Rules of Wellington Home Education Network Incorporated
incorporating changes passed 23 September 1997 and 21 September 2009
1 TITLE AND DEFINITIONS
1.1 The name of the Society is “Wellington Home Education Network Incorporated” ( “the Association”).
1.2 “Wellington Region” as used in these rules refers to the area covered for the time being by the Wellington Regional Council.
1.3 “Home educate and “Home education” as used in these rules refer to the situation where a parent or guardian has accepted responsibility for the education of one or more of their children who is not enrolled in school. That is, those who have an exemption under section 21 of the Education Act 1989, or whose children are not attending school in anticipation of receiving an exemption under section 21 of the Education Act 1989.
2.OBJECTS OF THE ASSOCIATION
2.1 To promote home education as a positive educational choice for the benefit of the public of the Wellington Region;
2.2 To educate and assist parents who home educate or who are considering home educating in the Wellington Region by providing support including the provision of, but not limited to, newsletters, resource libraries,directories, outings, meetings, workshops, seminars and other activities which provide social, intellectual, and emotional support to members.
2.3 To recognise the Association was established to encourage and to maintain a cooperative and supportive group which recognises and values the diversity in our membership. This requires that all members accept each other and focus and work together on common ground.
2.4 To encourage and assist home educating parents to foster the fullest development of their children’s potential;
2.5 To support home educators from other areas and also home educators in the Wellington Region who do not join the Association, without adversely affecting the support of Full members;
2.6 To network with other home education groups which are open to all who wish to join;
2.7 To provide members with basic information to home educate their children lawfully. The Association does not provide legal or advocacy services;
2.8 To acquire and manage, efficiently and ethically, financial and other assets as the administrators deem relevant to these objects;
2.9 To do any other act which the administrators of the Association deem relevant to these objects.
3 MEMBERSHIP OF THE ASSOCIATION
3.1 Membership of the Association shall consist of two classes: Full and Associate. People who send a completed application form with the relevant fee will be accepted as members in the appropriate class, subject to confirmation of acceptance by the administrators. The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 requires that all members be enrolled in the register of members. In accordance with privacy laws, members may request that some or all information provided by them on joining the Association not be included in membership lists circulated to members. Members who do not wish to have any details circulated will not
receive membership details of other members.
3.1.1 Full memberships are family memberships for families in the Wellington Region with children who have paid the appropriate fee and who home educate or who intend to home educate in the future Each family will have one vote to be exercised by the parent or guardian with principal responsibility for home education within the family except where the principal home educator’s spouse or partner is an administrator in which case each administrator shall have one vote. Where the principal home educator cannot attend a meeting, their spouse or partner is automatically deemed to have a proxy on behalf the family.
3.1.2 Associate members include those not residing in the Wellington Region, former home schooled students, and those who do not wish to be Full members. Associate members may attend Association activities, access membership details, receive communications from the Association and use the Association’s resources at the discretion of the administrators. In exercising this discretion the administrators should ensure Full members have first claim on the Association’s resources. Associate members have no voting rights.
3.2 Application for membership shall be made on the Association’s application form completed in full and sent, with the applicable membership fee, to the Membership Secretary. In making application, the applicant shall be deemed to have agreed to be bound by the objects and rules of the Association for the duration of their membership.
4 CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP
4.1 If a member wishes to cease being a member, he or she shall give notice to the Membership Secretary. If a member fails to pay their subscription, their membership shall lapse within two months, unless arrangements with the Membership Secretary or their appointed representative. Such arrangements must be approved by the administrators in accordance with paragraph 11.9.1 below.
4.2 The administrators may award an honorary membership to any person who has rendered outstanding services to the Association, or who for any other reason is deemed worthy of that particular recognition, subject to ratification at the next annual general meeting of the Association. Honorary members shall not be liable for payment of an annual subscription however honorary members may be required to meet the cost of additional items mentioned in paragraph 11.5 below. There shall be not more than three honorary members at one time. Honorary members have no voting rights.
5 ALTERATION OF RULES
5.1 Subject to section 21 of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, these rules or any part of them may be altered, added to or rescinded by a resolution passed by a majority of not less than three fourths of the members as, being entitled to do so, vote in person, by postal ballot or by proxy at the general meeting of which notice specifying the intention to propose the resolution has been duly given.
5.2 Any motion that proposes a change to the rules of the Association shall be circulated to all members not less than thirty (30) days prior to the general meeting at which the motion will be voted upon.
6 GENERAL MEETINGS
6.1 A general meeting of the Association shall be held once in every calendar year at such time (not being more than fifteen months since the last preceding general meeting or later than three months since the commencement of a new financial year) and place as the administrators shall determine. This meeting shall be called the annual general meeting. All other general meetings shall be called special general meetings.
6.2 Special general meetings may be convened at any time by the coordinator under the direction of the administrators and shall be convened on the requisition of a simple majority of the administrators or of the Full members of the Association.
6.3 Thirty (30) days notice of an annual general meeting shall be given to members and such notice shall specify the particular nature of any known business intended to be transacted at any such meeting.
6.4 Fourteen (14) days notice of a special general meeting shall be given to members and such notice shall specify the particular nature of any known business intended to be transacted at any such meeting.
6.5 At any general meeting the chair shall be taken by the coordinator, or in his or her absence by a person nominated from administrators by the members present at the meeting.
6.6 The voting at general meetings shall be taken as the chair shall direct, but any member present may demand a poll which shall be immediately taken a manner determined by the chair, providing always for the counting of members’ postal votes and proxies, and the result declared by the chair. The chair shall have a casting vote in case of equality of votes.
6.7 The business of the annual general meeting shall be:
6.7.1 To receive the annual financial statements of the Association;
6.7.2To transact business relating to election of officers;
6.7.3 To transact business relating to rule changes of which notice in writing has been given to the Secretary/ Treasurer at least forty (42) days prior to the date of the meeting and to the members at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting;
6.7.4 To transact any other business of which notice in writing has been given to the Secretary/Treasurer at least forty-two (42) days prior to the date of the meeting and to the members at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting;
6.7.5 Any other matters arising to be taken at the discretion of the meeting.
6.8 No business shall be transacted at any general meeting unless the lesser of ten percent of, or ten (10), Full members of the Association (or their proxies) including one of the Coordinator, Secretary / Treasurer, and one other administrator, are personally present at the commencement of such business.
7 METHODS OF VOTING
7.1 Voting at general meetings shall be by any one of the following methods:
7.1.1 By attending in person and voting using the method directed by the chair;
7.1.2 By postal or email vote on the appropriate form issued by the Association from time to time for that particular purpose providing that any such postal or email vote shall be signed and returned to the Secretary by the day preceding the date of the general meeting.
7.1.3 By proxy in the case of a member unable to attend the general meeting. Except as provided in paragraph 3.1.1, a proxy vote must be registered with the secretary by post or email before the general meeting at which it is proposed to be used. To be valid an instrument appointing a proxy shall be signed by the member and shall include the following declaration: “I / We being a financial member of Wellington Home Education Network Incorporated do hereby appoint as my / our proxy to vote on my / our behalf as instructed / at will at the annual / special general meeting of the Association to be held on the_______ day of _____, at __________or at any adjournment thereof. I enclose a copy of all specific instructions given to my proxy holder, who is …………………………………………………………
8 OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
8.1 Between five and seven administrators shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
Subsequently the Administrators shall elect four office holders as follows:
8.1.1 Coordinator, who shall preside over all meetings of the Association, including those held by the administrators, and shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of votes;
8.1.2 Secretary who shall summon and attend all meetings and keep minutes of the proceedings, record attendance at meetings, conduct correspondence as directed by the administrators, arrange distribution of communications to members.
8.1.3 Treasurer who shall bank all monies payable to the Association to the credit of the Association’s bank account, disburse the monies of the Association under authority of the administrators, and keep proper accounts of the financial affairs of the Association. He or she shall report to the administrators on the state of the Association’s finances, and shall furnish to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies the annual statement required by the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. He or she shall immediately after the close of each financial year prepare and submit the statements of financial results and financial position, and present the same to the annual general meeting and generally perform such duties and functions as shall from time to time devolve upon him or her. He or she shall hold the Common Seal;
8.1.4 Membership Secretary, who shall receive and process all applications for membership of the Association, keep a register of members and provide membership information as required by law and as requested by the administrators; and
8.2 To qualify for election as an administrator of the Association as defined above, a person must be a Full member (or their partner or spouse) who has been home educating for at least twelve continuous months immediately preceding an annual general meeting or has been home educated themselves, and must not be an undischarged bankrupt, nor have
any criminal convictions (except with the prior approval of the administrators).
8.3 Members who wish to be elected as administrators must have a Full member of the association nominate them in writing. They must accept the nomination on the same form in writing, and deliver it to the secretary prior to the annual general meeting.
8.4 The administrators shall have the authority to appoint a member to fill any vacancy until the next annual general meeting, and to delegate specific tasks to members.
8.5 The administrators are charged with ensuring that the objects and rules of the Association are adhered to, and that Association is run in an ethical way.
9 MEETINGS OF ADMINISTRATORS
9.1 It is the duty of the administrators generally to conduct the affairs of the Association, to keep usual and proper and current books of account and other records of the business of the Association, to notify members of intended meetings and the business to be transacted thereat, and to prepare and submit to the annual general meeting financial statements for
the preceding year. Meetings of the administrators may be convened, with the agreement of two other administrators, at such times and places as the Coordinator, or in the case of his or her absence, inability or refusal, the Secretary/Treasurer shall appoint.
9.2 The quorum necessary for the transaction of the business of the administrators shall be three (3) including at least one of the Coordinator, Membership Secretary, or Secretary/Treasurer.
9.3 The Coordinator shall preside at every meeting of the administrators, or if he or she is not present within twenty minutes after the time appointed for the holding of the meeting, the administrators present shall choose a member to be acting chair for that meeting
.9.4 The administrators may delegate any of its powers to committees consisting of such members of its body as it thinks fit and any committee so formed shall, in the exercise of the powers so delegated, conform to any regulations that may be imposed upon it by the administrators.
9.5 Members of the Association may attend meetings of the administrators as observers. The administrators may conduct any or all of their business in committee.
10 COMMON SEAL
10.1 The common seal of the Association shall be held by the Secretary/Treasurer who shall be responsible for the safe custody and control thereof.10.2 Whenever the common seal is required to be fixed to any document or other instrument, the seal shall be affixed pursuant to a resolution of the administrators and in the presence of the Coordinator or Secretary/Treasurer and any one other administrator (and the persons so affixing the seal shall at the same time sign the document to which the seal is affixed).
11.1 The financial year shall run from 1 July to 30 June.
11.2 The Association may seek to raise funds in any way which is not inconsistent with its objects.
11.3 Each member shall pay to the Association an annual subscription fee as from time to time may be determined by the administrators. New members shall also pay a joining fee as from time to time may be determined by the administrators.
11.4 Members joining part-way through a year will pay the joining fee. The subscription fee will be adjusted for the current and subsequent period remaining in the financial year at the rate determined by the administrators. Over-payments shall be offset against the following year’s fees, or refunded at the member’s request.
11.5 Membership fees cover regular communications to members and provision of a library. Additional services such as annual or special events, or additional publications, may be made available from time to time.
11.6 No member shall be eligible to vote at any meeting by any means, or to use any resources of the Association, unless he or she shall be a current financial or honorary member.
11.7.If a member falls behind in payment of their fees, the Secretary/Treasurer or their appointed representative shall make reasonable effort to contact the member. If no contact has been established after two months, the member shall be removed from the register of members.
11.8 When an arrangement to pay is not honoured, membership shall be suspended after two weeks. After that time the member shall be removed from the register of members. They will be subject to the joining fee if they reapply for membership after a
period of six months.
11.9 If the member cannot afford to pay their fees, they may remain on the list but will not receive any mail from the Association, and may not vote, except when paragraph 11.9.1 below is invoked.
11.9.1 Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, members who, after at least one full year of membership, are unable, due to hardship, to pay their fees when they are due, may apply to the secretary for an extension of time. With the approval of the coordinator, the secretary may grant an extension of the payment deadline. In cases of extreme hardship where the member has demonstrated their commitment to the Association, the administrators may agree to remit all or part of the debt.
11.10 All cheques shall be signed or endorsed in such manner as the administrators may from time to time direct, but never with less than two signatories.
11.11 The Association shall deliver annually to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies (pursuant to section 23 of the Incorporated Societies Act1908) in such form and at such time as is required by the Act a statement containing the following particulars;
11.11.1 the income and expenditure of the Association during any financial years;
11.11.2 the assets and liabilities of the Association at the close of any financial years;
11.11.3 all mortgages charges and securities of any description affecting any of the property of the Association at the close of any financial year/s. The statement shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by the Secretary/Treasurer or in his or her absence another administrator authorised by the administrators, to the effect that the statement has been submitted to and approved by the members of the Association at a general meeting.
12 NO PRIVATE PECUNIARY PROFIT
12.1Any income, benefit, or advantage received by the Association must be used to advance the objects of the Association.
12.2 No member of the Association or anyone associated with a member,may take part in, or influence any decision made by the Association in respect of payments to, or on behalf of, the member or associated person of any income, benefit, or advantage.
12.3 Any payments made to a member of the Association or person associated with a member, must be for goods or services that advance the objects of the Association and must be reasonable and relative to payments that would be made between unrelated parties.
13 WINDING UP
13.1 The Association may be wound up voluntarily if the Association at a general meeting of its members passes a resolution requiring the Association so to be wound up and the resolution is confirmed at a subsequent general meeting called together for that purpose and held not earlier than sixty (60) days after the date on which the resolution so to be confirmed was passed.
13.2 If after the winding up or dissolution of the Association there remain after the satisfaction of all costs and debts and liabilities any property or assets whatsoever, the same shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to some other charitable organisation or organisations having objects similar to the objects of the Association and which shall prohibit the distribution of its income or their income and property among its or their members to an extent at least as great as is imposed on this Association. Such charitable organisation or organisations shall be determined by the members of the Association at or before the time of dissolution, or in default thereof by a judge of the High Court of New Zealand, or in the absence of any such charitable organisation, then to such public charity or public charities as the said Judge may determine.
14.1 Every notice to be given to any member pursuant to any of these rules shall be deemed to be sufficiently given to and served if posted,delivered or emailed to the address or email address provided by the member to the Association appearing in the Association’s register of members.
14.2 Members who communicate with the media, politicians and other interested parties must always make it clear they do not represent the Association. Only the Coordinator, or his or her appointed delegate from the administrators may represent the Association to third parties.
14.3 Members dealing with third parties shall make every effort to ensure that our Association is identified correctly, to avoid confusion with any other home education group, and to ensure that people understand the Association’s objects relate to support of home educators in the Wellington Region.
15 CONDUCT CONTRARY TO THE OBJECTS OF THE ASSOCIATION
15.1 If the conduct of any member shall be reported to the administrators as being contrary to the objects of the Association, or detrimental to home education, the matter shall be determined in a manner that is consistent with the objects and well-being of Association after due reference to the member involved. Usually two administrators will attempt to resolve the issue together with the member. If this meeting fails, the member shall be informed of the next steps planned, with explanation, in writing, within seven days of any such decision.
15.2 In the event that the administrators determine to expel the member, the member may, within fourteen days of being notified of the decision, appeal by notice in writing to the secretary. Within thirty (30) days of such appeal, a meeting of the administrators shall be convened at which the appellant can be heard and the matter determined by a simple majority of those voting. In the event that the appellant be an administrator, he or she shall have no right to vote.
16 OTHER MATTERS
16.1 If any other matter shall arise which is not or which in the opinion of the administrators is not provided for by or under these rules the same shall be determined by the administrators in such manner as they shall deem fit, and every such determination shall be binding upon the Association and its members unless and until set aside by resolution at a meeting.