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Board Report: 26 August 2012

Dear Clubbies,

A meeting of the Board of Surf Life Saving New Zealand was held on Sunday 26 August. This is the last full meeting of the Board before the AGM on 22nd September, although the Board will meet by phone conference in early September.
Items discussed:

Key points covered included:
  1. Club Development - the Board welcomed a traffic light based report illustrating club health across criteria including sport, lifesaving, junior surf, committee and general. The first iteration of monthly reports from CDOs were also presented. Some clubs have been asking for CDO reports for some time and this work initiates an effort to standardise these reports across the CDO network and ultimately share this information with clubs. 
  2. Finances - With our financial year ending on 30 June, Management have been busy working with our auditors who have completed an extensive review and stress test of the organisations financial process and systems. This combined with a thorough review of the standard monthly and yearly checks and balances and financial policies has seen the auditors issue a audit report and management letter which shows significant improvement within all areas of the organisations financial processes and profitability.
    1. The Board Audit and Risk committee has met with the auditors. While systems and processes have improved, the Board is committed to continual development of the organisations financial position by working in a fiscally prudent manner while ensuring we have the appropriate software, process and systems along with governance policies to enable the organisation to continually improve. 
    2. The July accounts were reviewed by the Audit and Risk committee and showed a small profit. In the current economic environment, with tightening sponsorship and grant revenues, cash flows remaining tight and the Audit and Risk committee felt it prudent to request the senior management team conduct a review of all income and expenditure and provide the Board a range of recommendations which would see the organisation rebuild our financial reserves within a shorter timeframe and bring forward the organisation's goal of financial sustainability.
  3. National Sports Committee - it was noted that the report on Surf League had been released and the Committee had moved onto a review of the National Championships, and the Sports Manual was now into the final consultation stage with the aim of adopting it before this season.
  4. SLSNZ SLSNR relationship - wording of a Service Level Agreement for 2012/13 between SLSNZ and SLSNR was approved in principle. The CEOs of both organisations have been working for some time to document the relationship for the coming season. The agreement outlines services to be delivered such as sporting events, administration, lifesaving and vehicles. It also defines the funding split between the organisations when they are both involved in delivery such as Coca Cola Christmas in the Park. Representatives of the respective Boards plan to meet later in the year to discuss the relationship moving forward.
  5. IT Strategy - there is an urgent need for a new server and computers. The current equipment is more than 5 years old and implemented before the organisational change. An upgrade programme for hardware was endorsed, along with an on-going development programme for the web site, member database, event booking and financial systems. 
  6. Commercial Partnerships - the Board noted progress on the DHL sponsorship renewal and a number of new partnerships, some of which should be able to be announced in the coming weeks.
  7. World Champs team - the Board discussed the process and planning around team selection before signing off the SLS New Zealand Open and Under 20 teams to compete at the Rescue 2012 World Champs in Adelaide in early November.
  8. International Life Saving Federation - the Board noted the selection of Mark Weatherall to be put forward as New Zealand's nomination for a position on the ILS Sport Committee as replacement for Brian Velvin. New Zealand would be represented at the ILS annual assembly by Graeme Cullen, Brian Velvin, Michael Bassett-Foss with Brett Sullivan as observer. These meetings will take place ahead of the World Championships in Adelaide in early November.
  9. SLSNZ Foundation - a Terms of Reference was presented for discussion. Further work is required on likely structure, parties to be involved, operating framework, member consultation and launch planning.
  10. Coastal Public Safety Project - a paper was presented bringing the Board up to date with the latest plans to get the data collected for this project out to clubs for final review and then into the public domain to assist with the development of 10 year plans for each beach. The Board continue to be very supportive of this initiative and where possible reducing any resource bottlenecks to keep things moving as quickly as it can.
  11. Regulations - updated draft regulations including new procedures for member protection and supervision of minors, as well as the existing topics of judiciary committee, health and safety, surf sport, and lifesaving were reviewed and provisionally signed off by the Board. The Board stressed the importance of ensuring that clubs were involved with reviewing the draft regulations prior to implementation and understanding those with a material impact, for example, police vetting required for members coaching or supervising minors. The first step is to take the draft regulations to the Chairs of the four Regional Club Chairs committees for their input on an appropriate consultation process before bringing back to the Board for final approval.
  12. Governance - the Board reviewed progress against the governance development plan and agreed that the process would be paused until after the AGM and board member election process was complete. Board member induction processes would be updated as part of inducting any new Board members. It was noted that the Board Appointments Panel has re-appointed Warwick Bell for a further two-year term and had recommended Colin Weatherall and Andrew Lancaster (the incumbents) for the two positions that will be voted on at the AGM. 
  13. The Board Appointments Panel were now shifting their attention to filling the 'appointed' Board member vacancy left by the resignation of Nicki Nicol as a result of her relocating to Australia. Applications closed for this role on 31st August and the Panel would be aiming to complete their selection as soon as possible, ideally to make an announcement at the AGM.
  14. AGM/SGM preparation - The CEO updated the Board on planning for the AGM, SGM and awards functions. It was noted that there just enough delegates registered to achieve a quorum but there was not much 'fat' if there were any flight delays on the day. Brian Velvin will be the returning officer. 
  15. SLSNZ Archives - endorsement was given to the proposal that will see SLSNZ historic material collected for the Centenary Celebrations held by the Alexander Turnbull Library. This will ensure that they are properly cared for in perpetuity whilst being available for any member to access our important history.
  16. Lifesaving First Aid - a paper outlining the general strategic direction of this subsidiary business was discussed. Support was given with the direction that has corporate market increasing from a solid start over the last year. In order to support this growth, improved systems are needed and more capacity via a programme of trainer recruitment and development. Growth will be controlled to ensure course quality is maintained. A modest profit is forecast for this financial year with greater profitability in subsequent years. .
  17. Insurance - it was noted that the final price for the 2012/13 premiums would be shortly available from AON Insurance, and individual Club shares of the Club Assets elements of the premiums would be communicated to Clubs as soon as possible. The figures are in line with the indicative numbers previously sent to Clubs.
  18. Honours and Awards committee - the Board approved a proposed process to appoint Honours and Awards committee members. This process would see a call for expressions of interest from Regions and involve Regional Club Chairs Committees.
  19. National Award Recipients - the Board endorsed the members put forward for National Awards at the 'DHL In it for Life Awards' that will be presented at the luncheon following the AGM.
Next meeting:

Are by phone conference on 24 September, leading up to and following the AGM. The next full meeting will take place on 26/27 October.As usual, I greatly appreciate you feedback or queries.

Yours in surf

Michael Bassett-Foss
Chairman

Surf Life Saving New Zealand