From the President

28 Feb 2013

On a hot Saturday a couple of weeks ago I met with a group of branch members and committee chairs from around the Auckland region.

It was interesting to hear about the conservation work being done around Auckland and to better understand the challenges of working with the new super city. In the end, however, the challenges are the same wherever we’re working: raising money, dealing with submissions and council policies, organising volunteers and undertaking projects. Everyone at the meeting got a lot out of the opportunity to share experiences and successes and discuss issues, which is why regional gatherings and island meetings are such a useful activity.

New Year New Minister

A New Year dawns and a new Minister of Conservation is appointed. Nick Smith is well known to many of us and brings real enthusiasm and understanding of conservation to his new job. We look forward to working with him on issues such as the Milford Tunnel and hope he’ll be a strong advocate for conservation around the Cabinet table.

Constitution Review

The Working Group (Mark Hanger, Brent Barrett, Carole Long, Phil Hart, Craig Carson, Mike Britton, Andrew Cutler) has been working on proposals for updating the Constitution. The meetings held around the country and written feedback have given the Working Group a lot of useful information to consider. The Group’s judgement is that some proposals (e.g. simplifying language, two-year terms for Executive members) have achieved widespread agreement and will be put to the upcoming AGM, but other proposals (e.g. changing the way in which the Executive is elected) need further consideration and discussion over the coming year. The Working Group is now working on a draft of changes that will be presented at the Executive meeting in March, from which a final version will be prepared for consideration at the AGM in June.

Future Society Design Review

The process for reviewing the professional side of the organisation is kicking into gear. The Executive has hired a Wellington-based company called Maven to undertake the review. Maven was selected because of its record in the voluntary/community sector as well as the work it has done in government and private sector organisations. As part of the review process interviews will be undertaken with a geographical selection of branches/members in addition to interviews with staff and stakeholders.