Board Statement April 2016
Tena koutou katoa
As a Governance Board we are mindful that the SGM is less than two weeks away and that we are invited to a ‘watershed moment’ as decisions will be made on this day regarding the future board membership. We are aware that travelling to Wellington may be prohibitive to many members, and thus there may be only a few able to engage in whatever korero occurs at this meeting prior to voting occurring. This means many of you will vote without being party to the korero at the meeting. In the interests of ensuring all members have access to the same information, whether they attend the SGM or not, we have asked our CE to prepare documents that explain and highlight our current financial situation and demonstrate the fiscal improvements that have been able to be made by National office under this Board’s strategic plan and guidance since December 2015. Nga mihi also to Jane, Neil, Simon and Stewart, who were also instrumental in the establishing of the plan and guidance which has been essential in the improvement in our fiscal situation over recent months. Please read the attached financial statements for further clarification on this.
There have been a number of questions sent to the board over recent months, wondering about the safety, competence and ethics of the remaining 5 board members and questioning the decisions made by the board in respect of the resignations of 2 elected and 2 voted members of the board. As a board we would like to affirm the following:
- As a board we acted according to our constitution and according to the advice of our legal advisors in actions in respect of the resignation of three board members in January 2016.
- That the strategic plan and direction we have sought to maintain since that time were informed and supported by the full board membership of 8 at the time of our December 2015 meeting.
- We have sought in all our actions to be guided by ethical and reflective practice and to be honourable in our kaitiaki role within ANZASW.
- That as current board members we are unable to speak in specifics or in details as to why three members chose to resign in January 2016, and it would be inappropriate to speculate on their individual reasons. As a board we too were all saddened by these resignations and the loss of expertise from around our table.
- That as President and Tumuaki, we followed what we believed was an ethical and sound process in addressing the issue of a breach of confidentiality, ensuring this breach was understood by the member and that reparatory action was undertaken. In hindsight it would appear that lack of any induction onto the board may have been in part responsible for this breach of confidentiality. There has been NO further breach of confidentiality or any further cause of concern in respect of board members’ behaviour since January 2016.
- That in our opinion if would be inappropriate to disclose further information which could result in further breach of confidentiality, however all board meeting minutes (with the exception of board only time) are available to all members on our ANZASW website.
- That in a meeting in February 2016, restorative process occurred utilising the principles of tika, pono and aroha, in which as a collective of five voted board members we were able to renew our safe working space and reinstate our vision forward.
- That at this same meeting in February 2016, the remaining five board members also received legal advice in respect of establishing ourselves as a full board again, including considering all standing down for a re-election process. This was advised against by our legal advisors and so a decision was made to hold an election for one voted member and to further co-opt expertise once a full board had been established.
Being in a leadership and kaitiaki role on the Governance Board is a privileged position, which none of us take lightly. We are aware of those whose footsteps we follow, and of the history and role of our association. We are also aware of those who will follow us, and the desire to ensure a fit and robust association for the 50 years to come. We are also aware that our history as an association has not been one without struggle and have reminded each other many times of previous watershed moments in our history, which many of our members will have already lived through.
As a board we will stand united together at the SGM to indicate that we are a working and functioning unit, thinking strategically for what needs to be the future of our professional body.
Nga mihi, Anaru, Karen, James, Merrill, Paora