I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with
your families and that you are getting time to take a well-deserved
break and have some fun on the beaches over summer.
Key points covered included:
- Governance - Nicky Duggan attended her first
meeting as co-opted independent Director and was welcomed onto the
Board. This provided the opportunity to review the Board induction
process, which Nicky will progress through over the coming
month. A 12 month Board Work Plan was presented and
- Finances - For the first five months of the
financial year the organisation is on track with the revised budget
(containing the required cost savings from our 'Future Proofing'
exercise). There is a surplus at this time of the year ($1.1m on
revenues of $4.4m), which is $200,000 ahead of budget but is only
temporary as we are about to enter the three biggest cost months of
the year as Regional Guard wages and club grants are paid
The revised budget has a year end surplus of $80,000. However,
year end cash flow is still a challenge due to needing to fund
committed capital expenditure. This will need to be monitored over
the coming months. Management were asked to complete cash flow
forecasts for the 2013/14 year to assist understand the expected
flows of cash into next year.
- Regulations - Clubs have recently provided
input to revised Regulations, which are being updated to reflect
the structural changes that had happened since 2004 when the last
update occurred. These were presented to the Board for approval.
After some discussion, the Board had some concerns the aspects of
the original operational Regulations are now potentially too
prescriptive and duplicate what is already in the Patrol Operations
Manuals. In their current form they dictate a code of best practice
that clubs must follow to the letter.
The Board decided to ask Management to review the operational (in
particular Lifesaving) Regulations to see if they can be
simplified, with the best practice aspects captured in the Patrol
The Board also asked Management to prepare a high level paper
describing the hierarchy and relationship between the Constitution,
Regulations, Polices and POM to ensure they are aligned and easy
for staff and clubs to understand the function of each
- Risk Management - the Board reviewed the
current Risk Management Plan, which was initiated 12 months ago.
Management was requested to refresh the document for the Board's
February meeting, in order to reflect newly emerging risks and the
progress made over the last year which has changed the risk profile
of the organisation.
- Foundation - a paper was presented updating
the Board on outcomes of the meeting held by the Foundation
sub-committee. The meeting covered items like investment mandate,
disbursement criteria, and roles of trustees and ambassadors. Next
steps are to fine tune the purpose of the Foundation and develop
and test a Charter.
- Lifesaving First Aid - the Board is taking a
close interest in the performance of LFA. Management provided a
breakdown of course pricing, costs and profitability and the latest
budget expectations. The Board were comfortable that LFA would not
require further cash flow investment during the current year on the
scale or previous years but will continue to monitor progress
against the growth assumptions projected for future years.
Challenges for growth include up-skilling a larger number of
instructors, equipment availability and other factors attributed to
scaling up the business to become truly national. Further work is
required to improve the dynamics of the business and get the all
the basics right.
- Club Development - a written report from Mark
Weatherall (GM Club Development) was noted by the Board. Topics
- The on-going development is being done on the regional teams
through the Regional Managers relating to systems, processes and
- A summary of activities and plans for the few Clubs in stress
and requiring more than business as usual support.
- Progress being made by Regional Teams against the regional
management plans agreed with the Regional Club Chairs.
- Feedback on the strategic priorities and other input provided
by the latest round of Regional Club Chairs Committee meetings.
These meetings are providing an important feedback loop for SLSNZ
and assist guide the organisation. Feedback from these meetings is
being used to shape the next budgeting and planning cycle for SLSNZ
that has just begun.
- The Board's Healthy Clubs subcommittee reported on their recent
meeting aimed at establishing a terms of reference and overseeing
the programme of work with clubs at a strategic level. Key actions
are to review the Club Pulse Tool and to shape reporting
requirements for the Board and clubs.
- Club support agreement and funding - the NZLGB
funding for 2012/13 was discussed, having now been communicated to
Clubs. Whilst the formula has not changed from previous years and
nor has the total amount of money available, due to the relative
changes in lifesaving activity across the country some Clubs will
get more funding than what they did in the past and others that get
less. The first tranche of payments was made before Christmas.
- Event Safety - the Board reviewed the work of
the Event Safety Project Advisory Group and discussed the
implementation programme for improvements to event safety. First
up, high visibility vests will become mandatory for National
Championship events for the rest of this season. Following this the
documentation for event safety processes will be reviewed and
published, which will link governance, management and operational
functions of events we run. On-going work is planned in this area
across a number of areas and working in liaison with SLS
- Sports event review - with the appointment of
the new National Sports Committee, the second stage of the national
event review will now get underway to take a blue sky approach to
identifying improvements to the way surf sport event calendars can
be structured at a national, regional and local level. In addition,
work will be done in the next few months on a format for Surf
League for 2014, to find a lower cost way to deliver an
- Member development - 400m swim time - the Surf
Lifeguard Award requiring a 9 minute 400m swim time currently does
not meet the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) criteria
which is an 8 minute threshold. This has broad implications ranging
from lifeguards wanting to use their SLSNZ qualification to gain
work in other countries to liability considerations over our
lifeguards having the best practice qualification to be actively
There has been active discussion at ILS about "equivalency"
provisions as there are a number of other countries that also don't
conform to ILS requirements including Australia. Standardisation of
international standards is a challenging topic. Whilst we believe
that our lifeguard training and qualifications are of a high
standard, there is a growing need for SLSNZ to review its 9 minute
400m qualification benchmark.
We all understand that importance of those members that currently
qualify between 8 and 9 minutes for their 400m swim to achieve and
maintain lifeguard qualifications. They play a vital role in our
clubs and on the beaches. Further work is obviously required and we
will work closely with SLS Australia to plan any changes.
- Fundraising - we have recently completed two
major fundraising initiatives where the proceeds (less any direct
costs) go back to clubs:
- Jandal Day - despite reformatting this into a weeklong national
appeal with increased media profile, initial results show that
income is considerably down. Feedback suggests that the public are
carrying a lot less "loose change" in their pockets. Even
initiatives such as "text to donate" were marginal. Further review
- Coca Cola Christmas in the Park - the Christchurch event was
run on a fantastic night with a large crowd ensuring fundraising
efforts met targets. The Auckland event also had great weather
(despite tornadoes earlier in the week) - and an excellent turnout
from clubbies for the event delivering a high profile for Surf Life
Saving. While the results here were an improvement on last year,
income was down on expectations, with bucket shaking again proving
to be an ineffective way to get people to part with their money. We
will need to discuss with Coca Cola how to improve this as we plan
for next year.
- ILS General Assembly - the Board noted Graeme Cullen's report
from the Assembly held in Adelaide. Graeme was elected as Vice
President of ILS Asia Pacific, as a Board member for ILS itself and
a member of the Business Commission. These are prestigious
appointments and reflect on the high standing that Graeme is held
in internationally. Mark Weatherall was also elected to the Sports
- Future Board meetings - the Board expressed a desire to hold
more meetings outside of Wellington and will hold its next full
meeting in Christchurch to coincide with the Southern Region
Championships in February and then in March hold a meeting in
Northland to coincide with the IRB Nationals at Waipu Cove.
Next meeting is scheduled on 22 January by teleconference.
Yours in surf
Surf Life Saving New Zealand