to recognise our 100 years of service to New Zealand. This is being used to fund our leadership development programme - the initial courses have recently started. Bob will finish in his role at the AGM this September and work is now underway to finalise the process for finding his replacement, with clubs to be notified in due course.
  6. Sponsors - a lot of work is currently going on with our existing sponsors namely State, DHL and BP as we look to extend these relationships into the future. They provide significant funding for Surf Life Saving and assist us to deliver many programmes and services. It is important that we continue to work at building relationships - to ensure they get appropriate exposure on our agreed branding assets, to clarify their respective positioning, and to understand how we can provide even more value to their organisations.
  7. Fundraising - the recent lottery has closed with revenue just short of targeted $200,000. The team is actively seeking alternative sources to replace Pin and Win. Planning for National Jandal Day and Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park has already started. A direct mail campaign to test our database will be sent during June.
  8. Lifesaving First Aid - a comprehensive report was presented. After several years of losses this year the initiative is forecast to get close to break even. Keri James and the team have made significant progress. First Aid training includes SLS Level 1, 2 and 3, Workplace First Aid, Pre Hospital Emergency Care and specialised Advanced Resuscitation, oxygen and Automated External Defibrillation training modules. Courses are now starting to roll out through large corporate organisations and local government. This initiative has strong growth potential with possible expansion into associated areas of training and education. If you know of organisations that need First Aid related training please contact Keri at Surf House in Wellington.
  9. SLSNZ Policies - the following updated policies were approved - financial principles, occupational safety and health, vehicle use, assets, grants management, budget, financial reporting and responsibilities, reserves, professional development and hazard management.
  10. Insurance - the insurance premium for our organisation including club buildings and equipment rose to $470,000 this financial year and is set to rise again next year to approximately $580,000, mainly due to earthquake premiums. Historically, the organisation was able to cover this cost through grants but funders are now reluctant to do this. As I have reported, at the last round of Club Chairs meetings we canvassed clubs to assist with options to defray this cost, especially given the disparity of buildings and other assets owned by clubs. We signalled at those meetings that SLSNZ was able to fund up to $200,000 of the insurance premium - this has been increased to $400,000 in the latest budget, meaning collectively clubs will be required to fund the balance, a figure of approximately $180,000. Matt Warren attended the meeting to present the Board with several options that encapsulated feedback from clubs. Fundamental to the Board's thinking is that club assets must be insured to full replacement value. The Board has settled where SLSNZ and each club share the premium cost. This means each club is covered for replacement cost, with SLSNZ funding the proportion that provides a minimum set of equipment and building to enable it to deliver a life guarding service. A formula will be developed and will be used to categorise clubs into tiers based on lifesaving need. Information from the coastal public safety audits and patrol statistics from the past will be used in the development of the formula with clubs charged a cost to top up their insurance to their full replacement cover. Details will be sent to clubs soon to assist them with their budgeting process.
  11. Sports Manual - has undergone extensive development over the last few years and is ready for final review. The Board commended the planned consultation process involving national and regional sports committees, official leadership group, national surfboat committee, IRB technical group, a sample of coaches, staff and board members.
  12. Staff - Eastern, Central and Southern Regional Managers positions started in early June. The role of Education Development Officer will be advertised in the near future. This role strengthens the execution and delivery of education through NZ including resource development, programme booking, programme delivery, and training and development for staff instructors and volunteers. An appointment is also pending in the vacant Media and PR Management role, which will be based in Wellington. Recruitment is also underway for a small number of vacant Club Development Officer roles.
  13. Sector Update - the Swimming NZ and the Swim and Survive reports have been released over the last month. The Board and management team have been in frequent dialogue as we dissect and understand what the impact and implications may be on SLSNZ. We are absorbing the recommendations and have had good constructive dialogue with our partners in Water Safety and the Drowning Prevention Council.
Next meeting:

The next Board meeting is set for 8 July in Wellington.

As usual, I greatly appreciate your feedback or queries.

Yours in surf,

Michael Bassett-Foss
Chairman