Board Report: February 2019

Hi Everyone,

The annual Board Planning Workshop was held in Wellington on Friday 15th February.  It was a special day in that it was the first meeting for our new Youth Intern, Vivien Conway, but also a bit sombre with the Board coming to grips with the sad and unexpected passing of Graham Crombie, who had been a big part of the Board over the last five years.

As always, this was an important time to reflect on, debate, tweak and align our strategies and the direction of SLSNZ over the coming three years.

Our current ‘One Page Strategic Plan’ which was developed last year was generally seen as still being relevant, but with a couple of changes.

  • We think the wording of  ‘Vision’ could be improved to something a bit shorter, punchier and aspirational and we have taken this offline prior to confirming the new wording.
  • We are changing the title of the ‘One Movement’ strategic pillar to ‘National Leadership’ which better reflects our forward vision and position us as outward looking, while encompassing some core activities that don’t really fit into the other pillars, including Beach Education programmes, Community Education programmes and internal & external communications as well the original aspects of this pillar which were around aligning all parts of the movement and speaking with a common voice.

We also spent time looking at what our priorities should be for the next 12/24/36 months.  The areas where we hope to see significant progress in this time are:

  • Increased funding certainty – with a particular focus on Central Government funding and clarity on the roles of central and local government for beach safety.
  • ‘Business as usual’ excellence and enhanced professional execution.
  • Articulating the brand story. 
  • Strategic partnerships.
  • Looking ahead at the big picture – what do we want our future look like?

The actions that arose from that discussion will be incorporated into the Management Plan for the 2019/20 year.  

The Board also approved the draft budget for 2019/20, noting this was a ‘minimum’ target with a Net Operating Surplus of $107,000 with positive cash flow of $208,000.

And on a separate but related topic, we also spent some time looking ahead at what our decision making framework should be for future commercial revenue initiatives.  The criteria we came up with, in no particular order was:

  • Adds value to and is consistent with the SLS brand.
  • Is relevant to and fits with the core business.
  • Fits with existing capability – i.e. we know what we are doing.
  • Has a good ROI – at least $2 for every $1 invested.
  • Is not high risk – particularly to cashflow and reputation.
  • Won’t be a distraction for the Board and management.
  • Is sustainable and will have longevity.
  • Will be supported by the membership.
  • A quantum of investment that is affordable.

We now move on to updating the Strategic Plan document which will be discussed again at our April meeting and then circulated to clubs and be available for the membership after that.

In terms of the SLSNZ financial position attached are the regular SLSNZ Financial Reports for the first seven months of 2018/19.  These show a Net Operating Surplus of $2.597million, which is $839,495 ahead of budget.  This variance is largely due to the additional funding received from NZLGB which hasn’t all 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 of the year end result as we have still have some big spending summer months to go.  More relevant is the latest forecast which has the full year Net Operating Surplus ahead of budgeted levels at $559,000 (budget is $133,000).  The increase over budget is being driven by extra grant income that has to be spent on capital items – as the revenue shows up in the P&L but the expenses don’t. 

And that is enough for me for this report.  As we are reaching the end of the season a very big thanks to all the clubs and individuals who have contributed across the movement towards a very successful summer.

Yours in surf,

Brent Warner
Surf Life Saving New Zealand