Board Report: July 2015

Hi Everyone,

The July Board meeting a full day meeting held in Wellington on the 28th June.

From a financial perspective the final results for the 2014/15 year look like a Net Operating Surplus of $0.65 million, slightly head of what was forecast and close to 90% of the original budget.  The Board is happy with this final result and the fact that it has nearly doubled our total Membership Funds to $1.372 million.  Two years ago Membership Funds were only $102,000 so it is very pleasing to see the progress from 2013/14 backed up.  Of course we need to keep doing this for a few more years yet to get us back to where we were pre-2010, so there is no time to rest on our laurels.  The full audited accounts will be coming out to clubs in a few weeks' time (28th August) so I haven't included the provisional accounts with this update.

In what was a busy meeting, the main outcomes were:

  • The Board spent most of its time on items with a strategic focus, including:
  • The SLSNZ Foundation.  A draft Trust Deed was discussed in depth along with the options for appointing Trustees.  This work will continue to progress over the next few weeks with the intent of being close to establishment by the AGM in September.
  • SLSNZ Value Proposition.  Draft thinking on this has been developed and the Board discussed this in depth.  An outline of this will be incorporated in the 2015 Annual Report and clubs will get the chance to comment on this and add their thoughts.
  • SLSNZ 2014/15 Strategic Plan.  Now that the 2014/15 year is complete, the Board reviewed progress against what was said would be done in the Strategic Plan.  While there are still a few tasks that will take a bit longer to complete than originally expected, overall the Board was happy with progress being made by the Management team, and look forward to a similar level of activity and success in the coming year.
  • SLSNZ 2015/16 Strategic Plan.  The detailed version of this plan to be used by Management for monitoring and reporting was discussed by the Board as a final check now that the new financial year has just started.  Since the strategic direction as signed off in February there have been a few additional tasks identified and these will be incorporated into the plan.
  • Water Safety Sector Plan.  Progress on this and our involvement was discussed.  We remain firmly committed to the Sector Plan and our Deputy Chair, Brent Warner has been nominated by the Board to continue for another three years as the SLSNZ 'core member' on the WSNZ Board.
  • Strategic Plan for the Surf Life Saving Movement.  The draft of this was reviewed by the Board and feedback provided.  The next step will be circulating this to Clubs and then a discussion at the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM.  I am looking forward to the discussion and it is good to see the progress being made.  Thanks to all those who have contributed so far, in particular the 2014 BP Leaders for Life group who invested their energy into taking the high level ideas down to concrete actions.
  • 2015 SLSNZ AGM.  The upcoming AGM got plenty of airtime, with discussion on what agenda items the Board is going to put forward.  We are required to propose the amounts for the Board & Chairman's honoraria each year so it was agreed these should be unchanged from the 2014/15 levels, as well as confirming the Constitutional changes we will propose.  The changes agreed to put forward are:
  • A small number of items to tidy up the drafting in the document as suggested by Maria Clarke Lawyers following their 2014 review of the Constitution.
  • Changing the power to appoint the SLSNZ Auditor from the Board to the AGM as recommended by the Audit & Risk Committee.
  • Changing the term of Board members from two to three years with a transition period to put this in place.
  • Making reference to a new Regulation on Anti-Match Fixing that is being required of all NSO's by Sport NZ.

The Board also discussed in a lot of detail whether a change to the role of the Board Appointments Panel (BAP) was needed to take a bigger role in succession planning for the Board. In the end it was confirmed that Board itself should take on the primary responsibility for its own succession planning and that there was sufficient flexibility in the current wording of the Constitution for the BAP to assist with this.

Also discussed was the idea of allowing proxy votes at the AGM to count towards the quorum and/or reducing the quorum below 33% of clubs.  While it is a challenge getting clubs to travel to the AGM, to retain the integrity of the democratic process it was decided to instead work on other ways to get people along rather than reduce the number of people who need to attend.

  • SLSNZ Sports Hall of Fame.  The updated guidelines for operating the Hall of Fame proposed by the National Honours and Awards Committee were endorsed by the Board and can now be put into operation.  The last intake was in 2007 so there is a bit of catching up to do.
  • Membership Regulation update.  The recommended wording change from the National Sport Committee to the clause which clarifies when a competitive transfer can take place during the season was endorsed
  • DHL Sponsorship.  The extension of the DHL sponsorship for a further three years was approved and the contract executed.  This is a very positive result and continues the longstanding relationship with a great partner.
  • National Event Venues for 2016/17 and 2017/18.  Following the closing of the bid process of 30th June a panel has been working on recommendations which have been endorsed by the National Sport Committee.  All these recommendations were approved by the Board, and will be communicated to the wider membership in the near future.  There are still a few gaps in the programme that the panel and NSC are working on completing in the next few months, but the Board was pleased to see we now have most of the event venues are in place for the next three years which gives everyone plenty of time to plan ahead.

I would like to do a quick reminder for those that haven't already done so, that clubs need to advise their delegates and any agenda items for the 2015 AGM by Wednesday 19th August - this is less than 2 weeks away now and there is no flexibility in this date.  Applications for the Presidency also close on that date.

Our next Board meeting will be a conference call on 23rd August and then we take a break for the AGM and meet again in October.

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