est. 1967

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Aon NZ


Newsletter - 2011/01

  Printer Friendly Version January 2011  

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2011 Annual General Meeting

Notice is given that the 2011 Annual General Meeting of the Association will be held during the 2011 New Zealand Secondary Schools Rowing Championships Regatta on the evening of Tuesday 29th of March. The business will be:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Apologies
  3. President's Address
  4. Correspondence in/out
  5. Minutes Previous AGM
  6. Treasurer's Report
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Remits
  9. General

Nominations for Life Membership

Nominations for Life Membership of the Association (see clause 5.2) closed on Tuesday, 18 January 2011. No nominations were received.

Nominations for Office

Notice is given that nominations for the President, Executive Officer, Honorary Auditor and Honorary Solicitor close on Monday, 21 February 2011. Persons being nominated for these positions should first be contacted to see if they wish to be nominated.

Remits and other business

Notice is given that the closing date for submission of any remit on policy in respect of any alteration to the Constitution or Safety System is Monday, 21 February 2011.

Members are reminded that the closing date for notice of other business to be conducted at the AGM is Monday, 21 February 2011.

Note: This year is not a rule change year (ref clause 10.6) so no remits can be accepted that will change or alter the Rules and Regulations (unless deemed an emergency by the Executive Committee).

Application to host NZSSRA Championships regattas

Notice is given that the closing date for receipt of applications to host the 2013 NZSSRA Championships regattas (Maadi, North Island Championship and/or South Island Championships) is Monday, 21 February 2011. Such applications should be made on the form given in Appendix (F)1 to the Constitution.

Proposals from 2012 Regatta Committees for Championships fee changes are also due with the Executive Officer on Monday, 21 February (ref Regulation 8.2) and such proposals will be available for Members to consider at the AGM.

Update: school rowing integration project closer integration between NZSSRA and NZRA

Following the 2010 AGM a Working Party of Member School Principals met to look at the future of NZSSRA. The Working Party concluded NZSSRA's current structure is creaking at the seams and it would be logical to move closer to NZRA. The Working Party recommended NZSSRA seek change in the form of integration with NZRA; a probable structure involving an advisory panel within NZRA. It was also recommended NZRA Board representation be sought and an important outcome of the process would be NZSSRA retaining autonomy over those aspects of the sport important to schools.

A project plan [.pdf 328KB] was commissioned to develop the Working Party recommendations to a point where they could be brought forward to NZSSRA and NZRA. Once that plan met with the approval of the Working Party, NZSSRA's Executive Committee and NZRA's CEO it was put to NZSSRA's Members.

At a postal ballot General Meeting on 29 October 2010 NZSSRA members voted in favour (92%) of pursuing a policy of moving towards closer integration with RowingNZ. This allowed the project plan to proceed to the next stage.

Since the General Meeting in October NZRA has co-opted Gillian Simpson to its Board, where her Board duties include chairing the new Schools Committee. The Schools Committee is the group being developed to serve the dual purpose of carrying out the objectives, functions and obligations of both NZSSRA and NZRA (as they relate to school rowing). Gillian Simpson is currently Principal of St Margaret's College, formerly Principal of Waikato Diocesan School, was a member of the Working Party, and was also convenor of the 2005 Special Committee that successfully carried out a review of Maadi Cup regatta's future.

Members can look forward to further developments and extensive consultation as the project plan continues to unfold.

2010-11 season regattas

Major regattas

Aon NZ maintains its ongoing close relationship with school rowing and is again the major sponsor of Maadi (our national championships). So we can look forward to the:

"2011 Aon Maadi Cup"

The 2011 Aon Maadi Cup and 2011 Aon North Island Secondary Schools Championships will be hosted for us by Karapiro Rowing Inc at Lake Karapiro. South Island Rowing Inc is hosting our 2011 Meridian South Island Secondary Schools Championship at Lake Ruataniwha. All three events are also sanctioned by the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council and appear on their calendar of approved events. Dates and venues for the three major NZSSRA regattas are:

  • Aon North Island Secondary Schools Championships
    11-13 March 2011, Lake Karapiro (hosted by Karapiro Rowing Inc)
  • Meridian South Island Secondary Schools Championships
    12 & 13 March 2011, Lake Ruataniwha (hosted by South Island Rowing Inc)
  • Aon Maadi Cup Regatta
    28 March - 3 April 2011, Lake Karapiro (hosted by Karapiro Rowing Inc)

Other regattas

  • TAKA-Waitemata regatta: 23 October (results online)
  • Mercer regatta: 4 December (results online)
  • OSSRA Term 4 Regatta: 4 December (results online)
  • McLachlan Shield: 11 December (postponed)
  • Westlake Boys Junior Regatta: 11 February
  • Head of the Harbour (Auck): 12 February
  • OSSRA Term 1 Regatta: 12 February
  • Mighty River Power Age-group Regatta (KRI #3): 26-27 February
  • Canterbury Mazda Schools Regatta: 27 February
  • Wanganui Secondary School Champs: 5 March
  • Wellington Secondary School Champs: 6 March
  • OSSRA Head of Harbour: 19 March

If you know of other secondary school regattas scheduled for 2011 then please send us an email with the details to [email protected]

New Programme of Events for Championships 2011-2014 Championships

Last year the Executive Committee completed the four-yearly review of the Programme of Events for Championships regattas. The outcome of the review is the introduction of a new Programme of Events that will be in place for Championships regattas in 2011-2014.

Changes to the Programme of Events are:

  • 3 new boat types have been introduced:
    • Under-16 single sculls
    • Novice double sculls (u18)
    • Lightweight double sculls (u18)
  • events have been re-ordered.

Revised NZSSSC school team eligibility criteria

In mid-2007 the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC) introduced a set of School Team Eligibility Criteria. Those criteria apply to all NZSSSC-sanctioned events, which include NZSSRA's North and South Island Secondary School Rowing Championships and Maadi, and they have been in force at those regattas for the past three seasons.

In mid-2010 the NZSSSC reviewed and revised the School Team Eligibility Criteria. The revised criteria are in effect from the 2010-11 season onwards; starting with NZSSRA's 2011 Championships.

There are three significant changes to the revised criteria:

  • The period a pupil is considered "new" to a school after they have transferred secondary schools has been reduced from 2 years to 1 year prior to the first day of the event. This change should basically halve the number of pupils affected by the criteria for all events other than eights.
  • For eights the limit has been changed from 2 new pupils to 2 new pupils and no more than 3 over two years. The old rules used to have a limit of 2 new pupils over two years so this change makes the limit less restrictive. All other boats retain a limit of 1 new pupil.
  • It is no longer possible for schools to agree between themselves to exempt a pupil from the criteria; instead there is a new Primary Caregiver Relocation Exemption (PCRE). Schools can apply to their regional branch of NZSSSC to have a PCRE recognised if they can provide evidence the pupil's transfer is due to their primary caregiver relocating and the pupil could not reasonably be expected to have remained at their previous school.The onus for obtaining an exemption will be on the school and student and application must be submitted on the form available on the NZSSSC website. Applications with evidence signed by both principals will be considered by regional exemption committees and, if approved, the school will receive an exemption that is to be provided to NZSSRA before regatta entries are made.

While the revised period for calculating when a pupil is new will make life easier for many the change to PCRE's is probably the most important change to note and plan around. Under the old exemption system schools could generally arrange between themselves for last-minute exemptions from the criteria. Such exemptions were seldom declined by a transferring pupil's exit school. This meant a number of crews, which would have been otherwise ineligible to compete, were able to be entered into the Championships very close to close-off of entries - thanks to exemptions.

The PCRE's are much less broad and also have to be approved by the local NZSSSC branch. This means a school/coach who fails to think about the NZSSSC School Team Eligibility Criteria could end up with a crew that is ineligible to compete (or insufficient time to obtain an exemption) which would be tremendously disappointing for the pupils involved!

So, if you have a crew that contains non-domestic pupils or pupils who have transferred between secondary schools after Year 9 and less than twelve months prior to the regatta (24 months in the case of an eight) and/or you have a crew that contains overseas pupils then you need to make sure you are familiar with the NZSSSC School Team Eligibility Criteria.

More information can be found on the NZSSRA website,, or by directing your enquiry to NZSSRA's Executive Officer, Andrew Carr-Smith: [email protected]

2011 Maadi Cup Regatta

Members should note the regatta will start on Monday, 28 March. There will be an official spare half day being the morning of Sunday, 3 April. However this only extends to midday, as time must be given to enable schools to vacate accommodation, return rentals and make flights etc; also, so the pupils and staff can be back at school on Monday.

Sponsorship Opportunities become a Race Patron

There are a limited number of opportunities to become a Race Patron at the 2011 Maadi Cup Regatta. Patronage gives you race naming rights, an invitation to present medals to the race's medalists, advertising within the printed programme, space in the Rowers Expo, car parking, VIP Lounge access, online presence and more...

If you or somebody you know might be interested in becoming a Race Patron there is information available on the Maadi Cup Regatta website: Maadi 2011 (including a full proposal) or you could contact Roger Milne: [email protected].

Communication with the organisers of the 2011 Maadi Cup Regatta can be made using email at: [email protected]

Online Regatta Entry

NZSSRA's online regatta system is already open for roster maintenance and will open for regatta entries in February. As usual, replacement passwords for those members who have misplaced theirs can be obtained by Sports Coordinators from the Executive Officer.

This season RowingNZ has made information from its competition licence database available to NZSSRA and a method of importing the data, so it's available for online regatta entry, has been found. The good news: this means all licensed athletes will already be in the database and will not need to be added from scratch. The bad news is these pupils' profiles will be unavoidably incomplete, might not be accurate and might not be associated with the relevant school:

  • Profiles imported from RowingNZ will be incomplete because NZSSRA requires information to ascertain a pupil's status for NZSSSC School Team Eligibility criteria. This information is completely irrelevant to club rowing and neither clubs nor RowingNZ are expected to hold it. So schools will need to add NZSSSC status details to pupils' imported profiles.
  • Imported profiles might not be accurate. There are discrepancies between information imported from RowingNZ and information already held in the database (entered by schools in previous seasons). Approximately 18% of those records don't entirely match. In some cases this is not an issue (e.g. first name of Jess vs Jessica) but in most other cases one set of information is clearly wrong and this could lead to a false entry declaration concerning a pupil's name or age, which "shall result in the exclusion of the rower's crew(s) from the regatta" (reg Reg 7.2) and can result in the whole school being disqualified! So, schools will need to carefully check the information imported from RowingNZ (an estimated 250 imported records will require adjustment).
  • Imported profiles might not be automatically associated with the relevant school. Although it's possible for clubs to record athletes' schools this is not necessary for club rowing competition and not all clubs do this. So pupils can be imported from RowingNZ into the database without any connection to their school being known. The good news is those pupils will still be in the database and can be found and claimed for the school's roster instead of being created from scratch.

It is hoped the benefits of importing athlete profiles from RowingNZ will outweigh any inconveniences. As this process is new in 2011 any feedback from members on how well it works for them will be appreciated.

Over-capacity regattas North & South Island Championships

In 2005 a Special Committee was convened to consider the future of Maadi because that regatta had grown so large it was in danger of becoming an 8 or 9 day regatta. In the end some small but significant changes were made to Maadi. These changes resulted in a small drop of entries to a sustainable level that has been maintained ever since.

There is now plenty of time to run a Maadi regatta but the same can no longer be said of our North and South Island Championships:

2011 Aon North Island Secondary Schools Championships

Members who have attended this event over the past three seasons will be aware this regatta has reached its capacity and is struggling to be completed within the three-day limit (imposed by Principals when we last reviewed our Championships in 2005).

Changing the progression system in 2009 from a standard Maadi progression to one like that used at the South Island Champs has provided temporary respite in the last two years. Unfortunately, entry numbers at the regatta have continued to grow and this year there are also 6 new events. The only form of entry limit available to the Regatta Committee is already set at 2 crews-per-school-per-event and dropping that to 1 will not be approved.

This leaves the Regatta Committee with only two significant tools to use to complete the regatta in time: tweaking the progression system and closing up race intervals. Therefore, until Members either give the Regatta Committee more time or more tools to limit entries they have to accept progressions will be tough and the race schedule tight. Consequently, it is recommended coaches abandon any expectation pupils will have sufficient time between events to be guaranteed to be able to compete in multiple events.

2011 Meridian South Island Secondary Schools Championships

Although this a much smaller regatta than its North Island counterpart it has seen rapid growth in entries over the past two seasons and an increase in status. However, being a two-day regatta, this regatta is also reaching capacity; further growth in entries and the 6 new events this year will not help matters.

The Regatta Committee had hoped to introduce full medal ceremonies this season. This reflects growing recognition of the importance of this regatta in the school rowing calendar. Instead, the Regatta Committee is faced with a tight racing schedule for finals; meaning it will be difficult or impossible to introduce full medal ceremonies this season. Consequently, pupils may have to wait until a future season when Members have addressed the capacity problem before they can receive full recognition at the regatta for their race results.

As long as we continue to operate in an environment where most Member schools send most of their pupils to the North/South Island Championships the over-capacity problem at those regattas is going to continue to worsen; to the detriment of pupils' experience at the regattas. Members need to be thinking about how pressure can be taken off the regattas (or how more time can be made available to run them).

Communication with the organisers of the North/South Island Champs regattas can be made using email at [email protected] and [email protected]

Supporting course development at Lake Ruataiwha

The 2010 Aon Maadi Cup Regatta, hosted for us by South Island Rowing Inc at Lake Ruataniwha, was a success (despite being severely wind-affected) and as a result of our sponsorship with Aon for the regatta NZSSRA was able to give $10,000 to South Island Rowing Inc. This money was used towards replacement lane wires at Lake Ruataniwha. The lane wires are $2,000 each. Having full-course lane wires is one of the reasons Lake Ruataniwha remains one of New Zealand's best rowing courses.

Missing History Can you help???

It is an unfortunate and little-known fact that NZSSRA lost the bulk of its records in an arson attack on a Member school in the nineties. So when we were contacted by rowing's Archivist, Evan McCalman, who was looking for Maadi regatta programmes to try and fill some gaps in the record we were unable to assist.

The missing Maadi Cup Regatta programmes, which are needed to complete the Archives set, are: 1970, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1982-1989 inclusive, and 1991.

These programmes are needed to establish with certainty when girls events began, to establish who were the winning schools (pre Jubilee and Dawn Cups), and thus the names of the winning crews.

If anybody can assist the effort to complete the archives by donating (or lending for copying and return) a programme from any of the listed Maadi regattas then that would be greatly appreciated. If you have one of these programmes please contact Evan McCalman: 35 Marine Parade, Eastbourne, phone 04-562 7154, or e-mail [email protected].

Bishop Bavin School Rowing Festival 20-27 August 2011. Johannesburg, South Africa

The Bishop Bavin School Rowing Festival is held bi-annually at venues in and around Johannesburg, South Africa. The festival is a week-long event and aims to bring together junior rowers from different countries with a view to providing competition, cultural exchanges and entertainment for the crews in a unique African environment.

This year's event will be held between the 20th and 27th of August and organisers would like to know if there is any interest from New Zealand.

The South African rowing season runs much like ours (Sept to Mar), so they use the festival as a means to "kick-start" their season. It acts as a good motivator for existing rowers to remain fit and for new rowers to join up during the winter. The Northern hemisphere schools generally use the festival as an end of season tour where the emphasis is on enjoying the experience of new competition in a unique environment.

The event is backed by the Gauteng Schools Rowing Federation (GSRF) and can accommodate single crews or complete age groups.

For further information please check the regatta website, or email Eric Donaldson, Chairman of the organising committee, at [email protected].


Membership Account

The annual account for membership was emailed to schools' Sports Coordinators on 4 November. This is for $160.00 and any schools that have yet to pay have now missed the cut-off date of 1 December 2010 for the prompt payment discount ($40) so owe the full amount.

If any clubs receiving a copy of this newsletter have started new schools this season or are planning to do so then they should contact the Executive Officer regarding setting up membership for the school and establishing the school's rowing colours. A current list of schools is given on our web site.


It is a requirement of membership of the NZSSRA for all schools to compete in colours approved by the Executive Officer. This process should be completed BEFORE singlets/row suits are ordered; if there is any clash your choice may be declined.

Any school competing in unapproved colours can be disqualified (Rule 10.1) so it is essential you check your colours on the website. If your colours are not shown or are different to those given then YOU MUST send an application to have your new colours registered.


Census Day Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Statistics New Zealand is carrying out the 2011 Census on 8 March this year, which is during the week prior to our North and South Island Championships. We have been advised of some schools who have pre-regatta accommodation booked for census day and remind anybody who will be away from home on Tuesday 8 March they will need to complete their census forms. This can be done online at

Competition Licences & NZRA safety systems

Where practicable NZSSRA now uses imported NZRA Competition Licence data to help populate our register of school rowers. To enable this process to work smoothly it is essential that all rowers for your school be correctly registered with Rowing New Zealand. Historically there have been large numbers of pupils whose details were incorrect in the NZRA database, which reduces the utility of importing this data as members then need to correct much of it.

Please check with your school's club to make sure your rowers' Competition Licences and details are up to date.

We also take this opportunity to draw members' attention to Rowing New Zealand's safety systems. These are largely a sub-set of our own Safety System but included in the Rowing New Zealand requirements is "All persons participating in rowing or sculling must be in good health and able to swim a minimum of [50]m in light clothing and shoes". We recommend members ensure all their rowing pupils meet this requirement as early in the season as possible.

Copies of Rowing New Zealand's safety systems can be found in our library or on Rowing NZ's website.

Maadi 2012

Expected to be held at Lake Ruataniwha from Monday, 26 March until Saturday, 31 March 2012 with Sunday, 1 April (until noon) being the reserve day.