Mobile Menu Open Mobile Menu Close

A new Constitution for the Ornithological Society of New Zealand

July 4th, 2024

I am pleased to advise members that a new constitution for the Ornithological Society of New Zealand was approved by Government authorities (the Companies Office in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) on Monday 24th June 2024.  Motions to adopt a new constitution, and to revoke the Society’s earlier constitution were voted on and endorsed unanimously the AGM held in Nelson on 2nd June 2024.

Legislation defining the rights and responsibilities of all clubs and societies and those who run them has undergone a long-overdue revision, resulting in enactment of the Incorporated Societies Act 2022.  This new Act provides a new legal framework that determines how all incorporated societies will now be governed.  It is this change that provides the background to the assembly and approval of a new constitution for the Society.

The Society’s earlier constitution served us well for many years.  Despite the new legislative requirements, I am pleased to let you know that several important sections of the Society’s constitution will continue unchanged, or nearly so.  These include the name of the Society, objects (objectives), the powers of the Society (expanded in the new Constitution), the procedure for the election of councillors, membership categories (with two amendments), the role and powers of the Council (now expanded), matters concerning meetings of the Council (slightly expanded), arrangements for setting subscriptions, the management of committees, regional organisation, and the procedure for amending the constitution.

Numerous new provisions are included in the approved constitution.  These concern new requirements for membership, for the removal of councillors, for disclosure and management of conflicts of interest, for the conduct of meetings, for financial management, for the management of annual general meetings, for managing the resolution of disputes, for winding up and for insurance.

The new constitution is available to view and download on the Birds New Zealand website at

I encourage you to take a moment to have a look at this new set of rules that it expected to provide a sound foundation for the governance of our Society for many decades to come.

Natalie Forsdick