Board Report: July 2019

Hi Everyone,

The August Board meeting was held in New Plymouth on Friday 23rd August.  We were very fortunate to be hosted by TSB at their national headquarters and greatly appreciated a chance to meet with members of their Board and senior management team.

From a monetary perspective the meeting saw the signing off on the 2018/19 Audited Accounts which were distributed to clubs on 30th August.  The final result for the year was a Net Surplus of $294,809 which was ahead of the budget of $132,644.  This was a pleasing result, driven by revenue being ahead of budget from the larger than normal grant from NZLGB and extra revenue from the unbudgeted repeat of BP’s ‘Every Litre Counts’ campaign.

With the profit of $91,540 from the SLSNZ Foundation added in this took the overall result to $386,349, virtually the same as last year.

For 2019/20 we are anticipating a much tighter year, with all indications that we won’t get as much from NZLGB.

Speaking of which, looking at the results for the first month of that new financial year (July 2019), the Net Operating Surplus of was $392,900, which is $4,924 behind budget.  This is due to some minor timing variations.  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 $681,772, some $61,059 behind the $742,831 full year budget due to the confirmed reduction of $75,000 in the WSNZ grant.  However it is still too early to have much confidence in the forecast given the level of risk inherent in the revenue targets.

It is important to point out for 2019/20 that while the budgeted Net Operating Surplus for the year of $742,831 may look hugely profitable, it in fact is nowhere near as good in terms of cashflow as that might suggest.  The budget is also very aggressive from a revenue perspective and contains $500,000 of ‘stretch’ targets to keep the organisation firmly focussed on revenue growth.

Over half of this ‘surplus’ is grant funding already committed to CAPEX spend - $431k in fact (including the BOP radio network) – which means the real cash surplus is much smaller (only $260k).  This surplus also assumes that all of the $500k stretch revenue targets are achieved.  As such if we only get half of our $500k stretch revenue target we will run close to being cashflow negative, so the pressure is really on!!

In terms of other items of note from the meeting:

  • SLSNZ Strategic Priorities.  The Board signed off an updated (and more aspirational) draft 2020/21 ‘one page plan’ better reflecting the stronger position the organisation is now in.  A copy of which is attached.  This kicks off our planning process for 2020/21 – the next stage of this involves discussions at the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM - not that far away now, and I am looking forward to the dialogue.  In the meantime, management have been asked to develop a set of measures to go with the new outcomes in the plan.
  • 2019 AGM.  Speaking of the AGM, it looks like we will have another good attendance with over 40 clubs indicating they will be attending in Wellington on 21st 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 30th 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 Elected Board Members Paul Carlyon and Kate Barry-Piceno on being recommended by the Panel (and who will be elected unopposed) and we look forward to welcoming Phil Holden, who has been appointed to take over from Trevor Taylor as one of the two Independent Appointed Board members.  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 Board meeting was the final one for Board stalwart Trevor Taylor.  Trevor has put in six years as one of our inaugural Independent Appointed Board members – and has set the bar very high for all future Independent Board members!  Trevor’s wise counsel and wealth of experience has really contributed to our success over the last six years and he leaves behind a legacy to be proud of.

    Equally, this was also the final Board meeting for our President Brian Velvin.  He has also done a sterling job in his two years in the role and it has been a pleasure having Brian’s huge experience at the table over this time.  He too will be missed, and I look forward to his swansong at the AGM.

    The Board noted the Agenda for the AGM, which will be a fairly straight forward one with only one proposed changes to the Constitution and just the regular decisions to make around Board Honoraria and the appointment of the SLSNZ Auditor for 2019/20.  There is of course a vote required to appoint a new President so I encourage all clubs to make sure their voice is heard.
  • Health & Safety.  The Board noted and discussed the first series of findings from the research being undertaken by AUT on IRB injuries and supported the continuation of that work.  The Board was also pleased to see the installation of throttle return springs in all IRB motors as another step in the right direction to improve IRB safety.
  • 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.

  • SLSNZ Foundation.  The Board was given a verbal update from the last meeting of the Foundation Trustees from 16th It was noted the progress towards the 2019/20 target was looking very good and that this target would now be increased to keep the pressure on.  A workplan for the next 12 months was in the final stages of development.  With Trevor Taylor stepping down from the SLSNZ Board in September, this will result in some changes of Trustees, which will be finalised at the October Board meeting.

  • Central Government funding. The meeting with Ministers I mentioned in my last report went well, so we progress to the next stage with our proposals going through a series of rigorous tests over the balance of the year.  As always, there are no guarantees of success, especially when heading into an election year but we continue to be focussed on the task and are delighted to be in a position we have never been in before.

  • Stakeholder Survey.  The Board discussed the upcoming survey of Club Chairs in Eastern, Central and Southern Regions to get a level of satisfaction for the work being undertaken by SLSNZ.  This is the first survey of its kind for a very long time.  The results will be available for discussion at the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM.

  • Sport.  The Board noted a report on the investigation into the running of national sports events over the last year, and the suggestions made to fix some of the underlying issues.  Management are now working on implementing the necessary changes.

So that is it from another busy meeting.  The next Board meeting will be held in Wellington on Friday 18th October.

Yours in surf,

Brent Warner
Surf Life Saving New Zealand