This is a special and sad presidents report – as it the final update I do as the KASK president. After 3 years as president, I will be stepping down on 4 Mar 2018. It has been highly rewarding three years and I met or talked to most of our members and got to know some amazing paddlers from all over New Zealand!
What have we achieved?
Following the 2017 AGM, we reached out to our members to better understand what they wanted from KASK. With input from nearly 200 members through a member survey last year, the committee started the term with a strategy workshop to come up with the vision for KASK for 2018 and beyond:
We spent the year kicking off a few initiatives that were important to our members. Here is a summary of the outcomes we achieved that aligned with our vision:
We have reversed the membership decline trend from a few years ago, though our numbers have been stable for the last couple of years. We also contacted all the ex-members to find out why they left and we learnt from some of the feedback.
We will be continuing to improve the member joining and renewing experience and our processes.
2. New Zealand Sea Kayaker Magazine:
Our main publication is our bi-monthly magazine. After recent change with our print going colour, we renamed it from ‘New Zealand Sea Canoeist Newsletter’ to “New Zealand Sea Kayaker” last year.
Following feedback from members, we now offer members choice of print, electronic version or both.
KASK is extremely grateful to Paul for the excellent work in chasing material and editing and creating a quality magazine. He started with issue # 35. We are now on issue #192. Well done Paul!!
3. KASK Sea Kayaking Handbook:
First published in 1996, KASK Sea Kayaking Handbook has gone through five editions. We now have a cut down version of it available as a Web App. This will be launched at AGM.
Last year we did a major rethink of our event strategy. With the new branding of KASK Forum to KASK Kayak Fest we changed the emphasis to having fun, pushing boundaries and promoting excellence in paddling skills and leadership.
I am very grateful to Shaun Maclaren for driving the event strategy. I am also grateful to the 2018 Kayak Fest team for working so hard to make Wellington Kayak Fest 2018 event happen. Well done!
The Kayak Fest will run every two years from now on. The next Kayak Fest:
Venue: Urupukapuka, Bay of Islands, Northland
Dates: Thurs 6 Feb – Sun 9 Feb 2020
5. External Relationship:
We been building our relationship with our external partners, agencies and clubs and been actively involved in various water safety initiatives such as Safe boating week.
Late last year, we worked with Maritime New Zealand and other Safe Boating Forum partners and councils to come up with Paddle Craft guide focusing on water safety. We will have the guides available at Kayak Fest 2018, if anyone wants the guides.
6. Relationship with paddling Clubs:
This year we have been busy connecting with established and emerging kayaking networks and clubs. One of our initiatives is the new affiliate membership for club members for clubs that want to be affiliated with KASK.
I am grateful to Steve Flack for getting this going and for signing the first club to be affiliated with KASK. If you paddle with a network or a club and want to be affiliated with KASK and take advantage of some of the benefits, please get in touch with KASK.
7. Customer and member Relationship Management (CRM):
One of the initiatives that came out of the strategy workshop was that we could do a better job of managing our relationship with external organisations, our members and clubs. With the management committee changing regularly, having systems and processes to manage our external relationship and member relationship is important for business continuity and risk management. So we been looking at various CRM systems to complement our Cloud based platforms we already use (including Dropbox (collaboration), Skype (committee meetings), Mailchimp (Direct marketing) Google iSuite (Email). We finalised on SalesForce and we are super grateful to the CRM vendor for donating $24,000 license fee to help us. The CRM implementation will be one of the projects for the incoming committee to complete the implementation.
8. Social Media and Web site:
I like to thank Sandy Ferguson who has done a fantastic job over the last decade with the Web and Rob Brown for moderating our social media channel and keeping it engaging.
Our primary Social media channel for members, the KASK Facebook group is still growing with over 700 active members. It is the place to turn for answers for Sea kayaking related queries in New Zealand with members helping members.
A big thank you to all the members and community for the last 3 years as well as our lively committee of 10 made up of Peter Brooks, Rob Brown, Paul Caffyn, Lois Cowan, Sandy Ferguson, Steve Flack, Shaun Maclaren, Ian McKenzie and David Welch – most staying on in the committee for another year!