SURFING New Zealand re-elected President Chris Fougere has lauded a “new era” for the organisation at its annual general meeting held in Mount Maunganui on the 9th March.
He told a large gathering at the Adams High-Performance Centre in the Mount that Surfing NZ had already taken major steps in the past nine months and was heartened by the support of clubs and members for the direction the organisation was taking.
These included practical steps towards the following goals:
- Establishing an organisation with strong governance and processes. This had included the co-opting of Mark Pevats and Trevor McKewen to the Board to add specialist “horsepower” and the employment for three days a week of Nick Cowan in the new role of General Manager of High Performance and Funding.
- A renewed emphasis on shortboard competition surfing and creation of high-performance pathways for those who aspire and are good enough to represent New Zealand at the Olympic level. This had resulted in the first HP workshop programme undertaken by SNZ in two decades and was also “extremely timely” given surfing’s Olympic status.
- Improving relationships with our elite competition surfers. Fougere said feedback from the likes of Paige Hareb and Ricardo Christie around recent SNZ initiatives had been “phenomenal”.
- Beginning work on a new Strategic Plan to replace the current one and which is to include the Environment as “one of three key pillars” with the others being Participation and High Performance.
Fougere said that while Surfing NZ’s current financial position was under pressure, there was a plan to ensure the organisation moved ahead on a solid footing.
The AGM saw President Chris Fougere and Vice President Matt Sale re-elected unopposed. The meeting included elections for the North Island Club Representative and the Independent Board Member Position which had been vacated by Waihi’s Alexis Poulter.
Andrew Vette was appointed for two years to the role of North Island Representative.
Legendary Kiwi women’s surfer Pauline Pullman won the vote for the position of Independent Board Member. A multi-national title-winner and NZ’s first pro women’s surfer, Pullman was humbled to be elected and promised her “full commitment” to the organisation.
Fougere and other long-time surfing participants described the AGM as “one of the most positive in years”.
The President thanked the clubs for the spirit of co-operation he was seeing and urged them to increase their capability with the assistance of SNZ so surfing could recognise its “unique and exciting opportunities”.
“Surfing is on a major roll,” he said.