Board Report: June 2019

Hi Everyone,

The June Board meeting was held in Wellington on Friday 21st June.  


The Board reviewed the detailed version of the Management Plan linked to the 2019/20 Strategic Plan and we were comfortable the Management Plan supports the Strategic Plan.  This then started us thinking about what the Strategic Plan for 2020/21 should look like, and we discussed a number of ideas on how to lift the ‘One Page Strategy Map’ to a be more aspirational and better reflect the stronger position the organisation is now in.  The Board undertook to do some more work on this to present their initial thinking on an updated version at the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM.

Personally I am looking forward to doing this – and it is good to see the Board focussing at the right level.

As well as the strategy, the Board meeting covered a number of other key topics, which I will summarise below:


In terms of the SLSNZ financial position, attached are the regular SLSNZ Financial Reports for the first 11 months of 2018/19.  These show a Net Operating Surplus of $1.173 million, which is $0.864m ahead of budget.  This variance is largely due to NZLGB funding being $875,000 more than budgeted and $218,000 of extra funding from BP, less the associated extra spend.  A full explanation of the variances is in the attached Financial Summary Dashboard. 

As in previous months, the YTD profit is not indicative of what the final year-end result will be, as the last month has relatively little income and lots of costs.  The latest forecast has the full year Net Operating Surplus at $331,889 (budget is $133,000).  The increase over budget continues to be driven by extra grant income.  The forecast has dropped back from what it was a couple of months ago as we have to carry over to the next financial year some $250,000 extra in grant revenue that won’t be able to be spent by the end of June.

Government Funding

The Board discussed the recent progress with Central Government funding.  Some important milestones are coming up, with work coming to an end on drafting a report for consideration by the key Ministers which will recommended a level of funding for the water safety sector.  If this hurdle is passed then we move on to the next, with any proposals going through a series of rigorous tests over the balance of the year.

SLSNZ Foundation

With the terms of some of the SLSNZ Foundation Trustees coming to an end, the Board discussed the succession plan for those roles over the coming few years. 

Revenue Strategy

The Board spent more time discussing the revenue strategy for the organisation that was initially presented at the last Board meeting.  This remains a top priority for the Board, and while we have been happy with the results in the last few years, there is no room for complacency and pressure must continuously be applied to achieve growth, as our costs are not declining!

Audit & Risk Committee

With the recent appointment of Richard Briggs to the Board, I am delighted to advise that Richard will be taking over from me in July as Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.  Graham Crombie had held this role until his untimely passing in February so my role was only to fill those big shoes for short period of time.

Board Appointments Panel (BAP)

The Board noted the timetable for the normal round of Board appointments and that the call for applications had gone out.  There are three roles up for rotation – elected Board members Paul Carlyon and Kate Barry-Piceno who are looking to re-stand and Trevor Taylor who is stepping down after six years from his Independent Appointed role.  Applications close on Monday 22ndJuly.  To provide guidance to the BAP the Board spent some time documenting it’s thoughts on skills set and capability of potential candidates. 

Also, this year sees the end of the two year term of our President, Brian Velvin and applications are now open to find his replacement. 

Gender Diversity

Some people will have heard that recently Sport NZ has announced that any organisation receiving over $20,000 of their funding a year will need to comply by December 2021 with a mandate that has a gender diverse board – with a minimum of 40% male and 40% female board members.  The Board discussed the situation and supports the philosophy of diversity and will look to meet that target while also looking to maintain its objective of diversity of thinking  But work on diversity doesn’t just rest with the Board!  It also needs to be done right across the movement, as while we are well balanced in many aspects, there are relatively fewer females involved in leadership roles than we would expect and the Board is looking to lead change in this area.  A good topic perhaps for the AGM Club Chairs workshop?

BP Leaders for Life

One area where females are well represented is in the BP Leaders for Life programme – which is a good sign for the future. The Board congratulates all those who recently finished their year’s programme and was very interested in the project presentations that took place in May. The presentations are on the SLSNZ You Tube channel and we would strongly encourage people to view these. The four projects looked at how to get more female IRB crew and drivers (Wahine on the Water), a strategy to grow participation in IRB racing, developing a resource toolbox for Instructors and a curriculum for Beach Education at secondary schools. All very relevant topics and the Board is looking forward to an update in a few months on how these have been taken forward.


The balloon has now gone up on this with clubs being asked to provide the names of delegates.  Please do get these in and book your flights to Wellington early to get a good price.  The venue is the Te Papa, for the Club Chairs Workshop, AGM and Awards of Excellence dinner.  The Club Chairs Workshop and Awards Dinner are particularly good events to be involved with and I strongly encourage clubs to make the effort to attend for those events alone.

As part of this the Board looked at what it needs to recommend to the AGM in terms of Board member honoraria, appointment of an auditor and any changes to the Constitution.

Health & Safety.

The serious injury report for the 2018/19 season YTD to date was again noted, along with the annual trend report.  With very small numbers of serious incidents the trends were difficult to spot but over the last six years the need to focus on IRB’s has become more evident as the numbers drop in other areas.  The Board noted that $50k of funding from the recent BP Every Litre Counts campaign will be spent in the coming year to continue the research being undertaken by AUT on IRB injuries and how to prevent them.


The Board noted a report from the recent two day NSC ‘Sport Summit’ held in Wellington and was pleased to see the activity planned as a result of that. 

The next Board meeting will be held in New Plymouth on 23rd August and I will have another update after that.

Yours in surf,

Brent Warner
Surf Life Saving New Zealand