Board Report: 24 March 2013

Dear Clubbies

With Easter now behind us it brings an end to the patrolling season around most of the country. Patrol hours, lives saved, searches and preventative actions are up - reflecting the great weather around the country over summer and a big jump in the number of people going to our beaches. This is an excellent result! Well done to the lifeguards, other volunteers and staff.

A meeting of the Board of Surf Life Saving New Zealand was held by teleconference on Sunday 24th March.

Board Report: 24 March 2013

Key points covered included:

Discussion also took place on progress towards achieving the target of a $1-$1.2m surplus for 2013/14, with particular focus on the proposed restructure of the organisation and how best to seek support for short and long term sustainability.
Clubs will have recently received communications summarising the current status on the proposed organisational changes. At the time of the Board meeting staff and members were still providing their feedback on the proposed changes. The Chief Executive was asked to circulate all feedback to the Board along with a summary for a review over Easter. Teleconferences were scheduled for the week following Easter to review feedback and make decisions on the basis of it.
As I typed this update over Easter I can confirm that 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 the movement. Thank you sincerely to those that contributed.
There were certainly a number of strong themes to the feedback, which will be assimilated into the final outcomes. Updates will be provided in due course.

Financials year to date
Financial results for the eight months to end of February are largely in line with the revised budget, with income of $7.3 million, expenses of $6.6 million and a surplus of $690,000. The surplus is eroding as expected with large expenditure areas catching up and shortfalls in grant income start to make an impact in the final few months. 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 Board is still committed to achieving the year end budget of small surplus but this is dependent on a number of variable factors. Clubs will once again be provided with a copy of the main financial reports for their information. 

Lifesaving statistics 
The following baseline statistics provide a useful reflection and certainly show the value that Surf Life Saving provides to New Zealand. Note that the figures reflect data entered for the current summer season to end of February compared to the full year last year. 

2012/13 year to Feb
Number of club members
Number of beaches patrolled
Number of patrol hours
Number of searches
Number of active lifeguards
Average hours per lifeguard
Number of rescues
Number of first aid patients
Number of preventative actions
Number of safety interventions

AGM and Club Forum 
As previously communicated the AGM date has been set for Saturday 21st September in Wellington. This will include a forum for Club Chairs for which the Chief Executive will formally send invites shortly.
Tentative dates leading up to AGM are: 

Thur 23 May
Deadline to provide clubs with notice of the AGM.
Sat 22nd June
Deadline for the Board Appointments Panel (BAP) to be convened.
Call for applications for AGM vacancies.
Mon 22nd July
Closing date for applications.
Wed 21st August
BAP decisions due to CEO.
Fri 30th August
Deadline to provide clubs with Agenda and SLSNZ financials.

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 term).
  • 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).

Lifesaving First Aid
Performance for LFA has been challenging over the last few months. Whilst revenue from corporate customers is up 50%, it is still below budget. Forecasted demand from several large customers has been delayed.

Revenue from courses for clubs is still the largest segment of revenue and this is down 33% from last year to date figures. There are a number of factors behind this but this is a disappointing result.

Revenue for the year to end February 2013 is down $63,000 to $214,000. Expenses are down $13,000 to $262,000 leaving a year to date deficit of $48,000. With delays to corporate revenue the deficit is forecast to grow by financial year end.
Management is continually reviewing the budgets for the remainder of the year and looking at measures that can minimize any year end deficit.

Grants and fundraising
Grants continue to be an area of concern for the organization. We are applying for as many items as possible this year but with overheads being the bulk of our remaining spending it is challenging to find cost areas that will fit funding criteria. Recent grant applications have had variable success.

Regional Managers and national staff are involved with building a grants plan for the 2013/14 year with a move to earlier timing of applications so there is more ability to stop spending if grants are not received at expected levels. There will also be a re-focus on Regional level grants, given the funding environment is shifting towards more grant money having to be used locally rather than given to national bodies.

Feedback from clubs and staff on our appeal week and National Jandal Day was presented in a report. It recommends that we look to a new date and allow more flexibility for clubs to arrange fundraising activities under an extended Appeal 'umbrella' at times that best suits them. Final recommendations will be presented to the Board shortly.

The next SLSNZ Lottery is being prepared with a focus on selling more tickets and to grow the base of ticket buyers. Clubs are being offered the opportunity to sell tickets as a fundraiser with clubs receiving funds from future sales of the people that buy from an introduction via their club.

A further review of the organisation's grants and fundraising activity will take place after the next lottery is completed, the direct mail programme for the year is finished and discussions with Coca Cola on the Coca Cola Christmas in the Park events are concluded.

Next meeting:

Our next meeting is scheduled to take place by teleconference on Sunday 21st April.

Yours in surf

Michael Bassett-Foss