Scott’s North to South Tour of NZ’s Surf Clubs

We have been working with Surf Life Saving NZ (SLSNZ) over the last few years, and in 2021 we took on a unique project that saw our Property Advisor, Scott Beaumont visiting surf clubs all around the country. We caught up with Scott, to learn more about the project, its challenges, and why our team was best for this job.

club grid

Firstly, can you give us a brief overview of our work with SLSNZ?

Scott: Veros were engaged by Surf Life Saving New Zealand to conduct a nationwide assessment of all existing surf club facilities and with the data collected, develop a long-term facilities management plan. The purpose of this work was to understand the long-term needs and priorities of frontline Surf Life Saving infrastructure on an affordable and sustainable basis, informing future decisions on how to best distribute annual government funding for capital projects, and to ensure funding was directed to the right projects at the right time, maximising the effectiveness of frontline water safety and response services.

The nationwide assessment included an inspection of all SLSNZ member club facilities and the production of individual Site Inspection Summary reports. It also included a club survey that helped identify any club capital projects planned to commence within the next 10 years.

How many clubs did you visit?

Scott: 74 surf lifesaving clubs throughout the country, that’s 1964km from the most Northern club (Far North) to the most Southern club (Oreti)!

Best yarn from the trip?

Scott: Almost every single club had some sort of record to boast. Whether it was the longest stretch of beach patrolled, longest-running club, the greatest number of saves, or the best rescue for the year. I always looked forward to hearing what the next club would boast!

What was the most memorable thing about this project?

Scott: While traveling the country inspecting all of the surf lifesaving clubs was a unique opportunity and will never be forgotten, the best part of the project is seeing the funding made available to worthy causes that have a direct impact on the community they operate within.

90 mile beach

Why is this project important?

Scott: On May 14th, 2020, Central Government announced in the Budget that there would be a contribution of $9.4 million per annum in perpetuity to the costs of Surf Life Saving operations. This funding is broken into three different elements. The first and largest portion is for club operational expenses, followed by a fund for club capital projects (buildings), and the balance to replace high-risk revenue streams at the SLSNZ level. With specific regard to the fund for club capital projects, $2.75m of funding has been allocated annually.

What have been the biggest challenges?

Scott: The biggest challenge is the allocation of the funding each year for capital projects. Our nationwide assessment and long-term facilities management plan proved what we suspected that there are multiple clubs and projects worthy of gaining capital funding in any given year. Unfortunately, the need for funding across the country each year outweighs the funding available for these projects, so each year the tough decision is to be made and some worthy clubs and projects may miss out.

“Since engaging Veros’ services, theyhave added value every step of the way on a number of our ongoing projects. Providing bespoke and tailored property advisory services with a high level of professionalism, they have listened and quickly understood our needs to identify a clear pathway to the end goal. We greatly appreciate their efforts in supporting and enabling us to make well-informed decisions on the long-term needs and priorities of our frontline surf life saving infrastructure.” – Paul Dalton, SLSNZ CEO.

Where have Veros added real value to this project?

Scott: Our team were engaged at an early stage and were instrumental in helping SLSNZ gain government funding. Once funding was secured, we provided a bespoke solution to assess all the surf lifesaving clubs around the country independently and fairly. Our work, along with the individual surf club site inspection summary reports and the long-term facilities management plan will be used by SLSNZ over the next 10 years as a critical tool in assessing the condition of their facilities and helping allocate the annual capital funding.

Getting large complex capital projects off the ground is about more than just gaining funding. We are sharing our knowledge of project management with surf clubs to give them the best possible chance of success.

What are the main outcomes of this project so far?

Scott: Each year surf clubs from around the country apply, hoping to be successful in gaining funding for their capital projects from the $2.75m capital funding available. The work conducted by Veros will help SLSNZ and the government with the decision on which clubs should be successful in gaining funding. Using up-to-date technology, our team of experts combined decades of property knowledge to create and carry out a bespoke inspection process across 74 clubs, collecting data to be used as a knowledge base for the next 10 years in the surf club funding space.

concrete pier

What’s next for surf clubs in NZ?

Scott: While the allocation of funding for capital projects is always going to be tricky, there is a real opportunity for the surf clubs in need. With this level of funding available each year, some critical capital projects can get underway and be completed making a tangible difference to frontline water safety across the country.

Why were Veros the best team for this project?

Scott: Our team have the ability to home in on the smallest critical detail of a project, whilst also keeping the ‘bigger picture’ in focus – an essential characteristic for a project of this scale with so many moving parts. The team’s combined knowledge of central government funding applications and processes, our network, and connections throughout NZ, and expert property asset and project delivery knowledge were contributing factors to the success in securing vital funding and assessing how to best utilise the funding across the facilities.

Any other comments you’d like to add about this work with SLSNZ?

Scott: Having inspected all 74 surf clubs throughout the country, we all now have a real and deeper appreciation for the work the surf clubs undertake and their funding requirements. With so many worthy surf clubs, we are working hard to help as many as possible gain funding for their projects.

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