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Surf Lifesaving struggling as traditional funding sources dry up

The CEO of Surf Lifesaving New Zealand says alternative funding sources will need to be investigated as traditional sources of funding for the 105-year-old organisation dry up.

The organisation receives no direct funding from the government. Source: Breakfast

Paul Dalton, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast said Surf Lifesaving New Zealand has been a charity for the length of its operation, but a declining number of pokie machines and increasing insurance is making things hard.

"The last few years have been tricky, money from gaming, community groups and those sorts of things have been a challenge," Mr Dalton said.

"We're obviously not alone in that problem because a lot of other community groups are struggling with that too."

Some essential advice here from Allan Mundy of Surf Lifesaving NZ. Source: Breakfast

Mr Dalton said his organisation is funded by Lotteries Commission grants, but that was dependent on the number of big jackpot draws, which tend to get more people buying tickets, and therefore distribute more profit to community groups.

He also said insurance costs for Surf Lifesaving had increased.

The total operating cost per year, he said, is "around $9-$10 million per year, and for our clubs you can probably double that for the 74 clubs".

"We need some new way of funding the organisation," he said.

"I think there's a conversation that should be had with government around what the future options are."

The PM said nationally, the amount of people committing to volunteer hours is dropping.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Breakfast that she and Charities Minister Peeni Henare welcomes a conversation with Surf Lifesaving on the issue of funding.

"Maybe there's ways we can make things easier there," she said.

She said nationally, the amount of people committing to volunteer hours is dropping, which may be contributing to the issues faces by some charities.