Board Report: 21 April 2013

Dear Clubbies

It was great news recently to hear that the Governor General had presented the RSA's prestigious Anzac of the Year Award to New Zealand's youngest ever recipients - Waihi's Rookie lifeguard Will White and his cousin Sergio Schuler!

The pair of 12 year-olds were recognised for their courage and selfless commitment in the rescue of a 32-year-old at Bowentown Beach in Waihi last December.  

I am often humbled by the stories I hear of heroic endeavours from our members.  Well done to these youngsters.

Board Report: 21 April 2013 (teleconference)

Key points covered included:

Organisational Sustainability
Clubs will have received communication summarising outcomes of the proposed organisational changes focused at achieving organisational sustainability.  This remains the single biggest priority for the organisation.

As I wrote in my last report, over 40 separate responses were received.  Most were thorough and well-articulated.  Submitters ranged from individuals and groups of staff, members, clubs, clusters of clubs and volunteer committees.  The feedback was substantial and reflected the passion and ownership that the parties feel for their movement. 

The Board met via teleconference on a number of occasions during the week after Easter to assimilate feedback.  The feedback had some strong themes, which has strongly shaped final outcomes.  Thank you sincerely to those that contributed. 

There is now considerable work required as staff implement the organisational changes and align work programmes.

Financials year to date
Financial results for the nine months to end of March are lower than the revised budget, with income of $7.7 million, expenses of $7.2 million and a surplus of $440,000.  The lower than forecasted results are largely due to timing of NZLGB funding.  The surplus has eroded as expected with large expenditure areas catching up.  The final quarter will create cash flow challenges as there is little income in the 'off season' but fixed costs continue.  These are forecast to stretch working funds during May and June.  The small forecasted yearend budget surplus reported last month will be a challenge to achieve as we firm up what income will need to be carried forward into the 2013/14 year (and therefore can't be included as revenue in the current year)  but this is still dependent on a number of variable factors.  Clubs will once again be provided with a copy of the main financial reports for their information.

Water Safety NZ Report
The Board discussed SLSNZ's response to the Martin Jenkins draft report on the sector leadership role for WSNZ (refer  The primary change being mooted is for WSNZ to take over the role of the Drowning Prevention Council, and as such move from leadership of water safety 'education' to leadership of drowning prevention in totality.

The most controversial recommendation for us is a proposal that WSNZ take over all of the NZLGB funding for Coastguard and SLSNZ and the reallocating it back.  It is concerning that what started with the aim of improving a disjoint 'Swim and Survive' space has now spread to impact vital funding streams for SLSNZ and Coastguard.  This has already been the subject of separate meetings between sector CEOs and Chairs. 

SLSNZ's response will support a more unified structure for the water safety sector.  Naturally it will not support any loss of control of our funding streams.  Further discussions are planned with sector organisations and central Government before the report gets to a final stage.

Planning day and budget 2013/14
The next Board meeting will be held in conjunction with the Board's annual planning day.  This is a time when the strategic plan for SLSNZ is reviewed and updated for the year ahead.  Staff use the strategic plan to formulate management plans and budgets.

Clubs will get the opportunity to have input into the strategic plan during the next round of Regional Club Chairs Committee meetings scheduled for May and June.  SLSNR have already been engaged in this process.

AGM and Club Forum
As communicated in my last report, the AGM date has been set for Saturday 21st September.  It will include a forum for Club Chairs for which an invite has been circulated to clubs.

The aim of the forum is:

  • To provide a national forum to discuss matters of strategic importance to all clubs.
  • To identify high priority areas for SLSNZ to take into the 2014/15 planning round.
  • To raise and discuss any issues that need immediate attention.

The agenda for the day is:



10.30am- 3.00pm

Clubs Strategy Forum

4.00pm - 5.30pm

SLSNZ Annual General Meeting

6.30pm - 9.30pm

DHL 'In it for Life' Awards and BP Media Awards

Important dates leading up to AGM are:



Thur 23 May

Deadline for SLSNZ to provide clubs with notice of the AGM.

Sat 22nd June

Deadline for the Board Appointments Panel (BAP) to be convened and call for applications for AGM vacancies.

Mon 22nd July

Closing date for applications for Board vacancies.

Wed 21st August

Deadline for clubs to advise who their delegate will be.

Deadline for members and associate members to advise if they are attending.

Deadline for any agenda items and motions to be advised.

BAP decisions due to CEO.

Closing date for nominations for President.

Fri 30th August

Deadline to provide clubs with Agenda and SLSNZ financials and advised of BAP appointments and recommendations.

Thurs 19 September

Deadline for postal and electronic votes

The following people will have their terms of office come to an end this AGM:

  • Neale Ames (President) - completing the second year of Bob Harvey's second term.
  • Michael Bassett-Foss (elected Board member)
  • Brent Warner (elected Board member)
  • Geoff Hamilton (appointed Board member completing the second year of Nicki Nicol's second year)
  • Nicky Duggan (co-opted independent Board member appointed for a one year term in anticipation of two independent Board members able to be appointed at the 2013 AGM)

Regional Chairs have been asked to submit their Regions representative to the Board Appointments Panel by 31 May.

The Board received an update on fundraising activity.  Funds continue to be received from the 3rd direct mail campaign.  Lottery 21 opened last week with a mail out to 45,000 addresses.  An offer has been made to clubs to fundraise by selling lottery tickets but there has been very little uptake to date.

Fundraising activity will undergo a review after the current lottery and direct mail programme are completed, and discussions with Coca Cola on the Coca Cola Christmas in the Park events are concluded.  The Board asked that a fundraising strategy prepared for the next meeting.

High Performance Strategy
The Board reviewed the strategy documents for the New Zealand Open Team and the New Zealand Development Team.  The New Zealand Open Team is funded by Sport New Zealand.  Like many other national sporting organisations, the Development Team is a self funded initiative.  The strategy documents were approved subject to:

  • The Open Team budget being realistic, so there is no risk of a blowout having to be funded by SLSNZ or athletes.
  • The Development Team only travelling to Japan and/or Rescue 14 if a full team can be filled from within the Squad from members willing to pay the full user-pays cost up front.

National Team Manager Roles
The Board reviewed the recommendation from the selection panel appointing the New Zealand Open Team Manager role.  This role is pivotal in the preparation for us to defend our world title in 2014. After considerable discussion the Board asked for the role to be re-advertised to see if it was possible to get a suitably qualified individual from within the membership. The selection process for the Development Team Manager's role was impacted by this decision and to make sure nobody missed out any opportunities this role was also to be re-advertised and selection remain running in parallel with the Open Team Manager recruitment.

The Board reviewed Regulations for Health & Safety, Surf Sport, Intellectual Property and Commercial Partnerships, Region and Club Chairs Committee and Anti-Doping and approved them in principle and delegated final signoff to the CEO after he has incorporated any feedback on drafting changes from Board Members.

Following feedback from clubs, the new Member Protection Regulation is being redrafted.  Proposed revisions to the Surf Lifesaving Regulation are being reviewed to remove duplication with the Patrol Operations Manual.

Next meeting:
The next meeting of the Board will form part of the strategic planning process and is scheduled to take place on Sunday 19th May.

Yours in surf


Michael Bassett-Foss
Surf Life Saving New Zealand