Proposed changes to Child Cancer Foundation’s Rules document
We would like to let you know about some changes that are being proposed to the Child Cancer Foundation’s Rules document.
Our Rules are the document that set out Child Cancer Foundation’s purposes, what we do and how we operate. These are legally binding Rules which ensure we meet charity registration requirements under the Charities Act 2005 and the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
We are proposing amending our Rules with an updated definition on Connect Groups as “a group of parents and/or carers of a child with cancer or bereaved who provide and receive peer to peer support and social interaction between participants in their geographic area or community of interest.” Previously the definition included role and purpose which was not in keeping with the Definitions section and duplicated a later section of the Rules. It also allows for groups to be formed over time that may be geographically dispersed, for example, Māori or Pasifika groups.
We will also be introducing the use of electronic voting in General Meetings, Annual General Meetings or Special General Meetings, as well as modernising the Rules to ensure the language is gender neutral. A section on Board Meeting decision making is also being inserted.
These amendments will ensure our Rules are an accurate reflection of how Child Cancer Foundation works towards our purpose of providing children and whānau with support throughout their experience with childhood cancer.
Any Rule changes passed at the AGM on Saturday 20 November will be filed with Charities Services, as is required under the Charities Act 2005.
For more information, please see the FAQs around the proposed Rule changes below. You can also read our current Rules document here. A full set of the proposed Rule changes will be distributed to Members in October along with the AGM notice and agenda.
Thank you for your support and understanding as we bring our Rules up to date with the progression Child Cancer Foundation has made in recent years.
What are the Rules?
The Rules of Child Cancer Foundation are the governing documents required to establish an organisation under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the Charities Act 2005.
The Rules outline the organisation’s purpose and hold details about how we are structured, what powers the organisation has and how we go about doing what we do. It is considered our foundation governance document and it gives us legal standing in New Zealand.
Why are you changing the Rules?
During the initial outbreak of Covid19 in early 2020 and the lockdown that followed, the government passed legislation that allowed organisations to carry out their operations online, even when their organisation’s Rules or Constitution didn’t allow for that. That legislation expired in the middle of 2021. However, we learned that there are lots of things that we like doing online and we want to keep doing them. Some other proposed changes are about improving our governance practices – the Board is always looking for ways that we can improve, so we have taken this opportunity make other improvements.
What is changing?
- We have updated the definition of what a Connect Group is to allow for communities of interest to form. We recognise that it’s not just a geographical area that is the basis for why people come together to connect. We have had programmes such as Dads’ Weekends and SIBS Camps, and we would like to potentially be able to support groups for Māori and Pasifika. We think these options strengthen the really critical role the Connect Groups play in supporting families of children with cancer.
- We have also tidied up where you find information about Connect Groups in the Rules document. Previously roles and responsibilities were scattered throughout different sections, so we have tidied that up and made it easy to find.
- We have clarified the Connect Groups’ direct connection to the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. For the purposes of providing feedback and enabling improvements, reaching out to our volunteers is the first step, so now our Rules reflect that.
- The simplification of electronic meeting rules and the introduction of online Annual General Meetings. Up until now we have been online in a limited way, but thanks to the pandemic we are now embracing newer digital ways of working. The Board is also very keen to take our Annual General Meetings with an online option, so that we can increase participation from across the country.
- We have included a more fulsome description of the Board’s decision-making methods. The Board works to achieve consensus decisions as often as possible. We’ve included a description of this method to improve our governance practice and to inform other organisations who fund us. We often get asked about how decision-making works and changing this in the Rules helps us to be transparent about how we work.
- Improving and modernising our Conflict of Interest management procedures, which in turn lifts our governance practice. The Board now has a more developed Conflict of Interest Policy and Guidelines, and changes to the Rules are complimentary to this work.
- Because we have been working towards becoming a more inclusive and diverse organisation, we have also taken the opportunity to include volunteers, contractors and gender neutral language throughout the document.
So there are these proposed Rule changes – what happens next?
The proposed Rule changes will be sent out to all Members in October. This enables Members to form a view about whether or not they would like to support those amendments.
When is the Annual General Meeting (AGM)?
The Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 20 November, 2021. The meeting is scheduled to start at 2pm.
Who can attend and vote at an Annual General Meeting?
Any Member of Child Cancer Foundation is welcome to attend and vote at the AGM. You will be asked to sign an attendance register as you arrive.
Where can I get more information on what is proposed?
Members will receive a copy of the proposed Rule changes and explanatory notes. You are welcome to provide feedback to Monica Briggs at: firstname.lastname@example.org.