Final Dates for 92nd NNZC Constituency Session
It was resolved that the dates for the 92nd NNZC Constituency Session be only slightly adjusted and proceed on September 19-20, 2020.
We encourage delegates to make their own arrangements for transport, accommodation and meals for which reimbursement forms have already been provided to delegates. Car pooling and/or staying with friends and family is encouraged in order to save on costs. Meals will be provided at Session on Saturday evening and Sunday lunch. The Session booklet may be found at adventist.org.nz/resources/nnzc-session. Session information packs, including the physical copy of the Session booklet, will be mailed to delegates in the second half of August.
To North New Zealand Conference Executive Committee July 22, 2020
COVID-19 and Churches
Following the pandemic lockdown and in the current Alert Level 1 status all pastors are reporting mixed levels of attendance at worship services in reopened meeting venues throughout the Conference. Almost all the churches were resuming onsite services by the first Sabbath of July. Some churches are operating with pre-lockdown attendance figures and others have fewer members in attendance to date.
One interesting outcome is the resignation of some lay members from church office following lockdown. The common reason given is a reassessment of time and family commitments with a rearrangement of priorities. At the same time a number of less involved or absent members connected with some online church zoom meetings during Alert Level 4 and have become more involved. There is a yearning in some congregations for everything to return to pre-pandemic practice while some groups are more open to changes in practice.
It is apparent the pandemic impact means change for the church but with the different “normal,” it is less obvious what the extent of these effects mean for how churches may function in our changing context. We are obtaining feedback to help inform us in the way ahead.
Kaikohe Church 50th Anniversary Sabbath
On Sabbath 11 July 2020 Kaikohe Church commemorated the 50th anniversary to the exact 1970 date of the opening of its current Church property in Mangakahia Road. I participated in the church service. The Sabbath occasion was well attended with members from sister Northland churches, a number of past members and including most of the Northland region pastors visiting. Church pastor Garry Hallmond and his wife Marianna are doing excellent ministry with the Church.
Ministry Development System AUC
The Australian Union Conference in conjunction with South Queensland Conference has produced a comprehensive Ministry Development program centred on the progress and development of pastoral staff. This program also incorporates local church mission progress, pastors reporting and annual review processes. We will start to implement the system with our reviews later in 2020.
NNZC Financial Report
The Conference Financial Report for the period ending May 31st, 2020 records an operating deficit of $1,083,059.00.
The Adventist Book Centre (ABC) operating report to the end of February 2020 showed a deficit before transfers of $5,243.00.
The economic difficulties faced by society and by many in our church family are reflected in the experience of the Conference and its entities, but we praise God for the faithfulness to mission of church members throughout North NZ and are grateful for the evidence of God’s continued leading.
Tui Ridge Park Manager’s Report
March – June 2020
- Estimated loss of income for March to May (inclusive) attributed to COVID19, $319k.
- 12-week and 8-week government wages subsidies received $221k.
- Future losses beyond current period from uncertainty around future outbreaks $70k.
- Cancellation of Girl Guide booking in January 2022 due to scheduling difficulties around Big Camp, SPD Youth Congress, and JH Aotearoa. Estimated loss $150k. A lot of time and effort was spent to secure the Girl Guide booking but eventually and particularly following COVID19 the group decided not to proceed with their booking.
Monday worship and staff meetings on zoom were well attended and appreciated by staff as a break from lockdown. Area teams were able to use zoom and other online platforms more frequently to discuss plans moving through the different alert levels of COVD19, revamped services e.g. menus, outdoor education training, and health and safety updates and public notices. Office staff dealt with an influx of COVID-related cancellation enquiries, enquiries regarding our pandemic response, and staff concerns regarding payroll and employment concerns.
Staff living onsite were able to move within their bubble to work from the GMC and carry out ground maintenance, workshop activities and onsite worship.
Overall, staff engagement did not cease during lockdown but caused us to work and interact in different ways than we have been used to.
- A staff competition was run during lockdown for ideas to increase and enhance the current pool of uninstructed activities for schools and family stays, particularly in the deluxe cabins. This generated a lot of activity and engagement during our weekly zoom meetings and the outcome was the addition of the following activities: laser tag, giant block games (e.g. Jenga, Molkke), and mini golf. The first two have been implemented, with mini golf yet to make it to planning stage.
- Also, two escape rooms that had been planned prior to COVID19 have been installed in Rata shed as an additional indoor activity. Room themes to be changed out every year.
- Upgraded frisbee golf targets
Outdoor Education – staff changes
TRP has lost another experienced staff member following the resignation of one of our senior instructors, Tukairangi Semmens. Tukai is leaving at the end of July to take up an electrical apprenticeship in Palmerston North. We have been fortunate to have had Dominic Craw, one of our long term on-call O.E. contractors, available due to lockdown and border closures and have completed an employment agreement with Dom. He has committed to 9-12 months at Tui Ridge. Tukai is one of our trained rescue instructors so we will need to get Dom upskilled in this area to meet OutdoorsMark standards.
- New frisbee golf targets installed
- Installation and painting of two escape rooms in Rata shed
- Other completed paint jobs: dorms and cabins
- Lawn mowing contract cancelled before lockdown and maintained throughout by staff. Cost under contract $1,200 per cut, 10 cuts from March to end of July.
- Secure room for tools and chemicals installed in barn.
- Additional activities completed from lockdown to level one: preparation of container herb gardens situated close to the kitchen and a raised vegetable garden set up close to staff housing for easy access for maintenance.
- Tom Bottin has continued making coffee tables for gifts, using wood from felled trees onsite.
A thorough cleaning of the kitchen and contents was possible upon return to work under level three.
Permanent staff worked together with the aid of zoom meetings during lockdown to review menus, and update procedures and house rules especially around health and safety, and hygiene practices.
Senior staff were reassigned to other areas such as bookings, cleaning, and outdoor education (planning and implementation of escape rooms). Kitchenhand staff involvement in weekly zoom meetings, staff competition for uninstructed activities, testers for new activities during level three and attendance at staff training days in July.
Other than a few small bookings in the past month, catering was provided for our staff training days, as well as Teen and Junior NNZC camps from 10 July. Auckland Normal Intermediate will be the first school camp to return in 2020 with two camps of approximately 170 students plus adults per camp in the second and third weeks of August followed by a smaller group from Pakuranga College at the end of that month.
In the weeks leading up to COVID19 level 2 and lockdown, groups started to advise us of their intentions to cancel bookings from March to July. Groups with multiple bookings cancelled their events at TRP for the remainder of the year e.g. Tauhara, Basketball NZ. Efforts were made to work out alternative dates further into the future. Otherwise, deposits were returned to clients at their request.
We engaged with staff both individually and as a team to work through changes to payroll with the application of both government wage subsidies. Support was given to staff throughout the various alert levels and one on one discussions were needed to maintain staff morale and motivation. The sudden change in circumstances and ongoing uncertainty arising out of COVID19 has caused some staff to reconsider their future with TRP leading to several departures.
Staff training days
Three days of staff training were held in the first week of July. Motivation was a key factor in holding these training days, especially returning to work after COVID19.
- Day 1 – All TRP staff: health and safety, discussions around ‘Tui Ridge as a city’, outside perceptions of TRP, cross-team awareness.
- Day 2 – All TRP staff plus reintroduction of O.E. contractors to group, emergency scenarios, SWOT analysis discussion, group session on Attitude.
- Day 3 – Outdoor Education staff and contractor activity specific training and refresher.
We are looking at running emergency scenarios more frequently to keep staff knowledge and application sharp and readily responsive. A group of staff are booked in for a refresher first aid course in early August to be held onsite.
During level 3, we committed to daily devotions, in addition to our Monday morning worship with TRP chaplain pastor Harvey Gangadeen. With no guests and more time on our hands this allowed more staff to attend, especially those that were frequently absent due to different working shifts. It has been a blessing to see more of our non-Christian staff be more engaged and open to listening in on discussions around God and His providence and protection of Tui Ridge Park.
Bethesda Care CEO Report
08 July 2020
- Bethesda is incredibly grateful for God’s ongoing protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, while we currently at Level-1, the risk is still extremely high for aged care businesses.
- Some of our staff continue to be stood down and get COVID tested when they have flu like symptoms
- We have adequate levels of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in stock based on our current risk profile and this will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
- The Bethesda Board is meeting later this month to review the current Bethesda Strategy and for its quarterly board meeting.
- We are finalising the appointment of the new Facility Manager after receiving 96 applicants, we shortlisted and interviewed 3 good candidates. The role was advertised on the SPD careers site, NNZC channels and Seek NZ.
- We are completing our Registered and Enrolled Nurses recruitment drive with the two remaining vacancies being filled in Aug/Sep 2020. (we have avoided cost of approximately $50K by not going through an agency)
- We have approached various Adventist nurses but were unsuccessful at this time.
- Daily screening for all staff and visitors.
- COVID-19 infection control measures.
- Strict measure for staff with flu like symptoms.
- Following DHB guidelines.
- Follow Bethesda pandemic plan.
- Financial overview:
- The FY21 budgets are designed to be very realistic based on current and projected occupancy, and expenses.
- We expecting to show expense savings vs budget after the 1st quarter results in the FY21 budget.
- The DHB contracts for FY21 are being processed and included a 3% increase in funding.
- COVID Funding: We received the Government funding for COVID-19
- IRD payments: We received relief from the IRD for payments and have negotiated a 19-month interest free repayment scheme as a result of COVID 19.
- Long Term Maintenance: Bethesda has kicked off a process of reviewing our long-term maintenance planning and will look at setting aside funding in a building fund for the long term.
Bethesda Village CEO Report
08 July 2020
- Bethesda is incredibly grateful for God’s ongoing protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, while we currently at Level-1, the risk is still extremely high for Retirement Villages. We are continuing with our contact tracing processes in the village for events and remaining vigilant.
- We have resumed our normal sales operations within Bethesda Village.
- The first quarter residents meeting was held today and was well attended. No major issues were reported by the residents.
- We are experiencing a few delays with incoming residents selling their homes, but we are making steady progress.
- We now have the go ahead to rent certain apartments during the sales selldown period. We were required to consult and inform various stakeholders like the existing residents, Westpac, our lawyers, and the statutory supervisor Covenant. Our partnership with the Real-estate company will assist this rental process and we need to put certain processes in place.
- The Bethesda Board will be meeting later this month to review the current strategy for the village.
- Bethesda is conducting an initial assessment to investigate the feasibility of having a café in the Bethesda Care Building, this need for a café is being captured as a requirement from many potential residents in the Village and Care businesses.
- The Bethesda FY21 budget has been approved by the Bethesda board. Keys areas of note are:
- Budget allocation for Sales Commission (Sales Manager and Ray White)
- Advertising budget to drive sales.
- Moving expense for the package deals.
- Interest Expense which is new in FY 21 budget because we now expensing the interest.
- We are looking at bringing more services to the village to produce further income and assist our village offering, these include meals, laundry, and cleaning services.
- The apartment sales forecast has been redone in Mar 2020 by Michael Ambrose and will now need to be adjusted again as a result of COVID-19.
- Despite the impact of COVID-19 with bank criteria for lending tightening, we continue to see interest in apartment, studio and villa sales.
- We have completed our annual inspections of all units in the village and building our maintenance plan.
- We also looking at a Long-Term Maintenance plan for the village and setting up a Property Fund.
Major Unbudgeted Expenditure or Income
- Potential negative impact COVID 19 on unit sales, cost impact is yet to be determined.
Bethesda Apartments Project
Brand new Bethesda Apartments are currently available with some already sold. For more information on these beautiful apartments simply follow this link – www.bethesda.org.nz
– Pr Hugh Heenan, NNZC General Secretary