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Our Constitution

The Constitution and Rules of the

Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Society Incorporated


Revisions endorsed at the Annual General Meeting, Thursday 11 November 2021


1.       Name           

The Society shall be named the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Society Incorporated, hereinafter “the Society”.


2.       Purpose       

The purpose of the Society is to require local government in the district to conform with principles of constitutional and administrative law and statutory purposes to the benefit of the inter-generational public interest such as to advance public trust in government.

3.        Objective

The objective of the Society is to promote and advocate social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being in the district of Rotorua, as preferred by residents and ratepayers. The achievement of this objective should be evident through: the transparency of local governance; financial prudence with revenues, debt and expenditure; effective consultation of ratepayers and the public prior to decision making on all issues of significance, rising prosperity and increasing equity of outcomes.

4.       Membership

(a)     Prospective members and members shall commit to supporting the purpose of the Society. 

(b)    Persons who are currently on the electoral roll of the Rotorua District shall become a member upon the approval by the Committee of their application (as set out on the Society’s membership application form) and their payment of the annual subscription (which shall accompany the membership application form).

(c)     Other persons who wish to commit to the purpose of the Society shall be eligible for membership.

(d)    The Committee (defined below) shall have the power to decide whether or not to allow an applicant to become a member when in the circumstances the Committee considers that the applicant might not support the purpose of the Society or where their membership might adversely affect the effective functioning of the Society.  The Committee shall advise the Applicant of its decision to refuse membership, giving fair reasons, and that decision shall be final.

(e)     The Society’s financial year shall be from 1 October to 30 September. A member’s membership shall be terminated if they fail to pay their annual subscription by 31 December. Each member shall be answerable to the Committee where their conduct is considered by the Committee to be contrary to the purpose or to the effective functioning of the Society.  The Committee shall have the power to either suspend the member (on whatever terms that the Committee deems appropriate) or remove the member from membership provided that the member has been previously advised in writing of the complaint made against them and that they have been given the opportunity to supply a defence in writing or in person at a meeting of the Committee before the decision is made.  There shall be no right of appeal against the Committee’s decision other than to have a Special General Meeting called applying the procedure set out in clause 6.


5.       Subscription

The Committee is to announce the annual subscription for the following year at the AGM.


6.       Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society shall be held by 31 December. The date of the AGM shall be notified to members by email or postal circular at least 20 days prior. The AGM agenda shall include:

(a)     presentation of the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the past financial year ended 30 September,

(b)    election of each of the members of the Committee for the ensuing year,

(c)     the subscription rates for the ensuing year,

(d)    consideration of matters for which due notice has been given to members,

(e)     transacting of any other general business that is in harmony with the objectives of the Society, and

(f)      appointment of an Accounts Reviewer.


7.       Special General Meeting

A special general meeting (SGM) may be convened by the Committee for any purpose that it considers appropriate upon receipt by the Secretary of a written request signed by no less than 10% of the members that exist as at the date of the Society’s receipt of the request. 

The business of an SGM shall be notified to members by email or postal circular at least 14 days prior to holding the meeting.  A minimum of 10% of the members that exist at the date of calling for a special general meeting must be present at such a meeting, either physically or electronically, and only business of which proper notice has been given shall be transacted.

In a situation where an SGM may not be convened due to it being a public health risk, or prevented by some other form of natural disaster, then the Committee may conduct a SGM using electronic media or over a period using email to declare the business of the meeting, consult members and pass resolutions.


8.       Voting at General Meetings

All motions at general meetings shall be decided by a simple majority of members.


9.       Proxies

No member shall be entitled to appoint a proxy to attend or vote at any general meeting or Committee meeting of the Society.


10.    Management

(a)     The Society shall be managed between Annual General Meetings by a Committee elected at the AGM.  The Committee shall comprise officers being a Chair, a Minutes Secretary, a Membership Secretary, a Treasurer and a minimum of five and a maximum of nine other ordinary members. The Committee may appoint a Patron to serve at their pleasure.

(b)    Endorsed candidates shall be ex officio members of the Committee until the end of the electoral period.

(c)     Successful candidates shall be ex officio members of the Committee.

(d)    Five Committee members shall be a quorum for Committee meetings.  

(e)     Decisions of the Committee shall be by simple majority. 

(f)      All members of the Committee shall be expected to provide leadership to campaigns as endorsed by the Committee, such as Working Parties. Each Working Party shall have a member of the Committee on it.

(g)     The Chair shall not hold that office for more than three consecutive years.

(h)    Any Committee vacancy occurring after the AGM may be filled by those continuing on the Committee.

(i)      The Committee shall have all the powers necessary for the administration of the Society in the furtherance of its objectives, including, but not limited to, those referred to in this Constitution and Rules, the engagement of staff, the acquisition of assets in the name of the Society, the operation of bank account/s, and the investment of funds on behalf of the Society.

(j)      While the Committee may not borrow monies, nor make loans to members, it is authorised to enter into operational finance arrangements to achieve its objectives.


11.    Nomination and Election of Officers

Written nominations for each officer and ordinary committee member shall be made for the AGM at which an election of the Committee is to be held, such nominations (which must include the written consent of the nominee) being in the hands of the Secretary within 48 hours of the commencement of the meeting.  


If the number of nominations is insufficient prior to the AGM then nominations may be accepted from the floor, with the consent of the nominee. No person shall vote or be nominated for a Committee position unless their subscription is current.  Election shall be by ballot at the meeting.



12.    Powers to Co-Opt

The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional committee members from amongst membership of the Society to ensure that the Committee has an adequate skill mix and to enhance its capacity to respond to issues as they arise.


13.    Patron Responsibilities

The Committee shall have the power to appoint a Patron to serve as a guardian of the Constitution and values of the Society, as an adjudicator where the Constitution and values of the Society are in dispute or where a decision of the Committee is appealed. The Patron’s advice shall be considered de novo by the Committee. The Committee may award a retiring Patron a Life Membership of the Society.


14.    Chairperson Responsibilities

(a)     The Chair shall cause to be prepared a draft Annual Plan of activities and campaigns in consultation with members of the Society.

(b)    The draft Annual Plan shall be submitted to members for feedback at the Annual General Meeting or as soon as possible thereafter and then to the Committee for endorsement and implementation. 

(c)     The Chairperson shall call meetings of the Committee as appropriate, have oversight of campaigns, and prepare the Annual Report of the Society prior to ending his/her term in office.

(d)    The Chairperson shall provide an updated list of Committee Members and their roles and Working Parties to the Committee with contacts data.

(e)     Activities and campaigns outside of the Annual Plan can determined at any time by the Committee.


15.    Meeting Secretary Responsibilities

The Meeting Secretary shall carry out the instructions of the Committee.


The Meeting Secretary shall conduct all correspondence, keep a minute book showing the business transacted at each meeting of the Committee and the Society and otherwise perform all those duties usually pertaining to the office of Secretary.


The Meeting Secretary is to ensure that an incorporated society report is filed each year with the New Zealand Companies Office after the AGM has confirmed accounts. 


16.    Membership Secretary Responsibilities


The Membership Secretary shall carry out the instructions of the Committee.


The Membership Secretary shall maintain the Society’s Membership Database, issue invoices and receipts, report membership changes and trends to each quarterly meeting of members and Committee meetings, and otherwise perform all those duties usually pertaining to the office of Membership Secretary.


The Membership Secretary is to ensure that the Membership Database records the name, home address, phone numbers and email addresses of each member, the date they joined and all subsequent changes, and if required, submit a list of all members to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.


The Membership Secretary is to ensure that the Membership Database is kept strictly confidential and to provide accurate email lists on request by the Chair, Meeting Secretary and Treasurer for single use only. 


17.    Treasurer Responsibilities

The Treasurer shall:

(a)     Receive and document all moneys payable to the Society and deposit such moneys in the name of the Society in such bank as the Committee shall direct, 

(b)    Keep correct records of receipts and disbursements of the Society and pay all authorised accounts,

(c)   Furnish to the AGM a set of financial statements that true and fairly record the results of the past year’s financial performance that have been audited by an Accounts Reviewer appointed by the Committee, and

(d)    Provide monthly bank statements to the Membership Secretary to ensure that the Membership Database is kept accurate.



18.    Alliances and Donations 

(a)     The Committee may form alliances locally, regionally, nationally and internationally with individuals and organisations whose purposes coincide with those of the Society.  

(b)    The Treasurer shall accept donations from donors as the Committee shall direct.  Alliances, endorsements, and donations do not confer membership of the Society.


19.    Endorsements


The purpose of endorsing candidates is to select candidates that have the best chance of winning office (as mayor, regional councillor, district councillor, of rural or lakes community board member) and implementing the values and priorities of RDRR.

The objectives of the endorsement process are to:

·       Enable members and prospective candidates to participate in a democratic selection process that simulates the processes used in local authority elections.

·       Prevent potentially damaging competition between potential candidates prior to the endorsement process.

·       Forming a Campaign Team committed to winning office and developing the team skills needed to implement the values and policies of the RDRR.

Criteria for endorsement are:

1.     The capacity of nominees to maximise the electoral chances of RDRR’s endorsed candidates (i.e. their knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience of successful political campaign teamwork, including a track record of service to RDRR) and

2.     The capacity of nominees to achieve RDRR’s policies through governance that promotes social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being.

The candidate endorsement process will be initiated with the appointment of two Returning Officers at the RDRR’s third quarterly meeting in the year before the election year or whenever a vacancy is declared on the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) or Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC) or on the rural or lakes community boards that require a byelection.

The Returning Officers will, in sequence:

1.     Invite all RDRR members by email/ mail to nominate/self-nominate for endorsement as mayoral and/or regional/ district councillor and/or community board candidates. Prospective RLC councillor candidates will be invited to indicate the ward they propose to stand in once the Representation Review is complete.   

2.     Verify each nominee’s willingness to stand and to guarantee their acceptance of the objective, purposes, criteria and outcomes of the endorsement process.

3.     Invite a one-page personal profile of not more than 293 words from each nominee plus a recent photograph for RDRR’s electoral booklet.

a.     The standard opening statement should be included:  “I declare my acceptance of the objective, purposes, criteria and outcomes of the endorsement process, and if endorsed, to declare publicly my affiliation specifically to the ‘Residents and Ratepayers’ and to actively promote and avoid any dilution of the Society’s team brand value.”

b.     The rest of the statement (250 words) should indicate how the nominee proposes to deliver on each of the two endorsement criteria above.

4.     Invite all nominees to present their case for endorsement in five minutes to an SGM of members called for that purpose and to answer members’ questions in one minute, with the order of replying rotating.

5.     Invite each financial member of RDRR by email to rank their preferred order (1, 2, …) of nominees in each category of candidature, not ranking those nominees they do not wish to endorse.

6.     Report the most preferred candidates in each category of candidature to the Committee for endorsement.

Reporting Outcomes of the endorsement process is the responsibility of the Chairman. The Chairman will formally report first to applicants in confidence, then to all RDRR members via email, and then to the public via a Press Release.

Delegations following Endorsement. In the case of normal elections, the Committee will delegate authority to the endorsed candidates to serve as the Election Campaign Team. The Election Campaign Team is to appoint a Campaign Manager based on proven expertise who may or may not be an endorsed candidate.

The Election Campaign Team is also delegated the power to co-opt and/ or endorse other candidates as ‘Respected Independents’ whose values and priorities cohere with their own, whether or not they are RDRR members, to strengthen the RDRR’s electoral slate with a working coalition.

In the case of a byelection, the Committee will delegate authority to the endorsed candidate(s) to serve with RDRR’s elected representatives as the Byelection Campaign Team. The Byelection Campaign Team is to appoint a Campaign Manager based on proven expertise who may or may not be an endorsed candidate.

The RDRR Committee will co-opt all endorsed candidates on to the Committee to ensure coherence between RDRR’s policies and its election and byelection platforms.


20.    Dissolution

The Society shall not be dissolved except by members at an AGM or at a Special General Meeting convened for that purpose. A two-thirds majority of members present and voting at such meetings is required for the passing of a dissolution resolution.  After being dissolved the funds and property of the Society are to be distributed by way of transfer as determined by a two-third majority of the members present and voting at the dissolution meeting to a society or societies which have objects similar to those of the Society.


21.    Alteration of Rules

No alteration or addition to the Constitution and Rules of the Society shall be effected unless at a Special General Meeting of members, of which due notice has been given to members within 14 clear days of the meeting, not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting assent thereto.


22.    Pecuniary Benefits

Notwithstanding any other clause in these rules no member or person associated with that member shall in their capacity as a member or associated person be permitted to make any pecuniary gain from the Society.  Any amendment to this clause under the alterations provision of clause 18 of these rules may not be made without the prior written approval of the Inland Revenue Department.


These are the Constitution and Rules of the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Incorporated as adopted at the AGM held 19 November 2020.


Reynold Macpherson (signed)


Signed by the Chair of the Society 

20 November 2020