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Paper 6 - Obligations to Members


The terms of reference for Implementation of the Westlake Report recommendations asked for recommendations on how the Council’s obligations to and for the members are best met.

Current Situation

The stated benefits from membership of InternetNZ are:

o The opportunity to participate in wide ranging discussions concerning the ongoing development of the Internet.

o The opportunity to participate in the development of the information society by encouraging responsible policy making and an open and orderly development.

o The opportunity to have your say in the management of the New Zealand domain (.nz).

o Access to up to date information and expertise.

o The opportunity to network with other members of the NZ Internet community.

o The opportunity to identify directions in important areas such as education, commerce, and inter-national relationships through our public forum process.

o Membership entitles you to vote at our AGM at which the Society Council members are elected and as an "Ordinary" member you will be eligible for nomination to stand for Council yourself or register interest to be accepted onto one of our many working groups or committees.

Council’s obligations to members include:

o Conducting the affairs of the Society in accordance with the Constitution and the resolutions of Members of the Society in General Meetings

o Sending to members an annual report, the financial statements for the immediately preceding financial year and the auditor’s report on those statements, for consideration at the Annual General Meeting

o Sending to members a business plan and budget of income and expenditure for the current financial year and recommendations for levels of subscription for the membership classes of the Society, for approval at the Annual General Meeting

Future Situation

The obligations to members and the benefits of membership do not change with the structural changes agreed by Council and the AGM. What may change is which entities members may seek to become elected or appointed to, depending on their individual interests. For example, a member who is interested in technical policy issues would be better seeking appointment to a policy committee of the InternetNZ Board rather than election to the InternetNZ Council itself.

Members will continue to be able to provide input on public policy and critical Internet issues through the policy consultation process. In some ways this is strengthened through the requirement for each business unit to have a documented public policy development process and that this complies with the key principles for policy development agreed by Council.

Council will need to consult members annually about what they see are the key issues to be addressed and included in the annual Statements of Expectation for the business units. The various mailing lists run by InternetNZ will provide some sense of the “hot” issues.

The Council itself may wish to have a regular (e.g. quarterly) newsletter to members reporting on its own activities, and key achievements for the Society and its business units.

For its own information, Council should receive regular information (monthly or quarterly) on membership numbers, key changes by class of membership etc, as one way of measuring the ongoing “health” and relevance of the Society.


It is recommended that Council

(a) note that the benefits of, and obligations to, members will not change as a result of the structural changes

(b) note that members’ input into the public policies of the business units is strengthened through the requirement for each unit to have a documented policy development process, and for this process to comply with the key principles for policy development

(c) agree that Council should run an annual consultation process with members prior to the development of Statements of Expectations for the business units

(d) note that the Council may wish to have a regular communication with members, reporting on its own achievements and those of the business units

(e) agree that Council receives regular reports on membership numbers and changes.

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