Board Report: June 2017

Hi Everyone,

The June Board meeting was held in Wellington on Friday 23rd June, a week before the end of the financial year.  

From a monetary perspective the results for the 11 months to 31st May are a Net Operating Surplus of $0.679 million, which is $100,000 ahead of budget.  This positive variance is due to 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 latest forecast, the full year Net Operating Surplus is just under $1,000, some $363,000 below the $364,000 budget.  The gap has mainly come about as a result of grant income in the latter part of the year coming in significantly lower than budget.  While the Board would like to see a larger surplus, it was always known this year would be a more difficult one without the income from the State Insurance sponsorship and until this revenue is fully replaced it does mean there is less of a buffer to deal with downturns in other revenue streams.  Fortunately the three previous years of surplus have meant we have built up a much better level of resilience to cope in these situations.

In terms of other items of note from the meeting:

  • SLSNZ Strategic Plan.  The Board noted that the 2017/18 Strategic Plan was available on the SLSNZ website and had been circulated to clubs.  The final version of the budget for 2017/18 was also noted ahead of it being loaded into the finance system for the new financial year.  Despite the likely outcome for 2016/17 being less than ideal, the budgeted surplus targets for 2017/18 remain the same as those set in February.  A hard line has been taken on expenditure to ensure a satisfactory result despite the recent pressure from a tight environment for grant income.

    Work on the 2018/19 Strategic Plan will begin at the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM - not that far away now!
  • 2017 AGM.  The Board noted the final selection of Regional representatives on the Board Appointments Panel ('BAP') and that the call for applications for the four rotating Board roles had gone out to clubs on 22nd June.  The deadline for applications is Monday 24th July.  With Neale Ames stepping down from President it was also noted that nominations for this role were also open, albeit with a later closing date of 23rd August.  Work is now underway on the 2016/17 accounts and audit, along with the Annual Report.  There is a tight turnaround for all of this so the information can be sent out to clubs on 1st September.

    I would also like to remind clubs to send in their RSVP for the AGM as soon as possible.  The deadline for this is 23rd August, and there is no flexibility if this date is missed.
  • SLSNZ Foundation.  The Board received an update from the Trustees meeting on 21st June.  The focus of the Foundation remains on the development of a prospective donor list and completing the marketing support material.  
  • Council Strategy.  The support and funding received from councils around NZ for the Surf Life Saving movement is extensive.  The Board has been working on a top-down/ bottom-up strategy of continuing to enhance the relationships with Councils that predominantly exist at a Regional level.  With a number of good things going on it presents the opportunity of spreading those ideas wider for more win/win outcomes.  The focus for this needs to go into making sure surf life saving is a part of the next round of Long Term Plans being produced by Councils over the coming months.
  • Commercial Focus.  With the current challenges in maintaining levels of gaming grants, more focus is now being put onto commercial revenues - in particular sponsorship, licensing and fundraising.  The Board is continuing to work closely with the commercial team members to identify opportunities and convert them into revenue over the coming year.
  • Health & Safety.  The Board noted and discussed a paper setting out the actions being taken to reduce injuries occurring in IRB's.  It is pleasing to see the issue being taken seriously and we are looking forward to a significant reduction in injuries in the coming season.
  • International Surf Rescue Challenge.  The Board was pleased with progress in the organisation of the event, taking place in Mt Maunganui at the end of November this year.  This is an important event in the buildup to the 2018 World Championships and it is good to see strong entries from overseas countries.
  • Summer Drownings 2016/17.  It was surprising and disappointing to see the report on the summer drowning toll.  With the weather being poor for much of the summer period to see an overall drowning toll of 71, up 48% on the previous year was not expected.  Beach drownings too went against expectations - up 36% from 14 to 19.  These are levels that haven't been seen in the last five years and are a concern.  Despite all our best efforts the problem is certainly not going away and solutions will need to be more creative than continuing to do what we have always done!
  • National Event Venues for the 2018/19 season.  The recommendations from the National Sport Committee for the 2018/19 season were endorsed, and will be announced in the near future.
  • AGM voting procedure.  In recent years there have been frustrations expressed by clubs at the AGM of having to go through a secret ballot process when voting for Elected Board members where there are only two candidates for two positions and the outcome is a foregone conclusion.  With the help of the SLSNZ lawyers a change to the SLSNZ Constitution was drafted that would see the need for a secret ballot avoided if those situations arose.  The Board was happy with the proposed wording and will but this change to the AGM for clubs to decide if they want to make the change.  If the clubs do vote for it, it will come into effect for the 2018 AGM.

So that is it from a pretty busy meeting.  The next Board meeting will be held in Wellington on Friday 25th August.

Until my next update…… 

Yours in surf,

Brent Warner
Surf Life Saving New Zealand