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Reports For AGM of Presdient & Treaseurer on 2005
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President’s Report 2005 Annual General Meeting 18th March 2006
By Martin Brill, President Fencing New Zealand

I appreciate and would like to acknowledge the support, dedication and commitment to fencing in New Zealand of our Management Committee Steve Clarke (Treasurer and Fencing Mid-South), Vicci Lamb (Fencing Central), Gareth Foley (South), Gaylene Ongley (Proxy for Fencing North).

We have had tremendous support form Steve Martin (Selector and tireless Webmaster), Chris Nokes (NZ Sport Drug Agency Liaison), Kate Brill (Refereeing) and Natasha Buist (Athlete Liaison).

Sadly for us, Natasha Buist begins a new phase in her career in the USA so is vacating her role as Athlete Liaison. We thank her for her dedication and commitment she has provided and the support she has given to our sport over the last three years. We will miss her.

Sport and Recreation New Zealand have been extremely positive and helpful with their investment in our sport. Their support and investment is in recognition of the value and contribution they see we can offer the communities in New Zealand. We must take that responsibility seriously and strive to deliver, to meet or exceed expectations. We are appreciative of their faith and support in our sport which leads to their investment in Fencing New Zealand.

We have also received the support of the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Olympic Solidatity with an Equipment grant permitting us to purchase equipment for finals; a Metal Competition Piste and PA sound system.

I thank the regions for their support and for the improving environment that fencing occurs in.

Finally I thank all the clubs, the coaches and administrators who are the real power house and drivers behind our sport. It is the clubs that make fencing happen and I appreciate the contribution they make, day in day out, week after week. It is the clubs that open their doors and ensure fencing happens and thrives.

The completion of a business plan “Making Dreams Come True” in its self was a satisfactory result. We put in place the steps needed towards development. In review, sadly, it is difficult to see that regions have embraced it yet, nor have we made significant progress with our first steps.

Having established contractual responsibilities with SPARC it is the responsibilities of the regions acting on behalf of FeNZ to respect the goals and endeavor to met or exceed those goals.

We have had successes in 2005; internationally we have had world ranking performances from Jessica Beer, Jenny Hope, Andreas Sesun, and Blair Shattkey.

We hosted the first Oceania Cadet Championships and were thrilled by having or Oceania Confederation partners participating; New Caledonia and Australia. Equally we have had once again teams competing overseas (mainly Australia).

But for me the highlight was the introduction of the New Zealand Cadet and Under 15 Championships. The creation of this opportunity for specific developing age groups fencers to be challenged and perform at their own levels provides valuable developmental experience. The favorable response from the competitors speaks volumes for this long overdue development.

Vicci Lamb has made a massive contribution in structuring our competition time table. We responded to requests to change dates due to on going conflicts. The benefits from changing were balanced by costs. However, the lesson has now been learned to maintain the calendar with the exception of requirements by ‘force majeur”.

A coach training course was held in Wellington for four coaches. However, lack of quality coaches remains a major issue for the new Management Committee to deal with.

We have identified a requirement for the next ten years to develop a group of referees to FIE A and B standards. This training and development must begin now (for the new management Committee to action).

We continue to have issues in governance and management, with little support from regions. We have a dislocation between national and regional activities. On one hand each region accepts to act on behalf of Fencing New Zealand but on the other hand provides little information or plans to achieve agreed Fencing New Zealand goals. An independent review of FeNZ will provide a challenge for 2006, to identify the steps we need to take in order for us as a fencing nation to “Make Our Dreams Come True”.

I acknowledge that we have not had many of the planned FeNZ Management Committee meetings over the last 6 months. This was primarily due to the lack of availability of Management Committee members.

We have managed to continue to operate with a skeleton staff. The lack of secretary has been difficult for me as president to fulfill two and sometimes three administrative roles. I believe the appointment of a part-time paid secretariat with oversight from our secretary and treasurer should increase the effectiveness of our Management Committee to keep to its meeting schedule and enhance the effectiveness of our governance.

Martin Brill, President Fencing New Zealand, 18th March 2006

Treasurer’s Report – Fencing New Zealand, 2005 Financial Year
By Steve Clarke, Treasuer Fencing New Zealand, 18th March 2006

The report covers two key areas. The first relates to issues that arise from information contained in the Statement of Financial Performance for the Association for the period I January 20 to 31 December, 2005 while the second relates to more general issues that impact on the Association in. broader Constitutional issues.

Comments on Statement of Financial Performance

At first glance the results for the year appear to be positive in so much as comparison to the previous year is positive, i.e. profit is slightly up and net assets have increased. Having said this, there are some aspects of the Financial Statement that require warrant further explanation and are important for the Association to understand when considering financial decisions in the next financial year.  The following points are relevant:

•    The total value of grants is distorted in relation to the financial year because it includes $6000 plus from an Olympic Solidarity grant that is an ad hoc. Payment and be cause $14,700 of the total relates to SPARC funding that effectively represents two years base funding
•    When considering expenses, the single biggest item is costs associated with International Tournaments. Clearly the level of expenditure in this area significantly exceeds income gathered to offset costs.  The main impact that here led to this situation relates to timing of payments. By way of explanation:

o    Costs associated with reimbursement of expenses related to 2004 World Youth Championships were incurred in the 2005 financial year while revenue was received in the 2004 financial year
o    Costs related to the Commonwealth Youth Championships were incurred in the 2005 financial year while recoveries will be included in the 2006 financial year. Specifically, an amount of approximately $10,000 is included under sundry creditors because costs associated with accommodation for the competition were paid by CPAFC on behalf of FeNZ and are therefore recorded as an expense.  Income related to recovery will be recorded in the 2006  financial year
o    Direct costs to FeNZ, i.e. not recoverable from participants in relation to the Commonwealth Youth Championships were in the order of $6,000
o    Management costs related to the 2005 Australian Under 20 Championships were a direct cost to FeNZ with no recovery from athletes
o    The above noted points were the key issues that created the differential between income relating to International tournaments and related expenses

•    The true costs of running the Association are not reflected in these accounts. As is traditionally the case, individuals involved in administration of the. Association’s affairs absorb significant expenses personally in the course of their duties. We should not expect to sustain such an approach as we move to operating on a more professional basis
•    With Commonwealth Youth and Senior Championships falling in the same year we are likely to incur higher levels of direct costs associated with National teams than would otherwise be the case. Unless we are able to generate additional revenue to account for these costs we will either have to divert spending from other anticipated programmes e.g. coach development, or use capital.  The former in particular should not be considered.

Broader Constitutional Matters

The mandate for the four Regional bodies to operate comes from the FeNZ constitution. That is to say, they are a part of the Association and, in theory at least, represent it in the Region. I do not intend to examine the degree to which Regions actually fulfill that function as opposed to representing the views of a Region. to FeNZ in this report, rather I simply wish to focus on matters financial.

If Regions are considered to be arms of the National Association, it would make sense for their financial transactions to be reported in the Association’s accounts, i.e. consolidated in much the same way as “divisions” of an organization normally would.  As things stand, the scope of financial reported in our accounts represents only a very small part of actual activities and therefore not a true picture of the Association, i.e. the Executive and Regional structures.

That this appears not to have been considered previously, and that not all Regions report on the same financial year basis, suggests that not only would such an approach be difficult, but also that historically Regions have seen themselves as bodies distinct from the National Association.  I suggest this reflects a lack of understanding of the Constitution and is an area requiring clarification.

Steve Clarke, Treasuer Fencing New Zealand, 18th March 2006

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