Board Report: August 2018

Hi Everyone,

The August Board meeting was held in Wellington on Friday 24th August.  

From a monetary perspective the meeting saw the signing off on the 2017/18 Audited Accounts which were distributed to clubs on 31st August.  The final result for the year was a Net Surplus of $396,996, which was ahead of the budget of $120,009.  This was a pleasing result, and driven by revenue being ahead of budget from the larger than normal grant from NZLGB and from the extra sponsorship revenue from BP as a result of their successful 50th Anniversary celebration ‘Every Litre Counts’ campaign.

Of course for 2018/19 we won’t have a repeat of the BP campaign, and we are yet to hear how we will go with NZLGB, so we are anticipating a much tighter year ahead.

Speaking of which, looking at the results for the first month of that new financial year, the Net Operating Surplus of was $175,481, which is $11,979 behind budget.  This is due to some minor timing variations and is not indicative of the full year situation.  The full explanation of the variances is in the attached Dashboard report. 

In the first forecast for the new year, the full year Net Operating Surplus is $149,380, slightly ahead of the $132,644 full year budget. 

In terms of other items of note from the meeting:

  • SLSNZ Strategic Priorities.  The Board signed off an updated 2018/19 ‘one page plan’ highlighting the four revised strategic priorities.  A copy of which has been circulated to clubs along with the other material for the AGM Club Chairs Workshop.

    Of course we are now about to start our planning process for 2019/20 – the first stage of this is to involve discussions at the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM - not that far away now and I am looking forward to the dialogue.
  • 2018 AGM.  Speaking of the AGM, it looks like we will have another good attendance with 47 clubs indicating they will be attending.  Thanks to all those clubs who are making the effort - it will be a good day.  As mentioned earlier, all the information went out on 31st August and for those clubs who can’t make it, there are still options to vote electronically or by proxy.  The Board noted the results of the Board Appointments Panel process and congratulated Appointed Board Member Vanessa Winning for her re-appointment.  My thanks to the members of the Panel for all the time they put into the Board appointments process - it is a very important job!

    Of course it was with some sadness that this meeting was the final one for Board stalwart Colin Weatherall.  Colin has put in a big contribution over his seven years on the Board, coming in at a difficult time in 2011 and very much leaving things in a much better shape than he found them!  We know Colin will continue to be a part of surf life saving from his beloved Brighton and I am sure he won’t stop offering me his opinion!

    The Board noted the draft agenda for the meeting, which will be a straight forward one as there are no proposed changes to the Constitution required this year, and only a couple of routine decisions to make around Board Honoraria and the appointment of the SLSNZ Auditor for 2018/19.
  • Health & Safety.  The Board noted and discussed the five year trend analysis of injuries (also circulated to clubs a few weeks ago).  It was pleasing to see some significant improvements over that time, but the challenge remains to keep up the rate of improvement.
  • National Honours & Awards.  The Board ratified the decisions of the National Honours & Awards Committee. The Board was pleased with the good numbers of applicants and recipients this year and on behalf of the membership thanks the Committee for their excellent work.

  • Board Youth Intern.  The Board discussed the concept of a Youth Intern, who would be invited to attend Board meetings for a period of up to 18 months.  This was approved in principle and a call for applications will go out shortly.  While not officially a Board member, the individual will still be expected to fully participate in all Board activities and is a chance for learning in both directions.  The Board feels it is important that for an organisation with such a young membership, that there is a way for the youth perspective to be channeled into the boardroom.

  • IRB Helmet Project.  The Board noted that the report from the review group had been circulated to clubs, who had a month to provide feedback.  This feedback would then be consolidated and provided back to clubs along with the conclusions drawn from that feedback.  There will be one final chance for club feedback on those conclusions before a final Board decision is made by 5th

  • Decision Making/Consultation Process.  The Board noted that the first round of feedback on this had been received and was supportive of the proposed process.  This had been consolidate and sent out to clubs along with the suggested improvements to the drafting of the document describing the process and the conclusion drawn from that feedback, which was to implement the process.  Clubs had until 31st August to comment on that conclusion, and any feedback from that would go to the Board for a final decision in early September.

  • Commercial Priorities.  The Board heard a presentation from the new SLSNZ Commercial Manager, Rajal Middleton on what she had found in the first few months in the role, what the current priorities are and where there are future opportunities.  The discussion also covered branding, communications and how to manage growth without sacrificing the quality on what we are already doing.  The Board is pleased with progress in this area but is mindful about how much work there is just to keep standing still, and we need to do more than this!

  • SLSNZ Foundation.  The Board reviewed the minutes from the last meeting of the Foundation Trustees from early August.  It was noted the progress so far has been good towards the initial targets but now those targets ramp up steeply and an action plan being developed for the next 12 months will start to put more pressure on the organisation to deliver the results.

  • Memorandum of Understanding with the Lifesavers Foundation. The Lifesavers Foundation is effectively the commercial and fundraising arm of Surf Life Saving Northern Region, and SLSNZ has recently signed an MOU to ensure the two parties can work collaboratively in the market, and not cause confusion by competing in the eyes of prospective donors or funding partners.  It is critical that there is co-ordination of fundraising activities on a national basis, but there are also economies of scale benefits from working together that can benefit everyone.  This is a continuation of the working relationship SLSNZ has had on fundraising and commercial activities with SLSNR itself.

  • Central Government funding.  I updated the Board on the most recent discussions with Government, which remain very positive.  A more detailed update will be provided at the AGM Club Chairs Workshop, but it is very pleasing to hear first hand the commitment the Government has to the water safety sector and our long term sustainability.

  • Restrictions on club commercial activities.  The Board is conscious that many clubs are limited by the classification of their land, resource consents and leases as to the range of commercial activities they can undertake in their clubrooms, and has asked Management with the help of some of our Board members to undertake some work to develop some reference material to help clubs know where to look to identify their own circumstances and who to approach if they want to seek change.

So that is it from another busy meeting.  The next Board meeting will be held in Wellington on Friday 26th October.

Until my next update……

Yours in surf,
Brent Warner
Surf Life Saving New Zealand