The Constitution of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated)
(as amended at the inaugural meeting of 22 February 2001)
The name of the society will be Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated).
2. Aims and Objects
Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) seeks to promote respect for children and youth and their rights. In order to do this it will:
Promote understanding and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Promote action on the recommendations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Provide reports from non-governmental organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Promote opportunities for the voice and participation of children and youth.
Anything else that will further these aims.
The values that underpin Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa are respect for all people, respect for Te Tiriti O Waitangi, and respect for the rights of children and youth.
Any child, youth, adult, family, non-governmental organisation or group, who supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, supports Te Tiriti O Waitangi, and supports the aims, objects and values of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated), is entitled to become a member. Each member shall have one vote.
Members must complete a membership application and pay the membership subscription as set at the General Meeting, and will become a member seven days after lodging the application and membership subscription with the Secretary.
Membership shall continue until the member gives written notice of resignation to the Secretary, fails to pay the membership subscription within one month of a request to pay any membership subscription then due, or is removed by the Committee.
A member may be removed by the Committee only after having been given two weeks’ written notice of the reasons for removal and been given the opportunity within the two week period to make written representations to the Committee.
4. Organisation and Officers
The actions and processes of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) will respect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Te Tiriti O Waitangi.
A Committee together with its elected officers will manage the affairs of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated).
The Committee and Officers will be elected at an Annual General Meeting.
Annual General Meetings will be held each year within 3 months of the end of each financial year. Members will be given at least three weeks’ written notice of Annual General Meetings. The quorum for an Annual General Meeting will be eleven members attending.
Special General Meetings may be held for urgent or important business that cannot wait for the next Annual General Meeting. Special General Meetings may be called by the Committee, or if twelve or more members tell the Secretary in writing the reasons for asking for a Special General Meeting, the Secretary will call a Special General Meeting within two weeks of receiving the request. Members will be given at least three weeks’ written notice of Special General Meetings. The quorum for a Special General meeting will be eleven members attending. If the Special General Meeting is being held at the request of twelve or more members, then the quorum will include at least six of those who have made the request.
Ordinary Meetings of members will be open to all members. The quorum for Ordinary Meetings will be seven members.
Annual General Meetings, Special General Meetings, and Ordinary Meetings will reach decisions by consensus, but failing consensus, by a vote of those present. Postal voting and proxy voting will be allowed. Proxy voting (where a member can vote on behalf of another member) shall be in writing and signed by the member who cannot attend. Other voting at Meetings will be by voices or a show of hands.
The Committee will consist of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and three or more Committee members.
The Chairperson will chair meetings of the Committee and membership (or appoint an alternative chairperson), and provide an Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting. The Secretary will send out notices of General meetings, keep minutes of meetings, keep a register of the members of current members (their name, address, occupation if applicable, and the date they became a member), and keep the Common Seal of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated). The Treasurer will be responsible for keeping proper financial records, banking all money received, paying all accounts, preparing annual accounts, and will provide an Annual Financial Report to the Annual General Meeting and file the annual accounts with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.
In the event of death, resignation, incapacity, or failure to attend three Committee meetings in a row without good reason, the Committee may declare any office vacant and appoint a substitute officer until the next Annual General Meeting.
The Committee will meet at least five times a year. The Committee may meet in person, by teleconference, by email discussion, or in other ways. The Committee will reach decisions by consensus, but failing consensus, by a vote of those present. The quorum for Committee meetings will be four members.
The Committee may co-opt members, establish sub-committees and working groups, and may establish branches of six or more members to further the aims and objects.
5. Funds and Contracts
The income and assets of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) are to be used solely to further its aims and objects.
Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) may hold funds and assets, may invest funds, may employ staff, advisors and other people, may rent or lease property, and may enter into contracts in order to further its aims and objects. Any surplus funds are to be kept in secure investments.
Funds received by Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) shall be recorded and paid into its bank account(s). The accounts will be audited every year.
The financial year will be 1 July to 30 June.
No income or assets are to be paid or transferred to any member, employee or officer, except as payment of reasonable expenses or reasonable remuneration for services, and as authorised by the Committee. Cheques and withdrawals shall require the signature of two members of the Committee.
The Committee will authorise use of the Common Seal of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated). When the Common Seal is used, two members of the Committee shall sign it.
6. Alterations to the Constitution
A two-thirds majority at an Annual or Special General Meeting may make alterations to the Constitution. Members shall receive at least three weeks written notice of proposed changes. No alterations or additions shall be made which are in conflict with the aims and objects of Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) or its charitable nature.
Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (Incorporated) may be wound up if two thirds of the members voting at an Annual or Special General Meeting pass a resolution to wind up, and if this is confirmed by two thirds of the members voting at a second Special General Meeting held one to three months later. On winding up, any surplus assets will be distributed to other charitable organisations within Aotearoa New Zealand with similar aims and objects, as decided at the second Special General Meeting.