Board Report: April 2015

Hi Everyone,

The April Board meeting a face to face meeting held in Wellington on the 19th April..

From a financial perspective the results for the 9 months to 31st March are a Net Operating Surplus of $1.36 million against a budget of $0.9 million, a positive difference of $460,000.  This is all due to timing differences and the underlying result is still behind budget as some revenue items, particularly in the grants and fundraising area are behind the original budget.  The Year-end Forecast for the 12 month Net Operating Surplus has been updated since the Board meeting but is still at the $570,000 level, some $166,000 less than the budget.  With only three months to go to the end of the financial year this is likely to be where things end up but work will continue to get as many improvements on this as possible.  See the attached normal monthly report for details on the YTD results and variances.

In terms of other outcomes from the meeting:

  • The Board signed off the 2015/16 Strategic Plan and Budget.  A copy of the Plan which incorporates the high level budget is attached and will be available shortly on the SLSNZ website.  Feedback is welcome.  In terms of the financials, the Net Operating Surplus target for 2015/16 is lower than this year due to a number of factors, including a significant jump in the depreciation expense as we start to depreciate the new PAM software and the radio network.  However the 'free cash' being generated by the organisation still remains at the 2014/15 levels so we remain on track with our objective of rebuilding our depleted reserves over a five year period.
  • Nick Gutzewitz, SLSNZ Commercial Manager joined the meeting for a good discussion on what is going on in the commercial area over the next few years. There are some significant targets to deliver and it was very useful for the Board to identify the things it can do to assist and support the management team.
  • The Board discussed the Sport NZ Governance Review conducted on SLSNZ along with 23 other National bodies - a repeat of a similar study 10 years go.  There were a number of recommendations made, most of them common with the other organisations which were useful to think about.  Two areas that will be given particular thought, and may result in proposals to change the Constitution at the next AGM are:
  • Extending the term of Board members from two to three years - as with only two year terms the entire Board can change within a 13 month period which is not good for continuity.
  • Looking at more of an ongoing role for the Board Appointments Panel, so more thought can go into succession planning and looking at issues such as diversity.  Currently the BAP role is over in a few weeks with its priority only on the short term (making appointments/recommendations to fill the vacancies at the upcoming AGM).
  • We also  looked at the current status of the Leaders for Life candidate presentations from 2014.  Of the nine separate projects presented it was noted that only three were being taken to the next stage.  Those three are:
    • Intermediate Lifeguard programme - being trialled.
    • Public Perception of SLSNZ - changes being made to the SLSNZ website for better public access to information.
    • Water rescue dogs - concept being trialled

The Board was pleased to see these three ideas go ahead but was concerned that more of the ideas hadn't yet gone any further.  Below is a summary of the ideas and a comment on each.  Some are ideas that Clubs may want to pick up locally.



Status/ Comment

Advanced IRB Development

Feasibility study into an advanced IRB development pathway (camps, school, qualification).

No urgent need identified at this time but can sit with the IRB Advisory Group if it is felt it needs more investigation.

SLSNZ and St John Ambulance

Closer relationships, particularly in rural locations to upgrade the quality of medical care lifeguards can provide.

An opportunity to develop in local areas.

Membership Recruitment

National Open Day for the public to visit their local club as a recruitment opportunity.

An opportunity to develop in local areas.

Clubs can action locally (some do now) but national co-ordination is not likely to add any value, especially with no funds for media.

Diversity in Governance roles

Create a 'Governance Experience pathway' for younger members for those members wanting to develop in the administration of clubs.

An opportunity to develop in local areas.

Clubs may want to consider for creating pathways onto their committees..

Project 45 - recruitment in high schools

Develop a promotional video, poster and other material and have Beach Ed/ Regional Lifeguards visit high schools to deliver.

An opportunity to develop in local areas.

Outside the scope of those currently employed for Beach Ed/ Regional Lifeguard roles and would need to be tightly integrated with Clubs to support any people coming forward.

SLSNZ will look at providing a list of material currently available.

South Island Clubs member retention and sport participation

Combine training resources of multiple clubs so more members (especially those from small clubs) get opportunities to develop and compete.

An opportunity to develop in local areas.

An easy win now if Clubs want to try this.. 

Looking ahead to the 2015 intake for the BP Leaders for Life programme, it is hoped that there can be a high 'take up' of the ideas coming out of their projects, for which the Board will again take an active interest.

  • In terms of other decisions, the Board ratified three decisions made by email since the last Board meeting.
    • Appointment of NZ Open Team Management positions - Assistant Manager, Physio and Doctor.  Congratulations to those appointed.
    • 2015/16 National Event locations (now on the SLSNZ website).
    • Updates to Lifesaving, Membership, Sport and Judiciary Regulations.  These will be put up on the website shortly.
  • The Board discussed the progress being made with the High Performance Programme leading up to Rescue 2016 and the recent meetings with the NZ Open Team Coach and Manager.  The Board made a commitment to be actively engaged in supporting the HP teams and ensuring the channels of communication are open, with regular updates at Board meetings and Board representatives at HP Camps and meetings.
  • Management provided an update on their investigations on whether the Surf Lifeguard Award should be on the NZQA Framework - and a full report should be coming out to clubs in the next month or so.
  • The Board noted the National Honours & Awards Committee was taking a look at the 'Hall of Fame' and was likely to develop a proposal to bring this under their auspices in order to bring it back to life.  The Board was very appreciative of this as the last intake was in 2007 and the 'HOF' is badly in need of a new 'home'.
  • The Board also noted progress with idea of reducing the nine minute 400m swim time to eight minutes to bring SLS into line with international standards and the standard for pool lifeguards in NZ.  While formal communications will come out shortly to Clubs it was clear that there would now be no changes made ahead of the 2015/16 season.  The Board is very firm in its view that any decision would not be rushed through and all consequences (intended and unintended) need to be fully explored before any final decisions were made.
  • And as usual the Board discussed Health & Safety, including a review of the YTD Serious Injury Summary for the 2014/15 Season - there have now been 19 injuries to members where a hospital visit was required and 44 others needing a visit to the doctor which is in line with last year.   Sport remains the biggest single cause of those incidents, but there are still plenty of other areas contributing to the outcomes.  A full season review will be conducted in the next month or so when all the incidents are entered into PAM.

So that's it from me until my next update in a few weeks time……

Yours in surf,

Geoff Hamilton
Surf Life Saving New Zealand