Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 30th September 2020 at the AFM Seafood School
Auditorium, Level 1, 22 Jellicoe Street, Westhaven commencing at 11:00 a.m.
Present E Pridham (in chair) and 20 members as per register.
Apologies C O’Connor, P Hayward
The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 27th September 2019
were approved. Moved E Pridham, seconded C Debenham – carried.
Matters arising There were no matters arising.
National President’s report
Ed Pridham welcomed members to the meeting and thanked everyone for making the effort to
attend. He thanked the Executive members and the delegates for their efforts as well as Guild staff
for their contribution to another successful year.
David Snow was then asked to cover the finance report.
David noted that under the Guild’s constitution the accounts are subject to a full audit and he was
pleased to report that we again have a clean audit report for this year’s financials.
In summary terms The Guild recorded a net profit for the year of $50,500. This compared to a net
surplus of $90,700 for the prior year.
Income for the year totalled around $335,000 up $3,500 on the previous year. Subscriptions of
$210,800 were down about $8,000 on the previous year. Membership has remained overall steady
but the timing and mix of additions and terminations in the Sealord numbers was the main
contributor. Contract levies were up $3,000 on 2019 at $96,000 through some extra numbers.
Interest income at around $12,000 was up on the previous year but with reducing interest rate
margins. There were more funds on deposit this year and there were some timing differences from
the prior year. Interest is recognised on an as received basis.
The dividend from Nelson Fishermans Centre (and the commercial rent of the building) was up on
2019 at $15,000 mainly as a result of less spent on maintenance costs in that year. The dividend
comes into the Guild’s books the following year so current performance needs to be considered by
referencing the NFC accounts. It was noted that there will be no dividend next year due to the
extensive maintenance costs incurred.
AGM minutes 2020 – 2
Expenses (including taxation) totalled approximately $276,000 and were up $40,000 on the previous
period. The two main contributors are the back to normal level salary costs and the extra money
spent on member promotions (bags) compared to the previous year.
The net result for the year is still a healthy profit after tax (on interest and dividend income) of
around $91,000 and up around $14,000 on the previous year.
A quick run through of the Nelson Fishermans Centre loss for the year was completed.
At balance date there were around $455,000 of net ‘cash’ assets and Nelson Fishermans Centre
Building assets of $240,000. David noted that he had been able to say this every year (and
acknowledged there are those that will remember otherwise) but overall the Guild’s funds are in a
very healthy position.
It was resolved that the audited accounts as presented be approved.
(Moved: L Jones, seconded B Jamieson – carried).
It was also resolved that no dividend be declared by the Nelson Fishermans Centre Limited. (Moved: E
Pridham, seconded L Jones – carried).
Election of Executive Members
The following members were elected to the National Executive Committee.
President : E Pridham
Vice President: B Jamieson
Executive officers: L Jones, L Davies, C Debenham, M Frahm, T Jackman, W Bird.
Executive Secretary’s report
Ian Mathieson reported on the Guild’s activities for the year. The current and new members of the
Executive Committee were introduced and Ian then covered the following items.
Nelson Fishermans Centre
The stalled sales process for The Nelson Fisherman’s Centre was outlined along with the resultant
repairs exercise. A new roof, kitchenette, lighting upgrade and various building repairs meant the
building was now in much better condition. Ian commented that the Executive had discussed the
options again at their recent meeting and another project to market the property was being
Total Guild membership remains steady at around 530 members. Sanford membership had
increased by around 25 members and Sealord membership had decreased by around 25 members.
Sanford membership increased on the factory vessels through effective Guild delegate work and the
significant back pay owing for the fillet vessel contract. The Guild now has close to full membership
on the factory vessels. The Sealord membership drop shows a greater number of new crew opting
for an IEA rather than the Guild CEA. By law new employees must be given the choice to opt in to
either a collective or an independent employment agreement. This happens with Sealord HR during
the employee induction process.
Delegates are an essential component of running the Guild. Without them we would not be able to
negotiate contracts, membership numbers would be much lower and the broad range of member
and administrative functions could not be completed. Payment to delegates for Guild work are
offered but not all delegates bill for hours worked. Delegates’ fees and expenses have increased with
a budget of around $15,000 per year. The Guild currently has a total of 16 delegates on factory
vessels (7 for Sanford and 9 for Sealord). Delegate turnover tends to be fairly high with around 4
delegates replaced each year.
Contract levy payments were reasonably stable for the year with the majority of payments coming
from Sanford, Sealord and Talleys for their domestic crews. Fishing companies continue to pay the
Guild levies to help protect the industry from incursion from larger unions (Maritime, ETU) and
because the Guild is formally recognised by Immigration NZ as part of the New Zealand Immigration
Approval in Principal (AIP) process to recruit foreign fishing crew.
It was noted that although NZ stands out in the world as one of the few countries who have virtually
eliminated the virus we have not remained immune from the damaging economic consequences of
the pandemic. Commercial fishing has done better than many industries as it has been deemed an
essential service and therefore able to continue working during the nationwide lock downs. The big
fishing companies have however been negatively impacted by Covid-19 and trading conditions will
remain challenging. It was expected that pending contract negotiations would be tougher with
companies tightening their purse strings and earnings increases for members harder to come by.
Sealord is also experiencing real difficulty in finding crew. Foreign crew cannot get work visas under
the current border restrictions. Other fishing companies that rely heavily on foreign crew may have
even worse problems.
The Guild administration had not been affected by the corona virus other than having to work from
home and with membership holding steady.
Sanford Fillet Boat Contract
The Guild in conjunction with vessel delegates had negotiated an important new contract covering
the three fillet vessels – San Enterprise, San Discovery and San Granit. The contract was significant in
that Sanford were prepared to negotiate new conditions to the contract that have not been on the
table before. High turnover of junior crew has become a worsening problem facing Sanford factory
vessels for some years. They needed a mechanism to attract and retain crew rather than continually
looking for and training unsuitable new crew.
The first solution was to significantly increase the crew advance payment effectively providing a
guaranteed income to the most junior crew members. It was creating some teething problems
though with the size of the daily advance earning significantly less trip bonus payments than before.
This placed them closer to a salaried position rather than an independent contractor with the
potential also for wage compression with mid-level crew positions. The second crew retention
initiative involved a change to the continuous service bonus payment mechanism. This mean new
crew get on the continuous service payment ladder sooner, providing incentive to sign on for more
Sanford Pending Contracts
There were three Sanford Contract for Services expiring on 30 September 2020. San Waitaki , Scampi
vessels and Auckland Inshore vessels.
Crew Remits and negotiations for these contracts would proceed following the AGM. Fish price
increases and other member earnings increases may be less than negotiated in previous contracts
due to the down turn in the Sanford business linked to the corona virus. The current Sealord
Collective Employment Fishers Agreement is half way through a 2-year term. A mid-term Fishers
Agreement review meeting with Sealord has been confirmed for October. All delegates will be
invited for a business presentation from Sealord, discussion on general issues and an update of
Sealord’s new vessel Tokatu coming under a Collective Agreement with the Guild.
Website / Facebook
The Guild has a high-quality website that is being used more as a communication vehicle and as an
interactive site for viewers to come back to. For the first time we are using the website to promote
the Guild AGM alongside electronic mail. The Guild also has links established to many other websites
(member benefit providers, fishing and maritime education providers, Sanford, Sealord and Talley’s
job sites and fishing related jobs on Seek and Trademe). The Guild Facebook group now totals 202
members or 38% of our total Guild membership.
Member Benefits Update
Member benefits have grown to become a worthwhile part of Guild membership. Each year a quality
gift has been provided to paid members of the Guild. Last year it was the popular Guild Gear Bag and
this year members are being provided with a vest. The range of other Guild benefits are listed on the
Guild website and on the updated Member Benefits flyer.
Ian noted that he has written Fishing Guild articles for Professional Skipper magazine for three years
now. Acknowledged that it provides a good platform to create awareness and profile for the Guild.
A new Guild brochure had been created. This involved simplifying the brochure making it more
direct and aimed at getting the message across to general hand crew. This included the design of a
new Guild logo. Branding has also been changed on the Guild website.
There was a suggestion from the floor that the delegate payment programme may be being taken
advantage of. Several members did not look for any payments while a minority may be over claiming
for hours worked. Further discussions noted that the Executive were looking at some other options
including a standard annual fee.
It was also mentioned that the Executive Committee has a majority make up of Sanford members.
Suggestion made that the Committee might look at bolstering the Sealord resources.
There being no further business the formal part of the meeting was closed at 12:05 p.m. This was
then followed by informal lunchtime discussions.