Board Report: June 2020

Hi Everyone,

The June SLSNZ Board meeting was held by video conference on Friday 26th June – the second meeting in this format and hopefully the last for a while as we return to a face to face format for our next meeting in August. 

In terms of the SLSNZ financial position, attached are the regular SLSNZ Financial Reports for the first 11 months of 2019/20.  These show a Net Operating Surplus of $1.524 million, which is $367,699 ahead of budget.  This variance is due to timing, where income has been received earlier than budgeted or costs have been incurred later than budgeted.  A full explanation of the variances is in the attached Financial Summary Dashboard. 

As expected, the profit at this time of year is not indicative of the year end result as in the last month of the year we have relatively little income and the surplus drops away.  The latest forecast which has the full year Net Operating Surplus behind budgeted levels at $648,518 (budget is $742,831).  The $94k gap on the budget is being driven by grant revenue being lower than forecast.  While the result still looks healthy, there is a significant grant funded capital programme this year (close to $400,000) which uses up a lot of the Net Operating Surplus, so from a purely cash perspective things are still tight.

As well as the financials, the Board meeting covered a number of other important areas, which I will summarise below:

Strategy.

The Board reviewed a presentation version of the ‘story’ that sets out the context for the strategic direction in the ‘one page plan’.  We are now comfortable that this now reflects the energy and drive displayed during its development, so from here the final step is to prepare it for a wider audience at the AGM Club Chairs workshop.

Government Funding

As you would expect, this was a key topic for the meeting, being the first full meeting since the announcement.  We discussed the contracting process currently underway with the Government officials, through which the ‘strings’ attached to the funding are becoming clear, and the sorts of processes and reporting we will need to follow.  We also discussed the club consultation process and how to encourage clubs input into what we are looking to do for the 2020/21 year – which will be a bit different from future years as we don’t have time to develop all the longer term thinking and potential funding models, as these too require input from clubs, and we are keen to get the funding flowing as soon as possible.  Expect to see more information shortly, and this will also be a major topic at the AGM Club Chairs workshop.

SLSNZ Foundation

The Foundation has had a good year, with close to $500,000 in bequests added to its funds.  Some of our messaging will need to change with Government funding, but the need for the Foundation remains the same and the Trustees remain committed to maintaining the growth path.

2020 AGM

Now we are down to Alert Level 1, planning is full steam ahead for the AGM, being held in Wellington again on 19th September (the day of the General Election).  There is a lot going on to prepare for this – starting with the Board Appointments Panel (‘BAP’), who have already made their first appointment in reappointing Richard Briggs as an Independent Appointed Board member.  This was possible due to changes at the last AGM where the Constitution was updated to give the BAP the option to re-appoint Independent Appointed Board members completing their first term to be re-appointed without going through a contestable process.  Our congratulations to Richard, who has been completing the term of longstanding Board member Graham Crombie, who passed away in early 2019.

Applications are now open for the two other Board vacancies (one elected and one appointed) – with a closing date of 20th July.  After nine years on the Board I will not be re-standing, so there is going to be at least one new person on the Board that the BAP needs to find!

A lot of work is also going into the Honours & Awards process – with the National H&A Committee very busy with this year’s nominations – 62 across the four categories – an increase of 48% from last year.  It is great to see the clubs getting behind this programme and giving our volunteers the recognition they deserve.  Work is also going into getting our accounts audited and Annual Report produced, and preparing for the Club Chairs workshop – with plenty of big topics to discuss!

Clubs have until 19th August to notify SLSNZ of their delegate for the AGM, so please advise early. 

Board Youth Intern

The term of our inaugural Youth Intern, Viv Conway is coming to an end in a few months time, and it was noted that a recruitment programme would be starting in September to find Viv’s replacement.  Viv has been an active contributor around the Board table and it has been a delight to see her develop over her 18 months on the Board.  She has proven the value of the programme and we look forward to welcoming the next intern by the end of 2020.

Lifesaving KPI’s

The Board has been concerned about the drop in the number of our lifesaving KPI’s – including the refresher rate for Lifeguards and IRB Drivers, as well as the recruitment levels for both of those roles.  The detailed investigation by management identified that the earlier close off for the data entry of refreshers was behind the drop in refresher statistics, and more communication with clubs will be required next year to avoid this problem repeating.  The Covid-19 lockdown had quite an impact on IRB driver recruitment, as the latter part of the season traditionally sees a lot of activity in this area, so it is expected that this will bounce back in the 2020/21 season.  Lifeguard recruitment was steady in most of the country, but had dipped in the Northern Region, so this will need to be monitored to ensure this also bounces back in 2020/21.

Women in Surf Lifesaving Project

Out President, Marilyn Moffatt updated the Board on the membership survey which had over 1,100 responses.  The high level results look like they will give us some food for thought, so expect to see these communicated widely once the Project Team has had a chance to review them.

And that is it for me for this time. I will have one more update after the August Board meeting!

Yours in surf,

Brent Warner
Chairman
Surf Life Saving New Zealand