The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) seeks expressions of interest from those who are thinking of standing in the 2016 RNZFB Board Elections to attend an information day.

This year, two vacancies for general seats exist on the RNZFB Board.  The two incumbent directors whose terms are up for election this year are:

  • Judy Small; and
  • Pamela MacNeill (who recently filled the casual vacancy left by Chung-Pin Lin).

In addition, the associate seat is also up for election.  The current Associate Director is Paul Sullivan.  These Directors may wish to stand again.

Following a survey of those Directors who will remain on the Board after the 2016 election, the areas where the Board’s function could be enhanced further include:

  • legal oversight
  • financial management and knowledge of financial markets
  • information technology and digital strategy
  • managing risk
  • business analysis
  • property governance
  • young person’s representation.

If sufficient interest is shown, the RNZFB will run an information day or candidates’ college for prospective nominees on Saturday 13 August 2016 in Auckland.

The programme will cover topics such as:

  • Background to the RNZFB’s governance model;
  • The role and expectation of Boards;
  • Being an effective Board director;
  • An overview of the RNZFB today, with reference to the strategic plan and executive structure;
  • The RNZFB’s financial base, financial management, property management, fundraising and implications for Board directors;
  • Delivering service in a member-directed, client focused, financially sustainable and evidence-driven organisation;
  • Consumerism and consumer organisations; and
  • Time for questions and answers.

Board directors are expected to be familiar with member interests and perspectives, and to shoulder fiduciary, legal and financial responsibilities.

If you are thinking of standing for the Board, it is worth asking yourself:

  • Am I committed to the broad vision and mission of the RNZFB?
  • Can I contribute the time necessary to be an effective Board director – six Friday and Saturday Board meetings, with up to another four Saturdays in the year, plus many hours of preparation time for each meeting?
  • Can I place the RNZFB’s purposes and interests and the well-being of members above my own professional and personal interests?

Among the competencies sought in effective Board directors are:

  • Understanding the needs of blind people and those with low vision in New Zealand;
  • A sound knowledge of the not-for-profit disability sector;
  • Informed business judgment;
  • Being an independent, creative and critical thinker;
  • Having high ethical standards;
  • Down-to-earth common sense;
  • Being a listener and learner;
  • An ability to see the big picture, stay out of management and work in a team;
  • The capability to harmonise strategies with budgets;
  • An understanding of the impact of technology and how the organisation is run;
  • Demonstrated skills in areas such as governance, audit, finance and risk management, communications, fundraising and advocacy; and
  • Above all, a readiness to learn about the business the RNZFB is in.

It is preferable that candidates have access to information via a computer with an internet connection, or an alternative means of dealing with agendas and reports bi-monthly that are typically over 200 pages of print.

If you fit the above criteria, the RNZFB welcomes you to register your interest in the information day with the Board Secretary, Jane Moore, telephone: 09 355 6894 or email: by Thursday 21 July 2016.  Please also send a short summary of your background and what you can contribute to the work of the RNZFB’s Board.

The RNZFB will meet reasonable day travel expenses for candidates.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Rick Hoskin
Board Chair
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind

Additional information about the 2016 RNZFB Board Elections

The RNZFB Board comprises nine elected directors.  Eight are elected in General seats by governing members of the RNZFB and parents or guardians of children registered with the RNZFB while the remaining director is elected in the Associate seat by the RNZFB’s Associate membership.

This year there will be an election for two classes of seat, two General seats, and the one Associate seat.  All three directors may wish to stand again.

A candidate seeking election in a General seat must be nominated by two governing or guardian members of the RNZFB.  Please note that the three successful candidates in this election will receive a three-year term in office.

A candidate seeking election in the Associate seat must be nominated by two Associate Members of the RNZFB.  Note that the successful candidate in this election will receive a three-year term in office.

Voting papers in the 2016 election will be sent out on 6 October 2016 with the ballot closing on 4 November 2016 at 4:00pm.  The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting, which this year is being held in Napier on Saturday 12 November 2016.