Board Update: 25 September 2013

Greetings Club Chairs, Clubs and SLSNZ Life Members,

On behalf of the newly appointed SLSNZ Board, I am pleased to be able to provide this monthly update following last Saturday's Annual General Meeting.  A quick summary from the AGM day is:

  • We had 39 clubs present in person, with one there by proxy and three that voted electronically.  While 43 clubs participating is well ahead of the minimums we require, it was one less than last year and still means there are 30 clubs (41%) who are not.  It would be nice to see this increase in future years and hopefully as the news of the success of the format used this year spreads it will encourage others to attend next year.
  • I am delighted to announce that Neale Ames was unanimously re-elected as our President at the AGM.  Neale has done a great job over the last year and we look forward to two more years of his tours around the country visiting clubs.  He has set himself the target of visiting every single club during his tenure, which will be no small feat!
  • Also re-elected were board members Geoff Hamilton and Brent Warner.  This will give us good continuity and momentum as we keep going down the path of turning the organisation around from the challenges of 2010/11.  Welcome back Geoff and Brent!
  • The full Board is now eight people - Geoff Hamilton, Brent Warner, Andrew Lancaster, Warwick Bell, Joe Pope, Trevor Taylor and Graham Crombie and myself (Colin Weatherall). Our first meeting will be on Sunday 20th October at which time we will elect our  Chairman, Deputy Chairman and committee members for the coming year.  For the intervening four weeks I have been appointed the  acting  Chairman (but only for this interim period).  Profiles of Joe, Trevor and Graham have been previously circulated and highlight the depth of experience they will bring to the Board.
  • Our Annual Report was also published in time for the AGM and is available online on the SLSNZ website.  There are a number of tidy ups in the sports results which will be made and the electronic version of the report amended.
  • On the morning of the AGM, a strategy workshop for club Chairs was held.  This was a very worthwhile event and we will certainly look to repeat it again next year.  The outputs of this will be shared with clubs and will be used as the basis for the 2014/15 planning process . Thanks Paul Dalton for leading discussions.
  • The Awards of Excellence evening held at the Amora Hotel in Wellington lived up to its name.  It was great to see so many people honoured for their years of commitment.  A full list of award winners will be communicated in due course but I do want to mention the main recipients here:
  • Gudsell Trophy - Mairangi Bay SLSC
  • London Trophy - Kotuku SLSC
  • NZLGB Lifeguard of the Year - Adam Fraser, Fitzroy SLSC
  • DHL Volunteer of the Year - Mike Tames, Whangamata SLSC
  • BP Surf Rescue of the Year - Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service
  • BP Media Award - Adrien Taylor for his story "What to do when you're caught in a rip" shown on TV3.
  • DHL Surf Official of the Year - Ross Merrett, Papamoa SLSC
  • DHL International Sports Performance of the Year - NZ Black Fins World Championship winning team
  • DHL Coach of the Year - Scott Bartlett, Omanu Beach SLSC
  • Instructor of the Year - David Pontin, Palmerston North SLSC
  • SLSNZ new Life Members - Marilyn Moffatt, Trish Reid and Geoff Barry
  • 50 Year Badges - Neale Ames (Otaki), Tony Butt (Muriwai), Paul Carpinter (Taylors Mistake), Jan Lane (Taylors Mistake), Brett Leask (Waimairi), Ian McCaw (Omanu), Elizabeth McDermott (Taylors Mistake), Greg McClurg (Taylors Mistake), David McPhee (Brighton), Suzanne Kalill McPhee (Brighton), Daryl Neate (Taylors Mistake), Noel Saxton (Taylors Mistake), Lindsay Sneddon (South Brighton), Ray Stoddart (Lyall Bay), Valda Walsh (East End).
  • A draft set of Minutes is attached.  They will be reviewed at the coming Board meeting and finally approved at next year's AGM.

In other news…………………

National Office Relocation

The last day in the old office in Cuba Street, Wellington will be Friday 27 September, and everything should be fully operational in the new office in Seaview, Lower Hutt on Monday 30th September.  The new phone and address details are on the SLSNZ website.

Staffing Update

There have been a number of changes in SLSNZ staff recently.  A summary of the changes and an updated organisation chart has recently been circulated to all Clubs.

SLSNZ Financial Results

CEO Paul Dalton reports results for the first two months look very healthy, with a YTD surplus of $1.895m mainly due to the early receipt of revenues.  Once the timing variances are removed the underlying result is basically an 'on-budget' result, which is good, but it is very early in the year and too soon to be making any predictions.  A copy of the summary reports is attached for your information.


The biennial ILS World Drowning Prevention Conference is being held in Potsdam, Germany on 20-22 October, in conjunction with a number of ILS Commission meetings.  SLSNZ will be represented by volunteers Graeme Cullen and Angela Veric.

In addition to his official duties and attending the conference Graeme will also deliver a short presentation as part of a workshop on inflatable rescue craft (IRBs).  

Lifesaving First Aid

Lifesaving First Aid has been able to provide participants with NZQA credits via a special relationship with Coastguard Boating Education.  In looking at other ways to operate the business it has become apparent that this relationship is not transferable, which will put constraints on the options available.  The focus will now move to working with other NZQA accredited providers who can use the IP that Lifesaving First Aid has available rather than running courses ourselves. 

As such, Lifesaving First Aid will no longer be taking new bookings for courses after the end of September.  The success of the new approach will be reviewed over the balance of the financial year.  In the meantime updated information will be provided to clubs on the full list of alternative providers who are approved to deliver First Aid courses that fulfil the surf life saving curriculum needs.


Since the last communication with clubs there has been further good news on the insurance front, with the SLSNZ brokers (AON) being able to get a further reduction in the cost of premiums with no reduction on the level of cover.  As a result, SLSNZ will be able to repeat the 2012/13 level of subsidy of 65% of clubs premiums, up from the 62.5% last indicated.  More information will be coming out on this.

As reported at the Chairs workshop, SLS Northern Region has signed up with another broker (JLT) and as such the 17 clubs in the Northern Region are no longer in the National Scheme.  However, behind the scenes for this year at least, all the business is being kept with the same insurance companies so we are able to maintain the same 'bulk buying' deal that benefits all clubs.  SLSNR are very conscious that while they want  independent cover, they do not want to penalise clubs outside the Northern Region. Over time, as more of the ten Auckland clubs are rebuilt with a share of Council ownership this will create the opportunity to have their property assets included in the Council insurance scheme managed by JLT.  So far Muriwai has been a beneficiary of this arrangement since the rebuild of their clubhouse.

BP Sponsorship

At the Awards of Excellence dinner after the AGM, BP announced that agreement in principle has been reached on a new four year sponsorship deal which will take the relationship to its 50th year, which is an outstanding achievement.  As part of the new contract BP will:

  • Increase the club fuel grants from $300 to $500 per year.
  • Fund the annual Leadership Programme.
  • Continue with the IRB giveaway promotion which this year say two IRB's being donated to clubs.

Vulnerable Children's Bill

On a very different topic, we are monitoring a new bill being proposed by MP Paula Bennett that could see mandatory police vetting for any person involved with organisations working with children.  At the moment it is proposed that sport would be an exception, but it is unclear if surf life saving would be considered a sport.  We will keep clubs advised as this becomes more clear.

International Surf Rescue Challenge - Japan

Over the last week, we have been represented by our Open and Development teams at the 2013 IRSC event in Onjuku, Japan.  There have been some outstanding individual performances and while the competition format does not favour the NZ teams (for one there is no pool component as in the World Championships) both teams have still performed very well and came a close second to Australia across the three days of competition.  However, in the Moon Cup exhibition event following the IRSC we were able to turn the tables on the Australians and the Open team came away with a great win.  A big congratulations to the athletes and management teams for all their results.

National Honours and Awards Committee

SLSNZ will shortly be calling for applications for the National Honours & Awards committee.  These applications will go to the respective Regional Club Chairs committees for them to choose a Regional representative for the SLSNZ Board to endorse.

The next update will come from our new Chairman following the October 20th Board meeting.  In the meantime best wishes for the coming season launches around the country.




Colin Weatherall
Acting Chairman
Surf Life Saving New Zealand