Board Report: 16 June 2013

Dear Clubbies

Board Report: 16 June 2013 (Wellington)

Key points covered included:

Future proofing work - the Chief Executive provided an update on progress with the organisational restructure.  Meetings with Gisborne, Hawke's Bay and Southern Region Clubs have been held and further consultation is required to ensure the right support systems and organisational structure are in place.  Internally, effort continues to rebalance staff workloads and maintain the very positive attitude everyone has had since the implementation of the changes began.

Financials - The Board discussed the YTD 11 months to May results (attached) - which show an Operating Surplus of $788,000.  This will quickly disappear in June as there is relatively little income in the final month of the year and the need to make the normal adjustments to carry some income into next financial year to better reflect when costs related to that income will be incurred.

While there is still more detailed work to be done, it is likely a further $130,000 of income currently accounted for in 2012/13 will now be carried forward to next year's accounts, taking the total to be carried forward to be approximately $700,000.  Last year approximately $500,000 was carried over into the current year, so this is taking a more conservative approach.

This will not have an impact for cash flow but will increase the anticipated small 2012/13 Operating deficit mentioned in my last report to a level of approximately $200,000.  This result will still be subject to final adjustments as advised by our Auditor, with whom initial meetings have been held, ahead of them starting work in the coming week.

While disappointing not to be able to back up the small profit from last year, the position heading into next year is much stronger, with a lot of structural change having been made in the last 12 months to create a more sustainable platform for the organisation.

Looking ahead to 2013/14, the Board is still targeting an operating surplus of $1million and is confident it has now positioned the organisation to achieve this and stretch targets are being established for staff.  Operational surpluses are required to recapitalise the business and strengthen the balance sheet following the centenary celebrations.

Sponsors update - the Board praised the progress made to renew sponsorship agreements with major sponsors State and BP.   A new three year agreement is about to begin with State Insurance and BP has been very positive in looking ahead towards a 50th year of the partnership.  BP is currently in its 46th year supporting SLSNZ and the contract runs to the end of December. 

Grants and fundraising update - the Board reviewed an extensive paper on this activity.  Much work has been done on the Grants programme for the next financial year.  Work has included: tidying up past grants so as to start with a clear base; aligning the timing of grant applications to better match when funds are required for activities; and progressing relationships with regional and national funders.  A 14 month work plan was presented.

The Mid-winter Appeal will run from 17 to 30 June with a tag line "before you dip in the water ... dip in your pocket". This theme will continue through to summer promotions.  This is a new concept that will allow us to pre-test a number of new media, including Adshel outdoor advertising.  We are very pleased to have been chosen by Adshel to be their charity partner for the coming year as they are putting a significant value of advertising towards helping us promote both winter and summer campaigns.

The Board are also delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for the Wellington Phoenix football club, and look forward to an exciting season of A-league football with them.

The approach for the National Appeal and Jandal day was discussed at the recent round of Regional Club Chairs meetings.  It will be launched on 6 December and finish with Jandal Day on Friday 31 January.  The two month time window will allow clubs to leverage the national appeal for their own summer fundraising activities such as Club Beach Days.

Club Chairs were also presented with plans to selectively trial a revised Pin and Win campaign.  The basis of the campaign has had a significant rethink.  Progress with the trials will be closely monitored by SLSNZ and local Clubs before any large-scale activity takes place.

Sales for Lottery 21 are completed with tickets selling well and supported by a healthy level of donations.  Plans are also being progressed for Coca Cola Christmas in the Park in Auckland and Christchurch, which will be the 20th Anniversary of these events. 

Strategic Plan - an updated Strategic Plan following feedback from the May Planning Day was received by the Board.  The Chief Executive has now made final changes and circulated it to clubs.  Specific outcomes for 2013/14 are to be finalised and put into a balanced scorecard format with clear key performance indicators. (The strategic plan summary is available online at

Club Constitutions - an update was provided for the Board on Club Constitutions.  Clubs had been given till 30 June 2013 to align their Constitutions with SLSNZ, which impacted some six specific clauses.  Most clubs have aligned their Constitutions with several still to formally be endorsed at club AGMs over the next few months.  The Board resolved to extend the date for clubs to align their Constitutions with SLSNZ until 30 November 2013 to allow this work to be done.  Management were asked to continue working with the remaining clubs to get them up to date by 30 November.

National Office - the Chief Executive outlined a concept to relocate the national office.  Reduced staff numbers have lowered floor space requirements.  A lower cost option has been identified and the Board supported further investigation.

Event Safety - in response to the recent Event Health and Safety report, a 'Surf Sport Health and Safety Standard Operating Procedures' manual has been drafted.  Key aspects of this are:

  • Formal sanctioning of events
  • Formal appointment of Event Managers
  • Clear requirements for how events should be run, which can also be applied to Club training activities

The Board welcomed this progress and supported staff to continue with plans to review and seek feedback to this document.

Member protection - the Board received an updated draft of the Member Protection Regulation.  It has been reviewed by clubs at recent Regional Club Chairs meetings.  A final draft of the Regulation and first draft of the Guidelines are planned to be circulated to clubs for comment in July/August.  A key objective of this process is to ensure that clubs are able to comply with the Regulations and implement the Guidelines.

The Board is adamant that Member Protection be prioritised across the movement and acknowledge that it may require a culture change at many levels.  It is pleasing to hear that some clubs have already embarked on initiatives in response to these discussions. 

Travel subsidies - the Chief Executive presented a paper considering a change to the rate of payment for all travel subsidies - including those for Surf Officials travelling to SLSNZ organised events.  The current travel subsidy is 35c per kilometre both ways.  When it was introduced it aligned disparate travel subsidy agreements of the different groups of volunteers, which had been as low as 25c per kilometre for only one way. 

Whilst the current subsidy is appropriate for short-distance car travel, the current model has resulted in very high subsidies where people are required to travel the length of the county to assist.  For the National Championships alone, this travel cost SLSNZ over $20,000.  The proposed change involves going back to first principles - that this subsidy is a 'contribution towards' travel costs of volunteers.  It is never been intended to fully pay travel costs.

The new travel subsidy proposed to cap the level of subsidy to a maximum of $150 within Islands, and $300 for travel between Islands.  The Board agreed with Management's recommendation and to communicate the changes as soon as practical.

Board appointment process - Remaining important dates leading up to AGM as previously communicated are:



Mon 22nd July

Closing date for applications for Board members

Wed 21st August

BAP decisions due to CEO

Closing date for applications for President

Deadline for clubs to advise of their delegates and any Agenda items

Fri 30th August

Deadline for SLSNZ to provide clubs with the AGM Agenda and SLSNZ financials

The Board Appointments Panel (BAP) comprises a representative elected from each region, an independent governance expert, and the Chairman as long as they are not seeking re-election.  As noted last month, I will not be seeking re-election to the Board, so I will coordinate the Panel as per the constitution. 

Regional Club Chairs meetings - have been completed in Eastern, Central and Southern.  These are one of the most important communications linkages in the organisation.  They enable feedback on progress of your national body, providing guidance on direction and priorities.  Following recent organisational restructures, this rota of meetings were valuable to review the current status and discuss how best to move forward on topics such as being volunteer led and professionally managed.  Other topics discussed at the meetings include SLSNZ financials, seasonal recap, staff support and structuring update, fund raising initiatives such as National Jandal Day, regional representation on the BAP, member protection, the upcoming AGM and the Club Chairs Strategy Workshop.

Northern relationship - the Board were presented with the latest draft version of the 2013/14 SLSNZ -SLSNR Service Level Agreement (SLA).    The draft is currently with SLSNR for their initial feedback and further work is expected before a final version is ready for signing.

The Healthy Clubs sub-committee met in its new structure for the first time last month.  Regional Managers will be involved in future meetings.  The current focus is to release a new Club Pulse template in time for the upcoming season, a draft for which was presented to the Board along with a new monthly Board reporting template. 

Honours and Awards - a total of 29 Regional Award nominations were received for Central, Eastern and Southern regions.  Applications close shortly for National Awards so please get your nominations in soon.   Most local awards functions have now been held very successfully with just a few more to go in the next month.

The National Sport Committee - the Board received a report from the Sport Manager and reviewed minutes from the Committee's meeting on 25/26 May.  Topics included: high performance programme; event calendar and budget; update of Committee Terms of Reference; work programme; event bid process; and "Blue Sky Review" of events.  An overview was provided to the structure of the Committee and relationship to groups for surf boat, surf officials leadership, IRB technical and junior surf.

The National Lifesaving Committee - the Board was presented minutes from the Committee's meeting by conference call on 23 May.  Key items on the workplan include: Learning and Development programme development; Terms of Reference; formalising the position of Medical Director; updating the Lifesaving Plan; and update on election process for local lifeguard committees.

The Board appreciated seeing these key committees getting on with their roles and fully support their work respective programmes.

Next meeting
To be held by teleconference on 28 July.

Yours in surf


Michael Bassett-Foss
Surf Life Saving New Zealand