The Blind & Low Vision NZ is a member-led organisation governed by our members. These are people who are blind or have low vision who have chosen to be part of the governance of the organisation.
We were established under the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002. In January 2012, the Blind & Low Vision NZ registered as an incorporated society under section 8 of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the name of the society became ‘The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Incorporated’.
When the RNZFB became an Incorporated Society in 2012 fulfilling the requirements of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002, that Act became redundant. On 25 August 2016, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Repeal Bill was passed in the House of Representatives. The Bill received royal assent on 29 August 2016 and has become the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Act 2016.
Our voting members elect our Board of Directors.
The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Inc’s Constitution explains what it means to be a Blind & Low Vision NZ client or voting member, and the role and duties of our Board. Read the RNZFB Constitution (.doc).
The constitution stipulates that the Board must consult with members when a new mandatory policy is drafted, or an existing policy amended. Read the Report on Feedback on policy 3.12 (.doc)
At its July 2019 meeting, the RNZFB Board decided to ask Members to consider three small changes to the RNZFB Constitution which will allow the New Zealand public to attend the RNZFB Annual General Meetings as observers without needing to obtain permission. Under the constitution, any resolution to alter the rules must be considered and voted upon by way of a postal ballot, followed by a special meeting of members convened for that purpose. Read more about the proposal (.doc).
The Blind & Low Vision NZ Board and Leadership Team meet regularly to discuss items and action points on the Business Plan and the strategic direction of the organisation. After each meeting, the Chief Executive writes a report – you can read these below.
Board Elections 2019
It’s time again for Blind & Low Vision NZ members to start thinking about the Board Elections. This is a pivotal opportunity for members to have a say in who leads the organisation forward for the next three years. As a full or governing member of the Blind & Low Vision NZ, you are able to vote in our annual Board Elections to elect our Board of Directors.
Call for Nominations for Directors
This year, three vacancies exist for the General Seats. Information about call for nominations to stand as a director is being sent out to members on Friday 16 August 2019. If you would like to receive a nomination form, please contact the National Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33. All completed nominations must be received at the Blind & Low Vision NZ by 4:00pm on Friday 13 September 2019.
Voting Pack Information
Voting Packs will be sent to voting members on Friday 4 October 2019. The voting pack includes:
- A cover letter;
- A letter from the Board and information on expectations of Board directors of the Blind & Low Vision NZ;
- Instructions on how to vote in either print, braille, TIS, via telephone dictation voting or online;
- Information on each candidate standing in the election;
- The notice of the 2019 AGM
- A freepost envelope to mail back voting forms/cards and/or proxy form.
This year, the Board will again be offering online voting as an additional method for voting in the Board elections.
Audio Interviews with Candidates
In addition, this year’s interviews with each of the 2019 candidates will be available on the Telephone Information Services (TIS), on CD as well as on the elections website (rnzfbelections.org.nz). The TIS menu option will be confirmed closer to the time.
Hear from the Candidates Session
The Foundation will again be running a session to hear from the candidates standing in this year’s elections. The session will be held on Thursday 10 October 2019 and Members will be able to submit questions to the candidates in advance. Candidates’ responses will then be available via all audio formats. More details will be announced over the coming weeks on how you can be involved and participate in the event.
Damaged Voting Forms
If you should spoil or damage your voting forms, braille voting cards or return envelope, please contact the National Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33 and replacements will be sent to you.
If you have any questions about the election process or how to vote, please phone National Contact Centre on 0800 24 33 33.
Please consider all the information careful and please do cast your votes in the election of Directors.
2019 Annual General Meeting
This year’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 9 November 2019 at 10:15am at the Distinction Hotel, 9 Riverside Drive, Whangarei, 0112.
The business of the meeting is to:
- Accept the minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting
- Announce the results of the election of Directors;
- Appoint the appointment of the Auditor; and
- Consider the Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2019 and
- Consider the Annual Report on the affairs of the Foundation during the year ending 30 June 2019.
There will be opportunities to ask questions or comments on the RNZFB’s activities and the Board’s direction. Members who do not wish to travel to Whangarei for the AGM may participate in either of two ways:
- If there is enough interest, we hope to organise meetings at Blind & Low Vision NZ’s offices in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington that will link to the AGM via telephone.
- Alternatively, you may participate by telephone.
The Notice of the AGM will be sent out to all members with the voting pack information on 4 October 2019.
We look forward to you being part of the elections this year.
Board meeting dates
The dates of the 2020 RNZFB Board meetings are:
- Saturday 29 February 2020
- Saturday 2 May 2020
- Saturday 4 July 2020
- Saturday 5 September 2020
- Friday 6 November 2020
- Friday 27 November 2020 – Meeting to make Board appointments for 2021.
The Annual General Meeting for 2020 will be held in Kapiti on Saturday 7 November.
In accordance with the RNZFB Constitution, members are welcome to observe at RNZFB Board Meetings in person or via teleconferencing (or online when this option becomes available). If you wish to observe at a RNZFB Board Meeting, please ensure you email the Board Secretary at least five days before the date of the meeting.
RNZFB Act 2002
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002 Repeal
On 25 August 2016, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Repeal Bill was passed in the House of Representatives. The Bill received royal assent on 29 August 2016 and has become the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Act 2016.
This is an important milestone in our history. When the RNZFB became an Incorporated Society in 2012 fulfilling the requirements of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002, that Act became redundant. The Honourable Nicky Wagner supported a Private Members’ Bill to take the repeal through the parliamentary process.
The Sovereign (The Queen, represented in New Zealand by the Governor-General) forms part of Parliament but is separate from the House. It is the Sovereign’s role to sign a bill into law by giving it the Royal Assent. Assent is given on the advice of the Prime Minister (or the most senior Minister available) and the Attorney-General. Thus, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Act 2016 came into being on 29 August 2016.