NZGS Constitution

Constitution of the New Zealand Geographical Society, Incorporated

 

A Pdf version of the NZGS Constitution can be downloaded here.

 

1. Name and Location

1.1. The name of the Society shall be the New Zealand Geographical Society, Incorporated.

1.2. The Registered Office of the New Zealand Geographical Society, Incorporated (the 'Society') shall be in the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University, or at another such place as the Council of the Society shall from time to time decide.

1.3. The Society is registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act, 2005, with the registration number CC44394.

 

2. Aims and Objectives

The primary aims and objectives of the Society are:

 

  • to foster the study of geography in secondary and tertiary educational institutions across New Zealand;
  • to promote geographic research in tertiary educational institutions, the private sector, Crown agencies, and community organisations;
  • through its serial and any occasional publications, to make available to interested individuals and parties in New Zealand and abroad the findings of original geographic research; and
  • to respond effectively and in a timely manner to calls from the private sector, Crown agencies, and community organisations for informed submissions.

 

 

3. Membership

3.1. Membership of the Society is open to all persons interested in its aims and objectives.

3.2. There shall be four classes of membership:

 

  • Fellow – individuals who have been formally elected to this status at an Annual General Meeting of the Society on the unanimous recommendation of the Council.
  • Member – individuals who pay an annual subscription and any teachers of geography named by a subscribing secondary school or college.
  • School - Secondary schools and colleges that offer classes in geography and who pay an annual subscription.
  • Life Fellow – individuals who have been formally elected to this status at an Annual General Meeting of the Society on the unanimous recommendation of the Council.

 

3.3. A member of the Society, other than a Life Fellow, is deemed financial upon payment of the current annual subscription and any arrears.

3.4. Membership of the Society is for successive periods of twelve months and ceases when written notification is received by the Secretary of a member’s intention not to renew the subscription.

 

4. Subscriptions

4.1. The membership subscription payable annually by a Member, Fellow, or School shall be determined from time to time by the Council.

4.2. The Council may offer reduced concessionary rates for subscriptions for different membership categories to account for student members, those who may be retired or unwaged, or schools who have few students in geography classes. Members paying concessionary rates enjoy the full benefits of membership.

4.3. An organisation, institution or library may only subscribe to the New Zealand Geographer, with the subscription determined by the Publisher and payable directly to the commercial publisher, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

4.4. All subscriptions are due on the anniversary of first joining.

 

5. Privileges of Membership

5.1. A financial member of the Society shall receive copies of any newsletters (in whatever form they are published) and all issues of the New Zealand Geographer published during the year, unless they choose not to receive the journal.

5.2. A financial member of the Society shall receive a copy of the Annual Report, including the financial statement, normally four weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

5.3. A financial member of the Society may vote in person on any formal motion brought to the Annual General Meeting.

 

6. Branches

6.1. The Council may authorise the formation of a Branch of the Society anywhere in New Zealand.

6.2. Each Branch is covered by the charitable status of the Society and shall be bound by the rules of the New Zealand Geographical Society Incorporated, including the provisions of this constitution.

6.3. A Branch may enrol interested individuals in its area who for a sum determined by the Branch Committee shall receive copies of the Branch programme and newsletters; but none of the Society's publications. 

6.4. Each Branch shall be represented on the Council by one financial member of the Society.

6.5. Each year the Society through its Registered Office shall rebate an agreed proportion of the membership subscription income for individuals who reside in the area covered by a Branch.

6.6. A Branch may use the rebate from Registered Office to cover approved expenses, and each year shall provide the Council with copies of its audited balance sheet, including a statement of income and expenditure for the previous twelve months.

6.7. The rules of a Branch shall be approved by the Council of the Society, as shall any amendments to them.

6.8. A Branch shall be responsible for covering any deficit it may from time to time incur.

6.9. Branch members in good financial standing may formally move that their Branch shall be wound up. If the majority of the votes cast by Branch members is in support of that motion then all financial and other assets shall be transferred to Registered Office within one month of the decision being taken.

 

7. Elected Officers and Employees of the Society

7.1. At least three months before expiry of an incumbent’s term, the Secretary shall call for nominations of financial members to serve as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Information/Media Officer, Managing Editor, and University Academic Teachers Liaison Officer. The postgraduate student community will select a Postgraduate Student Representative to sit on the Executive Committee.

7.2. The terms of President and Vice-President shall be for two years. The outgoing President shall automatically become the Past President, and the Vice-President shall normally become the President after two years. The terms of the Secretary, Treasurer, Information/Media Officer, Managing Editor, and University Academic Teachers Liaison Officer shall be for three years, with the option of a further such term or terms at the discretion of the Council. The terms of the Postgraduate Student Representative and Past President shall be for two years. Council may coopt up to two other members, for periods of not more than two years.

7.3. The Council shall appoint the Managing Editor for the New Zealand Geographer, and that person will inform Council who will serve as Section Editors. All must be in good financial standing.

7.4. The term of an Editor shall be for three years, with the option of a further such term, as agreed by a meeting of Council or its Executive Committee.

7.5. None of the elected and appointed officers shall normally receive a fee or honorarium for their work, but the Society may contribute towards the cost of their attendance at Council and Executive Committee meetings.

7.6. The Executive Committee may employ appropriately qualified persons, on a time to time basis, at an appropriate rate, for duties as laid out in position descriptions. Any employee will be responsible to an officer of the Society (normally the Secretary or Treasurer).

7.7. If urgent action is required by the resignation of an officer, the Council or its Executive Committee may appoint a replacement to serve until the next AGM.

 

8. The Council

8.1. The Council shall pursue the aims and objectives of the Society. The Council shall also establish a roster of Branches responsible for organising and hosting the biennial conferences of the New Zealand Geographical Society.

8.2. Membership of the Council shall be:

 

  • the President
  • the Vice-President
  • the Past President
  • the Secretary
  • the Treasurer
  • the Information/Media Officer
  • the Managing Editor
  • the Chair of the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers,
  • the University Academic Teachers Liaison Officer,
  • the Postgraduate Student Representative,
  • the International Geographical Union Officer
  • one financial member from each Branch of the Society, and
  • up to two co-opted members.

 

8.3. Meetings of the Council shall be held in a place to be decided by the Executive Committee, and the quorum for a meeting shall be:

 

  • the President,
  • the Vice-President, or the Past President
  • the Secretary and/or the Treasurer
  • the Managing Editor and/or one of the appointed Editors, or the Information/Media Officer, and
  • at least three Branch representatives.

 

8.4. In the absence of the President, the meeting shall be chaired by the Vice-President, or Past President, or Secretary.

8.5. The Minutes shall normally be taken by the Secretary.

8.6. Other financial members, employees, and friends of the Society may be invited to attend a meeting of the Council and contribute to its discussions, but shall not have voting rights.

8.7. The President shall call and preside over a meeting of the Council at least once each calendar year.

8.8. Voting at a meeting of the Council shall be by voice or show of hands unless a ballot is requested by a majority of those present.

8.9. The Council may from time to time set up working parties to report to it on matters of interest to the Society.

8.10. Nominations for Awards shall be received by the Secretary and an Awards Sub-Committee shall consider these nominations and make recommendations to Council. This Sub-Committee should normally comprise of the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Chair of the Board of Geography Teachers.

8.11. On the unanimous vote of those present at the meeting, the Council can approve Life Fellowship of the Society, Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Awards, and Distinguished Service Awards.

8.12. On the majority vote of those present at the meeting, the Council can approve recommendations relating to the President’s Awards and Fellowships.

8.13. Not less than six weeks before the Council Meeting, the Secretary shall write to Branches requesting details of any item(s) that they wish discussed at the meeting and who the Branch representative for the meeting will be

8.14. Not less than six weeks before the Council meeting, the Secretary shall write to all Council officers asking for a written report on the previous year’s activities relating to the office.

8.15. Normally not less than two weeks before the agreed date for the Council Meeting, the Secretary shall send electronically copies of the agenda, reports and relevant attachments to each Council member.

 

9. The Executive Committee

9.1. The Executive Committee shall be a Standing Committee of the Council.

9.2. The Executive Committee shall conduct its business at a meeting in a place to be decided, or by tele/video or other electronic conference mode.

9.3. Membership of the Executive Committee shall be:

 

  • the President
  • the Vice-President
  • the Past President
  • the Secretary
  • the Treasurer
  • the Information/Media Officer
  • the Managing Editor
  • the Chair of the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers
  • the University Academic Teachers Liaison Officer
  • the Postgraduate Student Representative
  • the International Geographical Union Officer
  • up to two co-opted members of Council

 

9.4. The quorum for a meeting of the Executive Committee shall be:

 

  • any one of the President, or the Vice-President, or the Past President, one of whom shall chair the meeting
  • any four of the remaining members of the Executive

 

In the absence of the Secretary the Executive shall elect a meeting recorder

9.5. Voting shall be by voice or show of hands of those present, or by email or other means as appropriate.

9.6. The Minutes shall normally be taken by the Secretary, and any decisions reported to the next meeting of the Council.

9.7. The Executive Committee can make decisions binding on the Council and the Society provided they do not involve changes to the Society’s broad policies or expenditures in excess of amounts previously authorised by Council.

 

10. Administration of Property and Funds

10.1. The Secretary shall act as the chief administrative officer of the Society and keep records of all business transacted in the name of the Society.

10.2. The Treasurer shall act as accountant to the Society and each year furnish a statement of accounts duly certified by the Auditor appointed by the Council.

10.3. One member of the Society in good financial standing shall be nominated by the Council to serve as the Trustee, and election shall be by majority vote of the Council. The appointment is for three years but may be renewed by the Council for a maximum of three one-year terms. The Trustee and the Treasurer shall act as trustees of the Society’s property and funds.

10.4. All income received by or on behalf of the Society shall be deposited in an account with a trading bank approved by the Council. All cheques and withdrawal slips shall be signed by any two of the following: the employee responsible for accounting functions, Secretary, Treasurer, and Trustee.

10.5. The Society shall have the power to borrow or invest money on terms previously agreed to by the Council.

10.6. The Common Seal of the Society shall be held by the Secretary and affixed to documents in the presence of the President, or the Trustee, or the Treasurer.

10.7. Any income, benefit, or advantage must be used to advance the charitable purposes of the Society. No member of the Society, or anyone associated with a member, is allowed to take part in, or influence any decision made by the Society in respect of payments to, or on behalf of, the member or associated person of any income, benefit or advantage. Any payments made to a member of the Society, or person associated with a member, must be for goods or services that advance the charitable purpose and must be reasonable and relative to payments that would be made between unrelated parties.

10.8. If the Council recommends that the Society should be dissolved, the President shall inform each Branch of the grounds and terms, and request a formal response within six weeks. The President shall then call a special meeting of the Society to discuss the proposed dissolution and seek agreement on the terms. If the Council's recommendation is not accepted by members present at that meeting, then the Secretary shall call for nominations to fill all places on the Executive Committee and arrange a special meeting of the Society to elect a new set of officers. The current President shall chair that meeting and hand over to the newly elected President when the election results are known. If the Society is dissolved, its assets shall be donated to an educational charity operating in New Zealand. 7

 

11. Annual General Meeting

11.1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held at a place to be determined by the Council. The meeting shall normally be held not later than 30 September but should coincide where possible with a New Zealand Geographical Society conference.

11.2. The quorum shall be ten financial members, including:

 

  • the President, or the Vice-President, or Past President, one of whom shall chair the meeting
  • the Secretary, and/or the Treasurer.

 

11.3. Not less than six weeks before the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary shall write to Branches requesting details of any item(s) that they wish discussed at the meeting.

11.4. Normally not less than two weeks before the agreed date for the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary shall send electronically copies of the agenda and attachments to each financial member.

11.5. Provided that the motion does not involve changes to the Society’s Constitution or the rules of any of its standing committees, a new item of business may be formally moved and seconded at that meeting then put to the vote.

11.6. Voting shall be by voice or show of hands unless a formal ballot is requested by at least one financial member present at the meeting.

11.7. Only financial members present at an Annual General Meeting may cast a vote.

 

12. Special Meetings

12.1. A Special Meeting of the Society can be summoned by the Executive Committee in its own right or upon receipt of a petition signed by at least twenty financial members of the Society. Notice of the time, date, place and business shall be sent to financial members not less than three weeks before the proposed meeting. The quorum, meeting management, and voting procedures shall be the same as for an Annual General Meeting.

 

13. New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers

13.1. The New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers shall be a standing committee of the Society.

13.2. Through its Chair, the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers shall advise the Council on matters relating to the teaching of geography in high schools and colleges.

13.3. The Rules and any changes to existing rules of the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers shall be approved by the Council before becoming operative.

13.4. The Chair of the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers shall be elected by that body to serve for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal for a further two years.

 

14. The Editorial Board

14.1. The Editorial Board shall be a standing committee of the Society and consist of the Managing Editor and a team of Editors.

14.2. The Managing Editor shall advise the Council on matters relating to the New Zealand Geographer and any of the Society's occasional publications.

14.3. The Rules, and any changes to existing rules, of the Editorial Board, shall be approved by the Council before becoming operative.

 

15. Amendments to the Constitution

15.1. Any five financial members of the New Zealand Geographical Society – one to move and four to second – can formally propose amendment(s) to this constitution.

15.2. Notice of any proposed amendment(s) shall be sent by the Secretary to financial members not less than four weeks before an Annual General Meeting.

15.3. Voting on a formally proposed amendment shall be by voice or show of hands of those present at the Annual General Meeting.

15.4. Any agreed amendment(s) shall take effect immediately.