The annual Board Planning Workshop was held in
Wellington on Friday 16th/ Saturday
As mentioned a few weeks ago in my Member News comment, this
was an important time to reflect on, debate, tweak and align
our strategies and the direction of SLSNZ over the coming three
As a Board we spent considerable time seeking to be much more
crisp on the top priorities for the organisation, following work we
had done last year which highlighted the wide range of activities
SLSNZ actually undertakes. We don't have unlimited resources
so we need to focus our efforts. Those priorities are shown
below and included in the latest version of the 2018/19 Strategic
Plan which is attached for your information (and also will be
shortly available on the SLSNZ website).
Support and guide clubs to deliver core services to agreed
- SLSNZ can't be everything to everyone. Focus needs to go
onto providing support for clubs core operations that result in
saving lives on beaches. Priority to go into helping clubs
that are struggling to meet minimum standards relevant for their
- Implement an improved consultation and decision making/change
management process with clubs and other stakeholders.
- Through the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer drive a
culture change which focuses on improved professional execution and
understanding of who is the customer.
- Improved internal communications
- the membership is well informed about what is going on and why in
a timely manner.
- Improved external communications
- more people understand what we do and how we operate (volunteer
- While we have strength via clubs being sovereign entities we
also want to maximise our collective impact by having all our waka
travelling in the same direction.
- Narrow the SLSNZ focus on innovation to areas that support core
- Encourage clubs to be more innovative and spread the benefits
across the movement.
Business Resilience and securing future sustainable funding
- SLSNZ to target $500,000# cash added to working capital by the
end of the year via income growth and tight cost control (aiming
towards one year's OPEX in cash reserves).
o At least one additional 'Major' partner.
o Develop significant new income streams (e.g.
o SLSNZ Foundation starting to build long term
- Progress a proposal for a central government sustainable
funding model for the Surf Life Saving movement and SLSNZ.
- Continue to seek more support for clubs and SLSNZ from local
What we came up with is not a world away from where we have been
in the past, but there are some subtle differences, which are:
- While our primary focus remains leading and supporting all
clubs as they undertake the frontline work of saving lives at
beaches, there is an acknowledgment that within that we have to
prioritise our efforts on clubs that are struggling to achieve the
minimum standards of service relevant for their beaches.
Supporting club core operations needs to be where our time and
energy is invested.
- Following the Club Chairs Workshop at the 2017 AGM, we have
taken on the message to improve our own operational delivery -
particularly consultation and change management processes, and
communication - internally and enhancing telling the story of Surf
Life Saving to the community. Just like clubs, we need to
prioritise the professional execution of core
deliverables while not getting distracted. As part
of bringing this to life we are investing in the role of a Chief
Operations Officer for 2018/19.
- Following recent discussions with Central Government there is a
need now to be more explicit about becoming and behaving as 'ONE
ORGANISATION', so we can maximise the benefits of our collective
strength, whether this is in the media spotlight or with
funders. While we have many individual clubs in our movement
and this gives us benefits in terms of resilience and ability to
innovate and motivate our membership, if we are not aligned we will
be divided and conquered in what has become an extremely
competitive funding environment.
- The Board also wants to signal a change to how we approach
innovation, where in the past SLSNZ has tended to centralise this
(mainly in lifesaving, less so in sport) to avoid un-necessary
duplication of resources and reduce the risk of different operating
standards across clubs. While these benefits remain
important, this has meant SLSNZ has struggled to cope with the
range of initiatives on its plate and innovation has not happened
as fast as it could have. Going forward, SLSNZ will endeavour
to focus more on ideas that improve core service delivery and give
clubs more of a role to develop ideas themselves and facilitate the
sharing of those.
The need for 'business resilience' remains a top priority for
us, albeit for 2018/19 the potential to have a discussion with
Central Government about a sustainable long term funding model is
something that is more real than it ever has been in the past and
if it occurs is going to drive a change in accountability, and the
need for us to focus on becoming "ONE ORGANISATION".
So overall, a very productive couple of days.
While not covered at the meeting, in terms of the SLSNZ
financial position attached are the regular SLSNZ Financial Reports
for the first seven months of 2017/18. These show a Net
Operating Surplus of $1.969 million, which
is $228,000 ahead of budget. This variance is
largely due to the additional funding received from NZLGB which
hasn't been spent yet. A full explanation of the variances is
in the attached Financial Summary Dashboard.
As always, the profit at this time of year is not indicative or
the year end result as we have yet to complete our big
spending summer months. More relevant is the latest forecast
which has the full year Net Operating Surplus running slightly
below budgeted levels at $137,000 (budget is
$120,000). This means we still have to keep very focussed on
achieving all our income and expenditure targets for the second
half of the year as there is little fat in this bottom line.
This forecast did not take account of the BP 50th
Anniversary fundraising campaign results as it was still running
during this time.
But speaking of that, this campaign ('Every Litre Counts') which
celebrated BP's 50 year anniversary of sponsoring surf life saving
in New Zealand raised $459,050 for SLSNZ. $121,600 of that
has been distributed via a competition to clubs and members who
were the most active in supporting the programme, and a further $
500 of fuel vouchers is being disbursed to each of the clubs who
promoted the programme through their networks but did not win one
of the major prizes. In addition, the funding has also been
used to refresh BP Surf Rescue flags and signs for all
Overall his has seen 40% of the money raised ($181,600)
distributed, with the remainder of the funds remaining with SLSNZ
for use in the future.
In attending the Oceans Under 14 Championships I was disturbed
to see firsthand the unacceptable behaviour and sportsmanship being
displayed by a small number of clubs, coaches and managers some who
are long term members.
An upfront focussed discussion with Team Managers at the TSB
Nationals on acceptable behaviours had the desired effect and it
was extremely pleasing leaving the TSB Nationals to have seen a
vast improvement. However, I think you will agree that the
time has come to call out any clubs, coaches, managers and
individuals who do not meet acceptable standards of behaviour while
taking the time to reflect on and reiterate the reasons we actually
deliver events and the behaviours that are acceptable to us as a
As indicated earlier we are in discussions with Central
Government and are working extremely hard to progress the
opportunity of sustainable long term funding to support our member
clubs and the national organisation for both operational and
capital funding requirements.
Our approach to the Government is based on the evidence of the
Water Safety New Zealand Capability Review whom we continue to work
While early days, as mentioned above, the messaging coming out
of Central Government is abundantly clear that any support will be
predicated on us being "ONE ORGANISATION" and if we manage to
secure the opportunity there will be "ONE DEAL". Based on
this you can expect to see us commence work on what that future
As we continue to work with Central Government we would like to
reconfirm that any media needs to reinforce the national position
as per the guidelines provided earlier in the season and not to
attack or blindside funding agencies via the media.
So that's it from me for the month - although I do have one
quick reminder for clubs to get their National Honours & Awards
nominations in - the deadline of 30th June is
coming up quickly.
Yours in surf,
Surf Life Saving New Zealand