Board Report: October 2013

Dear Clubbies,

The season is now underway in many parts of the country - best wishes to all clubs for their summer 2013/14 activities.

A big thanks to Colin Weatherall for his month as Acting Chairman.  As a result of the October Board meeting I am now the one writing this update so no surprises I guess as to my new role!!

The October meeting was a very important one, being the first after the AGM.  We welcomed newly appointed Board members Trevor Taylor, Joe Pope and Graham Crombie to their first meeting and also congratulated  those who had been re-elected at the AGM, along with congratulating Neale Ames on his re-election as President and offering a vote of thanks to Neale for his very successful handling of the AGM itself.

Some key decisions were then made around the Board structure - with myself taking on the Chairman's role for the next 12 months and Brent Warner continuing on in the role of Deputy Chairman.  The following Board sub-committees were appointed:

  • Audit & Risk:    Chair - Graham Crombie.
  • Healthy Clubs:  Chair - Brent Warner.
  • Governance :    Chair Colin Weatherall with Geoff Hamilton and Trevor Taylor.
  • Commercial:     Chair - Brent Warner with Joe Pope and Trevor Taylor.
  • Northern Relationship: Chair - Geoff Hamilton with Brent Warner, Warwick Bell and Trevor Taylor.
  • Water Safety NZ - deferred, pending confirmation of the timings of the appointment process by WSNZ.  On the Transition Board we have Michael Bassett-Foss.

Any Board members can attend any sub-committee meeting they wish.

Also decided to meet the rotation requirements specified in the SLSNZ Constitution for Independent Appointed Board Members, Trevor Taylor volunteered to have an initial one year term, which by default confirmed Graham Crombie as having an initial two year term.

In addition the following Board representatives were confirmed:

  • National Lifesaving Committee liaison - Andrew Lancaster.
  • National Sport Committee liaison - Warwick Bell.
  • Watersafe Auckland - To be confirmed

The financial results for the 3 months to September were presented - copies of the summary reports will be made available as usual to clubs (attached). The YTD results remain healthy with a $1.77m Operating Surplus, which after taking account of timing variances is on track for a full year Operating Surplus budget of $1.05m, but of course it is still very early in the year and at a time when money is coming in rather than going out, so constant vigilance is needed to ensure things remain on track as we get into the December/January period where major expenditure programmes kick in.

In terms of other agenda items covered at the meeting, the following are worth commenting on:

  • The Board has asked Management to summarise all the known Clubroom building projects around the country - and then seek input from clubs as to what they see as the future usable life of their current facilities are.  The first stage of this work is nearly completed and will be presented at the November Board meeting.  The next phase will follow over the next few months.
  • The Board noted the work going on to fill vacancies in the Management team as a result of some recent resignations - and were happy with the progress being made to fill these key gaps.
  • A paper was presented from the National Honours and Awards Committee on suggested improvements to the process following the 2012/13 Awards.  The Board was delighted to see the number of awards being earned but agreed that some minor changes  - including to the application forms and clearer communication, could assist in coming years.  The changes will be rolled out as part of next year's call for nominations, which is intended to start earlier to give people more time . 
  • The Board approved the final contracts terms for the renewal of the BP sponsorship, which was announced in principal at the AGM and taking the partnership into its 50th year in 2016/17.  This is very exciting and in longevity is unmatched in any other sponsorship in NZ.
  • The Board was also pleased with progress being made with a number of other commercial opportunities, and expect there will be some announcements able to be made in the coming months.
  • The Board discussed the next steps to be taken on the use of a facilitator to achieve alignment on topics of national significance between SLSNZ and SLSNR.  A terms of reference will be drafted for both parties to consider in the coming weeks.
  • Progress on the Member Protection Regulations & Guidelines and the Event Safety Operating Procedures was discussed.  Both are reaching critical milestones and the Board re-iterated to Management that these are very important documents to have out for clubs to use as soon as possible.
  • Also covered was the progress on having all clubs Constitutions in line with the SLSNZ Constitution.  The deadline for this had been extended to the 30th November but there were still a small number of clubs who had not completed the process.  Management was asked to look at a revised deadline and seek Board approval at the November meeting, and to follow-up with any clubs needing more assistance to get this done.
  • A report was submitted by Management on the results of a staff survey in August.  While obviously impacted by the recent restructuring the Board was pleased to see the positive attitude of staff and their drive to see the organisation succeed despite the recent challenges.
  • A progress report on activities in the 2013/14 Strategic Plan was noted, along with a summary of the outcomes of the Club Chairs Strategy Workshop at the AGM, which will help frame up the 2014/15 Strategic Plan.  It was good to see the participation from clubs at this workshop and I hope to see even more clubs there next year.

The next Board meeting is being held on Sunday 17 November - so until my next update……..

Yours in surf,


Geoff Hamilton
Surf Life Saving New Zealand