The Board had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Lion
Foundation NZ Surf League around its meeting at Mount Maunganui
over the weekend. What a spectacle! Warm weather, mostly sunny
skies and even some surf to thrill competitors and spectators
We hosted our key sponsors - State, DHL and BP, who I know were
captivated by the event. It was a great opportunity to mix with
some of our life members and key volunteers that are the backbone
of our organisation.
I think we underestimate how professionally we run our events -
well done to all who helped make it a success!
From the (10+ hours of) board meetings held on Friday 10 and
Saturday 11 February at which all board members were in
Key points covered included:
- The board has been asked to publish meeting minutes as it has
done at times in the past. It confirmed to instead continue with
this Chairs report as the means to communicate meetings to members.
Aside from employment or commercially sensitive related issues,
this report aims to provide a full and frank yet readable account
of issues. After all, it's your organisation and so you should know
of its important affairs. Please contact me if any of you have
concerns about this.
- A paper was presented outlining options for President Bob
Harvey's concept for a SLS Foundation. Following external advice,
the Board agreed that an internally managed "Fund" was the favoured
approach as opposed to the establishment of a separate Trust entity
mainly for reasons of alignment with SLS objectives and to better
leverage the SLS brand. Staff are to assist develop a work plan and
timeline for the concept.
- At the last AGM members asked for greater independent
representation on the Board. The Board encouraged the direction led
by Neale Ames to appoint two independent directors in addition to
the current six appointed and elected directors. It is recommended
that a staged approach be followed supported by a constitutional
change at the next AGM.
- The Board was briefed on the complexities of reviewing in
detail 73 club constitutions for alignment with SLSNZ. We agreed
with the recommendation for SLSNZ's lawyer to categorise club
constitutions by the next meeting into 3 categories: those that
align with the latest template; those that differ with material
issues with suggested remedies; and those that are using out-dated
templates or constitutions.
- The Board finance subcommittee of Brent and Nicki reported that
auditor Munro Benge had undertaken a financial review in relation
to the management report issued with the last audit. Munro Benge
was comfortable with progress on recommendations in relation to HR,
delegations and reporting against tagged revenue. These
improvements now need to be bedded down with appropriate policies.
This reflects on the huge progress achieved by Pat, Joanna, Cheryl
and the team.
- Finances are largely tracking to budget although both income
and expenditure lines were lower than budget by a similar amount.
Cash flow remains tight but yearend results are still forecast to
be in surplus. An update of financials will be presented to the
next round of regional Club Chairs meetings in March/April.
- Payments to clubs - SLSNZ plan to make the next Lotteries
Grants Board payments shortly. State's National Jandal Day
contribution as a result of its insurance policies sold under the
SLSNZ promotion raised a great $23k! Proceeds are still being
collected and a further payment to clubs is expected later this
- Two new organisational policies were presented and approved -
Protected Disclosure and Bullying and Harassment. The Board noted
occasional reports of harassment of staff and members. We are
committed to stamping this out. We value our family orientated
culture, which is based on dignity and respect of others. These
policies will be presented at forthcoming Club Chairs
- The Board recommended adoption of a member protection policy.
This policy is based on one that has been in place in Northern for
some years. It provides guidelines to support our members. Police
vetting is to be introduced for staff and members charged with the
care of our younger members. Teams travelling to Nationals will be
required to signoff that appropriate member protection criteria are
to be met. The Board noted that whilst this was a SLSNZ policy,
clubs will be strongly encouraged to adopt its principals too.
- The Board approved a proposal from "Running with Scissors" to
implement aspects of its commercialisation strategy that was
developed and presented to the Board late last year. This plan
forms the basis of the initial work programme for the incoming
senior management team.
- Interviews were held recently for the positions of Sponsorship
and Marketing Manager, and General Managers for Club Development,
Programmes and Services, and Corporate Services. A further role for
the position of Fundraising Manager was advertised and closed last
week. We were impressed with the quality of applicants for these
roles. Successful applicants will be announced within the next
- More than 50 applications were received for the recently
advertised position of Chief Executive. The high level of interest
in this position shows the strength of the SLS brand and values.
The recruitment process is lead by a Board subcommittee headed by
Colin, Chair and independent representation. A challenging two
stage process aims to announce the successful applicant in early
- Neale Ames and Neil Reid have led a review of SLSNZ's Honours
and Awards process and criteria. The resulting update to the Member
Recognition Strategy was approved by the Board. This strategy
recognises regional awards, which were raised as important at Club
Chairs meetings. District awards will be recognised under this
framework as regional awards.
International Life Saving Federation (ILS) - Graeme Cullen and
Brian Velvin are currently SLSNZ's reps to ILS Graeme the Regional
Vice President (Asia Pacific) and Brian is a member of the Sport
Commission, Technical and Rules Committee and Event Management
They gave an overview of ILS and its current agenda. Following
discussion about SLSNZ's future representation to ILS, and with
Brian's standing down at the General Assembly in November, the
Board recommended that members be invited to apply for his
replacement. Support was given to Graeme to continue his
representation for another 4 year period so as to maintain SLSNZ's
important relationships with ILS, bed down Brian's replacement, and
allow time for a succession plan to be developed.
- SLSNZ's insurance is set to rise from $470k this year to more
around $600k next year. This cost is not now covered by grants.
Warwick and Andrew are to lead a board subcommittee to review
SLSNZ's insurance policy. Thank you to those members that have
offered support in this. As well as being expensive, one of the
issues with the current policy is that it provides for an unfair
distribution of costs onto smaller clubs with minimal equipment.
Any variations will be communicated to clubs or via Club Chairs
- The Board approved use of accumulated corporate airpoints to be
used to fund travel for the CE, Chairman and President to Australia
to meet with SLSA and DHL in early March. Discussion points include
SLS Foundation, DHL sponsorship contract review, branding and
licensing programme, summer staffing employment programme,
governance development and other co-operational opportunities.
- The lease for SLS headquarters in Wellington expired in July
2011 and has been rolled over on a month by month basis since then.
A new lease has been agreed in this location till July 2013 to
provide stability for the incoming senior management team and allow
them time to strategically consider alternative options.
- Out next meeting will be at the State NZ Surf Life Saving
Champs in Gisborne.
As usual, I greatly appreciate you feedback or queries.
See you on the beach...
Yours in surf
Surf Life Saving New Zealand