Board Report: 4 December 2011

Dear Clubbies,

Congratulations for all your hard work toward getting an absolutely fantastic response to National Jandal Day! We had significant coverage in the media and thanks to State for their support in this.

The New Zealand community donated $380,000 (tentative), almost all of which goes directly back to clubs to help them keep their communities safe in the water.

Key points covered included: 
  • President Bob Harvey attended the meeting and outlined his progress on the concept of developing a SLSNZ Foundation. It aims to mobilise supporters of Surf Life Saving to assist build a capital base to underpin SLSNZ activities. The board is currently taking advice and exploring a number of platforms to ascertain which provides the best long term organisational security.
  •  The Board of Water Safety New Zealand joined the meeting to discuss a more coordinated approach to water safety sector programmes and funding. It was agreed that the CEOs would develop a terms of reference for further discussion.
  • "Running with Scissors" reported back on their work to consider commercialisation opportunities for Surf Life Saving in New Zealand. The report provides important independent recognition for the value that Surf Life Saving plays in the New Zealand community and identifies a number of opportunities to leverage the Surf Life Saving brand in this regard. The Board appreciated the attendance and input by SLSNR Chair Stephen Smith. Following a presentation to staff on 12 December work will focus on prioritising and planning implementation.
  • The board accepted a report with advice about SLSNZ intellectual property, its protection and use by other parties, for example, advertising that may use SLSNZ images like patrol flags. Potential for licensing arrangements and brand protection were discussed and the board has requested further work be completed in this area.
  • Financial reports were presented that show that we are still on track for a year end surplus. Cash flow is still forecast to be tight during the high expenditure months of February and March - the Board asked that mitigation options be developed. It's comforting to note that the organisation is far better positioned than last year to manage this period.
  • Despite minor data migration challenges during the installation of the new financial system in November profit and loss, balance sheet and forecast to budget results were produced in record time and staff can clearly see the benefits of the new financial reporting system.. It allows better financial reporting and cash flow forecasting. Importantly, it provides complete transparency reporting for expenditure of grants. This will first be used in the December grant report required for the New Zealand Lotteries Grants Board.
  • The Board was pleased to receive an internal communications plan. It was suggested that the communications plan would better sit alongside a broader stakeholder strategy with further work required on this.
  • A policy for the disposal of fixed assets was approved. The first asset to be disposed under this policy is to be a rather tired used vehicle!
  • Minutes from Club Chairs meetings in Eastern, Central and Southern were presented along with a running action list from those meetings. It was noted how these forums had improved with robust discussion aimed at supporting improvement of both SLSNZ and regional activities. The next round of meetings is planned for March/April 2012. SLSNR have confirmed that SLSNZ Board representatives are to be invited to attend a meeting of Northern Chairs in mid-December. 
  • An update on implementation of the Leadership Programme was discussed. Guidance provided that the budgets are to be adjusted to match the Government's Centenary Grant for this programme. We are reviewing the way we bring to market to ensure access across the SLSNZ movement. 
  • An updated risk management plan was presented that highlights the 6 highest risk items for the organisation along with mitigation activities. These risks are: failure to achieve income targets; exceeding expenditure targets; staff retention, and loss of key institutional knowledge; failure to meet all legislative compliance obligations and not meeting the requirements of POM or a serious health and safety incident at an SLSNZ event or programme. These risks are to be reviewed at each Board meeting and mitigation plans are actively managed to reduce probability or potential impact of each risk. 
  • Club support payments - This week the first instalment of Club Support Payments will be distributed by SLSNZ to the 67 clubs of the 4 regions. We will distribute just over $232,000 from Lotteries Grant Board and $13,800 for Beach Education club hire. There are 6 clubs that have not returned their club agreements and the payment will be held until these have been returned and club obligations have been met. The next instalment is due to be paid in the first week of March 2012.
  • An update was provided for the CEO recruitment process. To generate maximum exposure advertising for the position is planned to commence in late December with further advertising in start in the second half of January.
  • The Board agreed to a restructure proposal that would see permanent General Manager roles for Club Development and Programmes and Services advertised later in December. A new GM role for Corporate Services will be created to cover financial, fundraising and grant and information. The position of General Manager Business is to be disestablished and replaced with a Sponsorship and Marketing/Branding Manager. The Board is aware of the tremendous efforts being put in by staff as we move into the busy summer season. Pat and the team are always looking at ways to be more effective and efficient to better serve the needs of the clubs and the community and the Board supports initiatives to do this. 
  • The planned meeting between the SLSNR and SLSNZ Boards was deferred till early 2012 due to current club commitments of the Northern Board. Instead the respective Chairs meet briefly to better understand the positions of the respective organisations.
    The Board held a teleconference on 13th December to continue discussions from the last meeting:
  • With the increasing use of social media and because of the immediate nature of communication through social media - the ability of public to comment, and the difficulty in moderating content social media poses risks that other forms of media do not. The board adopted a new social media policy which clearly outlines appropriate use of social media applications, in order to ensure that the risk to the organisation is minimised wherever possible. 
  • We have received an approach from a corporate interested in helping SLSNZ achieve its purpose 'To protect our community in the water' through education to adults in the community.

Next meeting:

11/12 February 2012 at Mt Maunganui - NZ Surf League

As you can see it was a full agenda and the Board really appreciates the efforts of Pat and the wider management team who at a very busy time of the season, continue to produce great insights and reporting to support the Board.

As usual, I greatly appreciate you feedback or queries.

As this is my last planned communication before the holidays, on behalf of the Board I wish you a merry and safe Christmas.

See you on the beach...

Yours in surf

Michael Bassett-Foss

Surf Life Saving New Zealand