Board Report: 24 October 2011

Dear Clubbies,

The new Board held their first meeting last Monday. One of my personal objectives is to build closer links with our members and Clubs. I plan to send a report after each board meeting and invite feedback, ideas and suggestions that I will table at the next meeting of the Board.  

Key points covered include:
  • Government House has accepted our invitation to the new Governor General to be our Patron

  • Insurance cover has now been arranged for all of our 73 clubs across New Zealand - of concern is that the premium for our cover is up almost 50% on 2010. The board has confirmed a sub committee to review our insurance coverage and options to reduce significantly increasing premiums.

  • NZ Lottery Grants Board has provided a grant of $2.1m which is $100,000 less than last year but nevertheless is very welcome.

  • A new single all-encompassing travel reimbursement policy will be introduced to assist volunteers and officials when they are supporting national activities. For budget reasons this will be introduced from 1 July 2012.

  •  Leadership programme - the Prime Minister's grant of $250,000 is being attributed to leadership development and will fund the programme for coming 3 years.

  • The minutes of the September 24th AGM and SGM were reviewed and it was agreed that members views on both independent directors and club constitutions would be considered by the board - this is on the agenda for our December meeting.

  • Club constitutions - Under the SLSNZ constitution clubs have until 30 June 2012 to adopt a constitution that contains the 5 requirements to link to the SLSNZ constitution. The Board agreed to engage an advisor to undertake a desktop evaluation to assist Clubs in meeting this requirement.  

  • The exciting concept of a Surf Life Saving NZ Foundation has been floated by our President Bob Harvey.  Management have been asked to work with Bob to develop this concept further.

  • Whilst we shouldn't become complacent the financial results for 3 months to 30 September record a surplus of $241,000 which is pleasing. This is the result of strong cost control by management and a clear focus on ensuring that grants and funding streams are secure. I have visited our major funders all of whom have confirmed their support for SLSNZ and also that they wish to deal with one organisation rather than receive a number of applications for funding!

  • Although we have sold a good number we still have over 300,000 toy boats for sale!       

  • The Centennial Container and IRB simulator which has been on loan to RWC is due back to us next week. The container is being loaned to Sumner SLC as temporary club rooms whilst they resolve their future facilities to replace the club rooms that were badly damaged in the Christchurch earthquake. Interesting we have received enquiries from European Surf Life Saving organisations about our IRB simulator! And we see this as an opportunity to sell the concept or contract to supply simulators?

  • Management are in the process of reviewing all SLSNZ operational policies - many of which were written well in advance of groundswell. In addition an area of focus for the Board is risk management and a very good risk framework has been developed by our team which the Board will review in depth at our November meeting.

  • From this weekend until mid-November Regional Club Chair meetings will be held in Hamilton, Christchurch and Palmerston North with Auckland being held later in the year. Along with our Interim CEO and a board member I will be attending each of these meetings to update club chairs on progress within the national organisation.

  • CEO recruitment - the Board have asked our Interim CEO Pat Waite to commence the process for recruiting a chief executive. All going to plan we envisage that the new Chief Executive will be in place towards the end of March. We are currently in the process of engaging a recruitment company to assist and anticipate commencing an open, transparent international search for the best applicant shortly. We will keep you updated on progress as we progress.

  • The work programme for the Board is being developed and it will involve individual board members working with management on key areas such as member engagement, finance, funding, insurance to name a few.

  • Regional Awards - Central Region Chairs have raised with the Board the concept of regional wards - much like those that used to operate in the District model. I was impressed with the Northern region's awards presented last week in Northern and will be seeking input to this as we talk with club chairs at their meetings over the next few weeks.

Next meeting:

The next board meetings are planned for 11/12 November in Wellington and 4 December in Auckland.

It is my intention that this report be filed on our website as a record of the board meeting for members to review. This will be our practice from now on.
As I said in the beginning please feel free to contact me or our Interim Chief Executive, Pat Waite

We are available and very open to ideas, suggestions or as best we can answer questions you might have.


Yours in surf,


Michael Bassett-Foss