The Blind Foundation is member-led organisation governed by our members. These are people who are blind or have low vision, friends, family and others interested in the Blind Foundation, who have chosen to be part of the governance of the organisation.
We were established under the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002. In January 2012, the Blind Foundation registered as an incorporated society under section 8 of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the name of the society became ‘The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Incorporated’.
When the RNZFB became an Incorporated Society in 2012 fulfilling the requirements of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002, that Act became redundant. On 25 August 2016, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Repeal Bill was passed in the House of Representatives. The Bill received royal assent on 29 August 2016 and has become the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Act 2016.
Our voting members elect our Board of Directors.
The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Inc’s Constitution explains what it means to be a Blind Foundation client or voting member, and the role and duties of our Board. You can from this section, read the full version of the Constitution.
Every quarter, the Blind Foundation Board and Executive team meet to discuss items and action points on the Business Plan and the strategic direction of the organisation. After each meeting, Chief Executive Sandra Budd and Board Chair Rick Hoskin write a report – you can read these below.
Additional information about the 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 only one class of seat – three General seats (no Associates’ 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.
Voting papers in the 2017 election will be sent out on 5 October 2017 with the postal ballot closing on 3 November 2017 at 4:00pm. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting, which this year is being held in Hamilton on Saturday 11 November 2017.
Board meeting dates
The dates of the 2017 RNZFB Board meetings are:
- Saturday 25 February 2017
- Saturday 29 April 2017
- Saturday 24 June 2017
- Saturday 2 September 2017
- Friday 10 November 2017
- Friday 1 December 2017 – Meeting only to appoint Board appointments for 2018.
The Annual General Meeting for 2017 will be held in Hamilton on Saturday 11 November.
In accordance with the RNZFB Constitution, members are welcome to observe at RNZFB Board Meetings in person or via teleconferencing or the internet when these options are available. If you wish to observe at a RNZFB Board Meeting, please ensure you email the Board Secretary at least five days before the date of the meeting.
RNZFB Act 2002
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002 Repeal
On 25 August 2016, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Repeal Bill was passed in the House of Representatives. The Bill received royal assent on 29 August 2016 and has become the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Act 2016.
This is an important milestone in our history. When the RNZFB became an Incorporated Society in 2012 fulfilling the requirements of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002, that Act became redundant. The Honourable Nicky Wagner supported a Private Members’ Bill to take the repeal through the parliamentary process.
The Sovereign (The Queen, represented in New Zealand by the Governor-General) forms part of Parliament but is separate from the House. It is the Sovereign’s role to sign a bill into law by giving it the Royal Assent. Assent is given on the advice of the Prime Minister (or the most senior Minister available) and the Attorney-General. Thus, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Act 2016 came into being on 29 August 2016.
RNZFB 2014 Constitution
Chair and Chief Executive Reports
Constitutional Review Committee
The Constitutional Review Committee was established as an ad hoc committee of the RNZFB Board in September 2015, to operate in accordance with a Terms of Reference [JAM1] formally adopted by the RNZFB Board in November 2015.
The Committee was established to review the RNZFB constitutional rules and make recommendations to the Board as to where it may be desirable to amend these rules.
The Committee had its first meeting in October 2015 and has been meeting monthly since this time. Throughout the review process, the CRC has kept Members and key stakeholders informed via update bulletins and consultation papers circulated through the Foundation’s usual comms channels and has requested general feedback from Members at any time as well as through set-period submission processes on specific topics. The CRC has published two interim reports, provided drafts of the Constitution for feedback and has hosted tele-conference meetings to foster dialogue and engagement with the Committee.
The Committee has now completed its in-depth review of the current Constitution and is recommending a considerable number of changes which the RNZFB Board approved at its September 2017 Board meeting. The Board agreed to put a resolution to the Membership seeking adoption of the final draft and a Special Meeting of Members will be held on Saturday 11 November at the Blind Foundation’s offices in Hamilton to consider this resolution following a postal ballot.
The Committee has produced an explanatory report which outlines the changes the Committee has arrived at and the underlying rationale for these recommended changes. The Committee hopes that the final draft achieves the purpose of the review as being consistent with the needs and expectations of the blind community, as well as accommodating the requirements of future generations of blind, low-vision and deafblind people.