Meeting Disturbances and Emergencies

Two personal experiences as a background In 2014, a meeting of an organisation that had abandoned its previous meeting because of disorder was debating whether to appoint me as an independent chairman when one of those opposing my appointment had a heart attack, and the meeting was temporarily (but rather informally) adjourned for some 20 […]

Meeting Procedure

Boring meeting procedure? Mention “meeting procedure” and the almost universal reaction is “Boring!!!”  A meeting that is a disorganised rambling affair or one punctuated by points of order about meeting processes and procedural motions can, indeed, be boring.  If the alternative is the frustration experienced in a badly run meeting (where time is wasted and […]

Meetings of Bodies Corporate

Unit Titles Act 2010 One of my memorable 2014 engagements was to act an independent chair of a disorderly body corporate, and this required careful consideration of the Unit Titles Act 2010 and its 2011 Regulations.  Despite being relatively recently enacted (and amended) the Act and Regulations are strangely deficient in directing how body corporate […]

Proxies at Meetings

What is a “proxy”?  Just as there is often confusion about the quorum for meetings, discussed in another articleLINK, so, too, there is often confusion about proxies at meetings. The first point to note is that, unless expressly permitted by an organisation’s constitution, members must be present at a meeting in person to exercise their […]

The Quorum for Meetings

There are often misunderstandings about the rules which apply to the quorum for a meeting (the minimum number of members that must be present for a “lawful” meeting). General principles As it may be difficult to attract a majority of members to the meetings of some organisations, the quorum is commonly set at a fraction […]

Whose meeting is it anyway?

It is basic to the concept any formal meeting of a society or trust (and of other formal bodies such as local authorities and school boards of trustees) that democratic processes should and will be followed.  That statement it has a number of implications: Domination of the meeting by an authoritarian chairperson or by aggressive […]

What should supplement a constitution?

In my article, “Responsibilities of those in Governance,LINK” I mention the need for those governing a community organisation to be aware of what is in the organisation’s “constitutional documentation, including any policy, strategic and regulatory documents.”  Many trust deeds and society rules are cluttered with material that need not be there, but should be in […]

What should a Society’s Rules cover?

Some of what should be in a society’s rules is required by law, but those requirements are (under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and Charitable Trusts Act 1957) very basic, and inadequate to provide the framework for good governance and good relationships between a society and its members and between the members themselves.  The new […]

Types of Society

Issues The first interview with people wanting to form a society is usually interesting, as there are issues to be discussed they have never thought of.  Generally, I try to avoid getting into details immediately, as I think it is important to understand what may be required by exploring: What the organisation is already doing […]

Third Party Approval to Change Constitutions

What is the issue?  In 2011, a reader of my articles raised an issue for consideration in this series of articles, saying: Over the years I have had cause to read many constitutional documents, perhaps more carefully than some of the officers or members of the societies concerned.  Frequently there is a clause relating to […]