THE CONSTITUTION OF
AUCKLAND HOME EDUCATORS INCORPORATED
1. MISSION STATEMENT
- The Auckland region encompasses a wide variety of home educating families and interest groups, every one of which has the right to self-determination to the maximum extent permitted by law.
Auckland Home Educators Incorporated recognises this autonomy as well as the need to foster a sense of community by empowering home educators to support each other through communication, information and activities.
2. TITLE AND DEFINITIONS
- The name of the organisation is ‘Auckland Home Educators Incorporated’, hereafter referred to in this document as ‘AHE’.
- The ‘Administration Team’ means, and comprises, the persons referred to in Clause 11 of this document.
- ‘Home educating’ as used in this document refers to the situation where a parent or guardian has accepted responsibility for the education of one or more of their children, who have an exemption under Section 21 of the Education Act 1989, or who are not attending school in anticipation of receiving such an exemption.
- An individual Administration Team may refer to the overseer of the Administration Team as ‘Director’, ‘Co-ordinator’, ‘Facilitator’, ‘Chairperson’, or such other title as is selected. In this document this role shall be referred to as that of ‘Facilitator’.
3. OBJECTIVES OF AUCKLAND HOME EDUCATORS INCORPORATED
- To place emphasis on offering support and information to all parents and guardians in the Auckland region actively educating their children under Section 21 of the Education Act 1989.
- To make representation relevant to home education on behalf of AHE’s membership to maintain and improve present conditions for home educating.
- To provide members with basic information regarding legal and administrative requirements to educate their children at home.
- To establish a network of home educating families and support groups in the Auckland region and beyond, providing an avenue for communication.
- To encourage positive local support for home educators of all creeds and philosophies. This requires that AHE members accept each other’s differences and focus on their common ground.
- To provide access to relevant information for home educators.
- To provide extension to parent and child education through such means as workshops, seminars and conferences.
- To provide home educating families the opportunity for social interaction from time to time.
- To acquire and provide efficient and ethical management of financial and other assets of AHE as the Administration Team deems relevant to these objectives.
- The above objectives are limited to activities within Aotearoa/New Zealand.
- Any individual or family sympathetic to the aims and objectives of AHE may apply to join AHE as a member.
- Application for membership shall be made on the approved Application for Membership Form (as amended from time to time), completed in full and sent accompanied by the current membership fee to the Membership Secretary or The applicant shall be deemed to have read and agreed to the Objectives of AHE.
- The Administration Team will accept any application for membership if Clauses 4(a) and 4(b) have been complied with.
- A register of members shall be maintained by the Membership Secretary in accordance with the provisions of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the Privacy Act 1993.
- Members shall supply details of their name and contact details and any other relevant information reasonably requested from time to time. All other information is optional.
- Members may choose not to be listed in the Members’ Directory.
- It is the responsibility of members to keep the office of AHE informed of their current contact details.
- Membership fees will be determined at any Annual General Meeting.
- Any member may resign their membership by giving oral or written notice to the Membership The Membership Secretary shall maintain a written record of any resignation. Membership shall cease upon resignation.
- Members who have failed to pay outstanding membership fees by the end of the third month after their renewal date shall be deemed to have resigned. If a member chooses to apply to re-join after this date, a new membership fee shall apply.
- No member shall be eligible to participate in the decision-making process at any meeting unless he or she is a current financial member, except as detailed in Clause 5(d) – (f).
5. EXPULSION OF A MEMBER
- A member may be expelled for conduct that is contrary to the objectives of AHE and/or is in serious breach of its constitution.
- The Administration Team may at any time pass a resolution that written notice be given to a member setting out the conduct complained of. Within 14 days the member may reply in writing to the Secretary, giving explanation of such conduct.
- If no such written explanation is received or, after consideration of the written explanation, the Administration Team may pass a resolution proposing the member be expelled.
- The Secretary shall call a Special General Meeting to consider the matter and at the same time send written notice to the member, which shall include notice of a mutually agreed time and place for the Special General Meeting. The member may bring support people/advocates to the meeting. Notwithstanding Clause 4(h), such support people/advocates may attend the relevant Special General Meeting but their participation in such meeting shall not extend to the right to vote.
- Particulars of the conduct shall be put to the meeting and the member, and the member’s support people/advocates, shall be given a fair right of reply and participation in the consideration of the matter.
- After consideration by the meeting it must determine the outcome by consensus (if possible) but if not, then by a four-fifths majority (if possible) of members present. Such outcome may include expulsion of the member, to have the matter dropped, or any other decision considered appropriate. If neither a consensus decision nor a four-fifths majority decision is reached then by default the member shall not be expelled.
6. APPEAL OF EXPULSION
- In the event of expulsion a member may, within 14 days of being notified of the decision, appeal by notice in writing to the Secretary. Within 30 days of such an appeal a meeting of the Administration Team shall be convened at which the appellant and support people/advocates can be heard. Written notice shall be sent to the appellant as to a mutually agreed time and place for such a meeting.
- The matter shall be determined by a consensus decision of the Administration Team, or failing that, by a four-fifths majority of those members of the Administration Team present. If neither a consensus decision nor a four-fifths majority decision is reached then by default the member shall not be expelled.
- If the appeal is successful, the Administration Team may then call another Special General Meeting as described in Clauses 5 (d) – (f). The decision of this meeting shall be final.
7. THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- The Annual General Meeting shall be held annually, (not being more than 15 months since the last preceding Annual General Meeting, and no later than three months since commencement of a new financial year) in such place as the Administration Team shall determine.
- The Secretary shall give at least 35 days’ notice of the date, time and place of the Annual General Meeting to all members. The notice shall include a call for resolutions to be voted on, call for nominations for office, and other items of business to be raised.
- Members who have items to be placed on the agenda or who wish to nominate people for the Administration Team must send written notice to the Secretary at least 21 days prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting.
- The Secretary shall send an agenda to all members at least 14 days prior to the Annual General Meeting specifying the particular nature of any known business intended to be transacted at the meeting, including any resolutions proposed.
- The quorum for an Annual General Meeting shall be five financial members, at least three of whom shall be members of the Administration Team, including at least one of the following: the Facilitator, Secretary or
If no quorum is reached the Annual General Meeting may be adjourned to any time not exceeding 30 days thereafter; the new date and the meeting venue to be fixed by the Administration Team.
- The Annual General Meeting shall be facilitated by a member of the Administration Team, who shall have no casting vote.
- It is at the Annual General Meeting and at Special General Meetings that decisions regarding the overall planning and development of AHE are made.
- Decision-making shall be by consensus. Every reasonable effort shall be made to facilitate this process. In the event that consensus cannot be reached a decision shall be made by a four-fifths majority of voting members. In this case voting shall be as directed by the facilitator of the meeting. If neither a consensus decision nor a four-fifths majority decision is reached then by default the result of a proposed resolution shall be that the outcome most likely to give effect to the status quo (in the opinion of the majority of those eligible to vote at the meeting) shall prevail.
- In the case of a member being unable to attend the Annual General Meeting a proxy vote may be registered with the Secretary by the day preceding the date of the meeting.
8. BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- To confirm the minutes of the last Annual General Meeting.
- To receive from the Administration Team a report of the proceedings and a statement of accounts of the preceding year.
- To appoint an auditor as may be deemed necessary by those attending the Annual General Meeting. (This is general practice but not a requirement of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.)
- To elect the Administration Team for the ensuing year. If insufficient nominations have been received by the Secretary prior to the Annual General Meeting, nominations may be received from the floor. Such nominations may be given verbally by any member, accepted by the nominee, and seconded by any other member in the same manner.
- To discuss the items on the agenda and to consider any resolutions.
9. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS
- The Administration Team may convene a Special General Meeting whenever it is deemed necessary.
- The Administration Team must convene (within a reasonable period of time) a Special General Meeting upon requisition in writing to the Secretary by at least ten financial members.
- The Secretary shall give at least 21 days’ notice of such a Special General Meeting to all members.
- The notice shall include an agenda specifying the particular business to be considered at the Special General Meeting and only that business shall be considered at the meeting.
- The quorum for a Special General Meeting shall be five financial members, at least three of whom shall be members of the Administration Team, including at least one of the following: the Facilitator, Secretary or
If no quorum is reached the Special General Meeting may be adjourned to any time not exceeding 30 days thereafter; the new date to be fixed by the Administration Team.
- The meeting shall be facilitated by a member of the Administration Team, who shall have no casting vote.
- Decision-making shall be by consensus to the maximum extent possible. Every reasonable effort shall be made to facilitate this process. In the event that consensus cannot be reached a decision shall be made by a four-fifths majority of voting members. In this case voting shall be as directed by the facilitator of the meeting. If neither a consensus decision nor a four-fifths majority decision is reached then by default the result of a proposed resolution shall be that the outcome most likely to give effect to the status quo (in the opinion of the majority of those eligible to vote at the meeting) shall prevail.
- In the case of a member being unable to attend the Special General Meeting a proxy vote may be registered with the Secretary by the day preceding the date of the meeting.
10. THE ADMINISTRATION TEAM
- It is preferable, but not required, that any member of the Administration Team has been a financial member of AHE for at least twelve continuous months immediately preceding the Annual General Meeting.
- A minimum of five members shall be elected to the Administration Team at the Annual General Meeting.
- AHE recognises the benefits of emergent leadership by encouraging members of the Administration Team to impart knowledge gained through experience to others, and in so doing, to limit the term of their office as appropriate.
- It is preferable, but not required, that the Facilitator has previously served on the Administration Team to ensure familiarity with the running of the organisation.
11. THE OFFICERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION TEAM
- The officers of the Administration Team of AHE must include the Facilitator, Secretary, Treasurer and any other positions deemed necessary by AHE at any Annual General Meeting.
- The above positions may be combined by no less than five individuals, to ensure the efficient day-to-day running of AHE.
- Job descriptions for the above positions will be made available to members as required.
12. THE FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION TEAM
- To ensure that the objectives and rules of AHE are adhered to and that the organisation is run in an ethical way.
- To organise all general meetings.
- To be responsible for carrying through decisions made at all general meetings.
- To ensure proper accounts of AHE are kept.
- To authorise all payments and investments.
- To enter into such agreements and contracts as are reasonably required for AHE to fulfil its objectives from time to time.
- To fill any vacancies of officers that may arise during the year or to delegate any specific task to members.
- Such other functions as the Administration Team may reasonably decide from time to time.
13. ADMINISTRATION TEAM MEETINGS
- Meetings of the Administration Team are open to all AHE members to attend as observers.
- Administration Team meetings shall be held monthly or as deemed reasonably necessary by the Administration Team. If two or more members of the Administration Team believe a special meeting to be reasonably necessary, then at least 24 hours’ notice must be given to all members of the Administration Team before such meeting is held.
- The quorum for all Administration Team meetings shall be three elected officers, to include at least one of the following: the Facilitator, Secretary or Treasurer.
- The Administration Team shall strive to seek consensus. In the event that consensus cannot be reached then a decision shall be made by a four-fifths majority of those members of the Administration Team present at any meeting. If neither a consensus decision nor a four-fifths majority decision is reached then by default the result of a proposed resolution shall be that the outcome most likely to give effect to the status quo (in the opinion of the majority of those eligible to vote at the meeting) shall prevail.
- The financial year of AHE shall be from 1st July to 30th June or such other period as may be determined by any Annual General Meeting.
- The Treasurer shall open, maintain and operate such bank accounts as the Administration Team authorise, maintain a deposit and cheque book as necessary, and keep appropriate accounts.
- The Treasurer shall issue receipts, when requested, for payments received and shall make payments by cheque or Internet banking on presentation of a receipt or an invoice as authorised by the Administration Team.
- On approval for payment by the Administration Team all cheques (where used) shall be signed or endorsed in such manner as the Administration Team may from time to time direct, but never with less than two signatures; the Treasurer or the Facilitator and one other.
- The Treasurer shall prepare for the Annual General Meeting each year an annual financial report including a balance sheet and a statement of income and expenditure.
- The accounts of AHE shall be audited as deemed necessary by any Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting shall appoint an auditor provided that he/she is not a member of AHE. The Administration Team may also appoint an auditor as necessary in the case of resignation of the Treasurer between Annual General Meetings.
15. POWERS OF AUCKLAND HOME EDUCATORS INCORPORATED
- AHE has all the powers of a natural person so long as it exercises those powers in good faith and to further its These powers include the investment of the funds of AHE and the borrowing of money.
- The power of borrowing money may only be exercised by AHE at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose.
16. CHARITABLE STATUS AND PRIVATE PROFIT
- AHE shall not engage in any activities involving private pecuniary profit for its members.
- Nothing shall prevent AHE from making reimbursements, paying remuneration or other benefits or advantages of whatever nature to a member. However, they must be reasonable and not exceed what would be normal in the circumstances and provided that the member is not able, by virtue of their capacity as a member, to materially influence in any way the amount or nature of the reimbursement, remuneration, or other benefit.
17. THE REGISTERED OFFICE
- The registered office of AHE shall be in such place as the Administrative Team may from time to time decide. Such decision shall be notified to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.
18. THE COMMON SEAL
- The Common Seal of AHE shall be kept in the custody of the Secretary.
- When required, the Common Seal shall be affixed to any document following a resolution of the Administration Team. The Secretary and one other member of the Administration Team must sign their names alongside the AHE seal whenever it is used.
19. WINDING UP OF AUCKLAND HOME EDUCATORS INCORPORATED
- AHE may be wound up by a consensus decision or failing that a simple majority of members entitled to vote at a Special General Meeting convened for that purpose.
- The resolution shall be confirmed at a subsequent Special General Meeting held not earlier than 30 days after the date on which the resolution was passed.
- If a decision is made to wind up or dissolve the organisation and any property remains after the settlement of the organisation’s debts and liabilities, that property must be given or transferred to another organisation or organisations with a similar charitable purpose or purposes, as defined in Section 5(1) of the Charities Act 2005. Such other organisation(s) are to be decided by the membership at the final Special General Meeting.
- In no circumstances will the surplus assets be distributed either directly or indirectly to members.
20. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
- This constitution may be altered, added to or rescinded at any Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting, provided that at least 21 days’ notice of the proposed change has been given to all financial members.
- No addition or alteration or rescission of the Constitution shall be approved if it affects in any way the charitable nature of the objectives, or Clause 16 (being the “personal benefits” provision) or Clause 19 (being the “winding up” clause).