by Darren Sudlow

2016 NetNZ Financial Summary and Comments 

In 2016, NetNZ’s third full year of operation, has again achieved a modest ‘bottom line’ surplus.

This surplus has only been achieved as a result of very tight financial management, the delayed implementation of planned NetNZ innovation, and input of external funding (Ministry of Education ALLiS funding and Datacom sponsorship allowing a ‘flow on’ subsidisation of other programmes). Despite this financially challenging period, NetNZ has extended the range of courses available, and is improved certainty of access into NetNZ courses for all NetNZ member schools.

With average annual growth of over 20% (of member schools; student enrolment; and courses offered). NetNZ is a significantly larger and more complex organisation than it was at its inceptions in 2013. With no increase in NetNZ staffing over this time however, the operation team has reached the limits of its capacity to provide high quality, responsive service to its members. This exacerbated, by adsorbed increases of teacher salaries since (- the most significant annual cost in the NetNZ Budget), means that the Board is currently looking at how revenue can be increased and is considering membership subscription; the placement exchange/purchase rates; sponsorship and other external funding; developing international students market; and other strategies, while mindful of how the Government recent ‘COOL’ initiative may impact on NetNZ’s funding from 2020.

While schools have adapted and are constructively using the ‘NetNZ exchange’ it isn’t generating the revenue to allow NetNZ’s continued development and future innovation. Generally member schools prefer the course exchange (for 10 placed enrolments ) rather than ‘purchasing’ additional places. This preference is allowing NetNZ to extend its available courses, but does not directly contribute to the operational cost of servicing the course, nor does it provide the resourcing needed to staff subjects like Psychology and Korean (& run second classes like L2 Economics) which aren’t able to be offered by member schools through the ‘course exchange’. Until we can lift average class sizes to around 15 students (through additional school ‘purchased’ placements) long-term and scaleable sustainability is unlikely to be achieved.

For more detail information - full Financial Statements are available in the attached NetNZ Performance Report (for the year ending 31 Dec 2016)