The October Board meeting was held in Wellington on Friday 26th October.
This was the first Board meeting since the AGM, so we welcomed Mark Robberds to his first Board meeting. It is particularly pleasing to see Mark on the Board as he brings a very good mix of governance experience and sand between his toes!
One of the first actions of the meeting was that the Board very kindly elected me as Chair again for the coming year, hence why I am continuing to be write this report!.
The Board meeting itself covered a number of key topics, which I will summarise below:
- 2018 AGM: The Board approved the draft minutes of the 2018 AGM (attached) which will now go to the next AGM for ratification. A big thanks to all those clubs who attended. The Awards of Excellence dinner was a great event and my congratulations to all the award recipients.
- 2018 AGM Club Chairs Workshop: The Board reviewed the notes from the Workshop and approved them for circulation (also attached). There were some very interesting topics and good discussion. Attached for information as well as the notes are the full national report on the Voice of the Participant survey, copies of the presentations on finances/fundraising & futureproofing our operations and the latest SLSNZ Strategy map. I would like to thank all those who attended the Workshop. It was also great to see the BP Leaders for Life participants again take part - the future of the organisation is in good hands!
- Board roles & committees. As well as my re-appointment the Board made a number of other decisions. At this point we have decided to not appoint a Deputy Chairman. Graham Crombie will continue to lead the Audit & Risk Committee, and will be assisted by Mark Robberds and Kelvyn Eglinton in that area. Myself, Trevor Taylor and Vanessa Winning will continue as the delegates in the Board to Board meetings with SLS Northern Region. There will be no change to the Board representatives on the SLSNZ Foundation with myself and Trevor Taylor continuing on and Joe Pope and Peter Fitzsimmons continuing as the independent Trustees.
- The Board noted the good news with additional funding to be received from the NZ Lottery Grants Board, and the ability to again increase funding to clubs for operational grants and subsidise the increased insurance premiums. However it was noted that we still have to treat this as a ‘one-off’ event and cannot assume this will be the new ‘normal’. As such there is still pressure on SLSNZ to fill the gap in 2019/20 revenues if the NZLGB money does drop back to normal levels. The Board discussed ideas from management on possible additional resourcing within the SLSNZ Commercial team in order to gain more traction in this critical area.
We also discussed the latest news on the Government Funding project and the progress being made to define the work the Government officials will undertake to assess the proposals the Water Safety Sector have put in front of them.
The Board was also delighted to ratify an extension of the DHL sponsorship agreement for a further three year.
- Operations. The Board spent some time discussing with new Chief Operations Officer Adam Wooler what he has found in his first four months on the job. Adam took us through his key priority areas and the major projects he and the operations team have ahead of them. The Board was heartened with the speed that the focus is going on into the priorities of Operational Excellence and Supporting clubs.
We were also very happy to endorse the volunteer membership of the inaugural Powercraft Advisory Group. It is great to see this group now up and running.
We also endorsed a proposal from the National Honours & Awards Committee to take over managing the allocation of new trophies at national sports events, and for the 21 Club to take on the task of managing the logistics of looking after the trophies we already have for our national sports events – a very important and often overlooked task!
- 2019/20 Strategic Plan. With the Club Chairs Workshop at the AGM the planning for 2019/20 is now underway. The Board agreed on the timetable for the work required to get a final draft plan and budget ready for the Board Planning session being held on 15/16 February next year.
- International Events. The Board noted a report from Michael Bassett-Foss from a recent Asia-Pacific Drowning Prevention workshop he attended. Also noted was the upcoming ILS Board and Commission meetings being held in Adelaide in conjunction with the Lifesaving World Championships at the end of November. The Board wish our representatives in all those activities – in particular the Black Fins, Junior Black Fins, National IRB team and all the club teams taking part all the best for those events. We look forward to seeing the results of all the hard work training over the two year build up to this event.
And as always there was a review of the SLSNZ financial position. Attached are the regular SLSNZ Financial Reports for the first three months of 2018/19. These show a Net Operating Surplus of $3.779m, which is $3.494m ahead of budget. This variance is all due to timing variations, in particular the early receipt of the NZLGB grant revenue and early billing of some councils for Regional Lifeguard services. A full explanation of these is in the attached Financial Summary Dashboard. More relevant is the latest forecast for the full year Net Operating Surplus which is running slightly above budgeted levels at $247,000 (budget is $132,642). The Board also noted the Audit Report from the SLSNZ Auditors on the 2017/18 Financial Statements and were pleased that there were no issues of any significance identified as part of the audit.
The next Board meeting will be held in Wellington on Friday 14th December.
And that is enough for me for this month. Until my next update……
Yours in surf,
Surf Life Saving New Zealand