NZNO fails to adhere to agreed process.
Article Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Arnold, Karen
Pub Date: 08/01/2010
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: August, 2010 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 7
Accession Number: 236247962
Full Text: NZNO's 2009 AGM agreed that a constitution would be developed to replace the current NZNO rules, and that this would be presented for ratification at the 2010 AGM. Now that delegates have had a chance to see what the draft constitution proposes, it is clear members have concerns about where this document is proposing to take us. The sweeping changes proposed have far reaching implications for all members. But the nature of the changes is not the real problem. This can be accounted for by genuine consultative processes. The real problem is the failure to adhere to the agreed process.

The next step agreed to was that this draft would be amended, based on member feedback, prior to presentation at the AGM. The issue is that the board has decided not to put the constituion to the vote at the 'AGM. On what basis? On the basis that it is likely to be rejected? On the basis that the changes are so profound that the constitution should go to the general member ballot? Neither of these is sufficient reason to deviate from the process agreed to by the previous AGM. It is delegates' absolute right to debate and vote on the constitution at the 2010 AGM. Any attempt to remove the document from the process at this stage is an abuse of process.

Would it matter if the constitution was rejected? Not really. NZNO is not in crisis and our elected delegates are experienced enough to find ways to address the identified issues. Could the AGM delegates vote to change the direction of the process and to mandate that the final document is put to full member vote? Absolutely!

It is one of the board's duties to provide opportunities to establish the will of the membership and act on this. Under current rules, the board exists to enact the will of the membership and to uphold the organisation's Legitimate, democratically agreed processes. I, for one, would be very concerned about any actions or changes that weaken this founding intent.

Karen Arnold, RN, Hamilton

NZNO's business services manager and constitution reference group member, Kevin O'Neill, refers members to the section of the board report entitled Constitution working group up-date and recommendations, published on p30 of this issue, which answers the questions raised in this letter.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.