The summer competition and lifeguard session is now at an end with
members taking a much deserved breather. I know clubs are planning
their AGMs and holding awards evenings - it's the ideal time to put
your minds towards preparing club strategic plans. If you need help
in this regard please contact your CDOs.
Key points covered included:
- Regional Club Chairs Committee meetings - staff and members of
the board attended Club Chairs meetings during April. Agenda items
included Club Constitutions, AGM and Annual Awards function,
independent directors, Board Appointments Panel applications and
process, financials update, insurance options, member recognition,
leadership programme and club support payments. Each region had
their own additional agenda items and flavour. The meetings were
positively supported by clubs and provided a lot of value for SLSNZ
programmes and equally a lot of useful information for clubs.
Members should check with club chairs for further details of the
meetings or visit the SLSNZ website at the end of the week for
- Financials - are currently tracking toward a targeted small
surplus. There has been a vast improvement in the results compared
to last year and in the quality of financial reports over the last
8 months and special thanks go to Pat Waite and our GM of Corporate
Services, Joanna Mathews.
The Board Finance Committee of Brent Warner and Nicki Nicol have
also put in a huge amount of time monitoring and streamlining the
reporting process. Over time the Finance Committee intends to move
towards more of an 'Audit and Risk' Committee focus, looking at
longer term and strategic issues rather than monthly cash
- Organisational reporting - the board has been engaging with
staff on dashboard reporting which provides reports to all levels
of the membership. Through club chairs we would like to hear your
opinion of which information you would like to see contained within
- Leadership programme - a paper outlining the business case for
the programme was presented. It will be funded primarily by the
Prime Minister's Award grant of $250,000. The Board approved the
business case subject to there being further clarification about
the framework and that outcomes can be achieved. Attention needs to
be given to how the programme is implemented and communicated to
- Policies - 3 policies were presented covering financial
principals, OSH, and use of vehicles. The board asked for further
refinements to these policies by the next board meeting.
- Regional structure - a warm welcome was given to Mark
Weatherall who returns to SLSNZ as GM Club Development. Mark
outlined the regional structure and recent appointments of Regional
Managers Tim Marsden for Central and Chris Emmett for Eastern, with
Southern to progress shortly. A key aim for Mark is to rebalance
the focus and workload between CDOs and the volunteers. Following
the organisational change CDOs have picked up tasks previously
handled by volunteers. An example is local event organisation
although each area is different. Rebalancing of CDOs workload and a
more supportive regional structure will allow them to have more
time to focus on actual club development.
- Event safety - Brett Sullivan, GM Programmes and Services,
provided an update on progress reviewing event safety. While it was
acknowledged this was already to be a key project for 2012/13, the
Board re-iterated the urgency of this review, given the recent
tragic events in Australia.
The most immediate risks to address are seen as surf boats and IRB
- Pin and Win - a paper outlining the programme was presented.
The contract with the Pin and Win providers expires shortly. Whilst
the programme provides a useful revenue stream for the
organisation, the Board noted negative feedback from members and
Alternative funding streams will need to be developed as this is
part of the National income currently that will need
- Insurance for clubs - for the current year the cost of premiums
funded by SLSNZ is $470,000 and is likely to increase to more than
$600,000 next year. A report outlining the options for reducing
this cost was noted. Joint SLSNZ/Club sharing of the premium costs
looks like being necessary and has been discussed at regional club
chairs meetings. Whatever the outcome, more Club accountability for
insurance is essential - for what is covered, claims and the level
of cover really required. Further communication will follow to all
clubs in the near term, but clubs may want to start considering the
impact of this.
- Sports manual - a draft version of the new manual is ready for
final review (last reviewed in 2004). This follows development over
the last few years involving stakeholders. A final round of
consultation is underway. The Board asked that budget consequences
be taken into account when printing the manual, and that thought be
given to an education process for officials, coaches, competitors,
team managers etc.
- AGM and Annual Awards function - has been confirmed for
Saturday 22 September in Wellington, which will be formally advised
to clubs shortly. A programme is being developed to incorporate the
annual awards function. A timeline of constitutional and critical
activities was presented as we countdown to the AGM.
- Board Appointments - discussion took place on the need to
repeat the Board evaluation process previously undertaken using the
Sport NZ evaluation tool, to lead in to the Board appointments
process at the 2012/13 AGM. It was felt important to able to
provide the Board Appointments Panel (BAP) with information around
the skill sets required on the Board. The regions are soon to be
asked to confirm their BAP candidate.
The next Board meeting is set for 20 May and will be a strategic
planning day. The Board will meet by phone conference in the week
prior to this for more operational matters.
SLSNZ is in a considerably more stable space following our
extensive organisational change and challenges around finances and
I see this is now reflected in the focus of the Board - as it
becomes more comfortable with how the organisation is tracking it
is slowly shifting its view from operational matters to the
strategic environment. There will undoubtedly be other challenges
ahead but with the on-going strong support from the member base and
stakeholders future opportunities are vast.
As usual, I greatly appreciate you feedback or queries.
Yours in surf
Surf Life Saving New Zealand