Fencing North Committee Minute - 16 February 2022

Fencing North Inc. Committee Meeting – 16.02.2022

 Meeting Opened:  7:00 pm (Microsoft Teams)

Present: Ben Upton (Secretary), Fiona Campbell (Tournaments and Acting Health & Safety), Peter Butler (Equipment Officer), Maja Saran (Head of Tournaments), Sunnie (Vice President, Massey), Viccki Fan (Auckland Swords), Chris MacDonald (Salle Jean Louis), Katie Logan (NZ Academy of Fencing), Rhys Greensill (Fundraising), Amanda Hopkins (Treasurer).

Apologies: Dave Elder (former President), Mary Black (Tuatahi), Matt Houtman (High Performance Fencing), Judit Fliszar (Schools Rep), Matt Stanley (Whangarei Swords), Kyle MacDonald (Mount Albert Grammar), Amanda Hopkins (Treasurer).

Nomination of Peter Butler as President

Ben Upton outlined the background and moved Peter Butler’s

The Executive present all voted in favour.  Noted that Ben Upton held proxies for MAGs (via Kyle MacDonald), High Performance Fencing (Matt Houtman) and Tuatahi (Mary Black).

Confirmation of the Previous Minutes:  Minutes approved.

Matters Arising: 

Nothing arising.

Treasurer’s Report

Ben Upton and Peter Butler summarised Amanda Hopkin’s email report to them.  Positive balance of $47k in the bank.  Camp was positive and made a profit.   There are some (not major) expenses to address. 

The report was noted.  This can be updated and confirmed at the next meeting.


All agreed that this was a success.  It was commented that we now had a good formula and should be repeated.  There was a very good spirit and most had positive comments.  Good also to see that it was a success financially.


Maja reported on competitions.  Bubble went well.  The Covid framework was good and worked for the tournament.  The Venue staff at Trusts was helpful on this.  The FENZ Covid policy may not be correct in terms of numbers, and so we will be following Trusts (and Te Pai) guidance on this.

Given the numbers involved in fencing, this is not really an issue.  There are ‘bubble’ possibilities that can be explored in relation to some of the bigger tournaments.

We are trying to encourage out of towners.  They currently have free entry.  This can be kept under review, but at present keeping that policy in place is sensible, provided a profit is made.  The higher late fee penalty seems to be working.

Registrations for this weekend’s tournament (Fenton) are good.

Maja raised the Easter Carnival.  It will be a huge challenge given the Omicron outbreak and apparent expectations around size and timeframe.  Maja is organising, with Heather as DT.  Maja will not be available to run this as she will be isolating post travel.

There is a current indicative budget of $25,000, although 50% is for officials (travel and accommodation).  Costs could be reduced if the tournament was shorter and official subsidisation around travel and accommodation slashed. 

Noted that the national schools was run on a $12,000 budget and ran at a relatively sizable loss.  So there is a significant concern that even at that level we would incur another loss which is not welcomed. 

There are, therefore, still a number of issues that need to be agreed with FENZ.  Peter indicated that he would be able to speak with David on this, in consultation with Maja.

It is understood that the situation is fluid with 6 March 2022 being a date on which a decision on whether to proceed or not can be made by FENZ.     

Peter and Maja will speak to David Elder / officiating commission to negotiate what is possible.  A small loss is bearable, but not a large one.   The concerns to be discussed:

  • Cost – what is subsidised re officials and what is not?  Can other regions fund?
  • Duration – Does it really need to be 4 days?  2 days may be posslble
  • Is it realistic given Omicron?  Noted here that many competitors may not be able to turn up and could be disadvantaged as a result.

Agreed that this was the right course.

Maja and Peter to report on this at the next meeting.


Adita has left NZ but the website is now working, re. the Calendar.  Kirsten could potentially take over the website eventually, once she is more familiar with fencing.  She is otherwise doing a great job on Instagram and FaceBook.

Ideally we would want a refresh of the website.  Chris MacDonald indicated that he would assist.

We would like to see some more curated images, and use of FB live for some events should be more carefully controlled. 

Health and Safety

No incidents to report.  Fiona Campbell (as acting) has said that she can take on that role for remaining 2022.  She is currently certified.  The current first aid kit is well supplied and adequate.  We should add spray ice, which Fiona will procure.

Motion to that effect passed.

In the course of the discussion around reimbursement it was noted that we should check delegated authority around spending. 

Fundraising and Venue

Rhys Greensill reported.  Concluded that given the price movements that anything in the City is outside of our reach.  We are realistically having to look at City fringe, but clubs have no interest.  Situation continues to be monitored.

Fund raising is difficult with Covid.  Applications can be made.  Rhys sought direction around what areas should be focused on. 

More club support is essential, however.  Especially around initiatives.  Rhys noted that he had no support from Clubs (other than Tuatahi) for a ‘proof of cause’ to Auckland Council, which ended up having him organise an event at Selwyn himself.  This netted $15,000 and created a new club.  However, this was essentially only Rhys and there was not the necessary buy in from clubs.  On that basis Rhys will not be progressing a similar initiative this year.

Each Club reported on reasons why they were unable to support.  This largely revolved around Clubs facing their own issues (venue, lack of effective organisation, or having a different focus – e.g. university only focus).

In terms of initiatives -  There are no big ticket items other than potentially carpet tiles for Te Pai and metal pistes.  More thinking required here.

Agreed that Rhys would pursue an initiative to try and get a letter together a proposal to seek funding for venue hire costs.          

FENZ news

Peter Butler gave a brief report as he attended the last FENZ meeting.  There was quite a bit of discussion around the Commonwealths and Covid.  David Elder nomination as President. There is a desire to try and make the Easter Tournament progress. 

Other Business:  

No other business.

Confirmation of next meeting date – Monday, 7 March 2022 at 7pm principally to discuss the Easter Tournament.  Thereafter, with a plan to have it as first Monday of the month going forward.


Meeting Closed:   8:40 pm.

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