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The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the governance issues associated with the management of the Federation of New Zealand SeniorNet Societies Inc.


The Federation of New Zealand SeniorNet Societies (FNZSS) was established in 2006 to support the learning activities of Member Learning Centres throughout New Zealand with resources and funding.

Legislative Acknowledgement

  1. The FNZSS is an Incorporated Society registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908; and
  2. is registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005.

FNZSS Constitution and Rules

The registered Constitution and Rules documents in detail the manner in which the FNZSS is to conduct its business. This document should be read in addition to this governance overview summary.

Membership of FNZSS

Each SeniorNet Society within New Zealand may apply to become a Member of the Federation, and becomes a Member by resolution of the Management Committee and payment of a joining fee.

Management of the Federation

This is vested in a Management Committee which comprises of eight people elected on a regional basis by Member Learning Centres.

Officers (Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer) within the Management Committee are appointed at the first Committee meeting post Annual General Meeting.

Appointment of Committee Members

Committee members are elected on a regional basis by Member Learning Centres within that region.

A region is defined so as to represent approximately one eighth of the total financial membership of all the Membership Societies.

The eight regional representatives are as follows:

1. One from Northland: Marilyn Goodwin
2. One from Auckland: Janet Court
3. One from Waikato: Pat van der Maas
4. One from Central North Island: Harvey Porteous –
5. One from Wellington: Peter Bunkall
6. One from Top of SouthIsland: Brian Cameron
7. One from Canterbury: Ross Taylor
8. One from Otago/Southland: Jean Roulston

All Committee Members are appointed for a two year term with half the positions by rotation available for election at each Annual General Meeting.

Nominations are called prior to each Annual General Meeting for membership of the Committee from regions where their representative is retiring as a result of rotation.


Roles of Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee

These roles are defined within the FNZSS Constitution and Rules, and are consistent with those of similar organisations.

Contractual Arrangements – Executive Officer

Recognising the extent of the work required for the Federation to meet operational and support objectives, and acknowledging the time and availability limitations of a volunteer Committee group, it was resolved in 2007 to engage a Contractor to undertake these activities. Grant Sidaway was the contractor until his retirement in  2019.

Heather Newell of Wellington ( was appointed Executive Officer, starting 1 January 2020. The contact is on an annual review basis at a Committee meeting each December.


  • Committee: Meetings are held at least four times a year either online sessions or face-to-face meetings;
    In practical terms, the committee deals with a wide range of issues, such as sponsorship, advertising, individual Learning Centre administration, finance, contractual requirements of the Executive officer , planning, budgeting, etc.
  • Federation: The Annual General Meeting is held between 1 April and 30 June, with the Committee determining when and where it will held within these dates.
    The business at the Annual General Meeting includes:

    • Minutes of previous AGM
    • Chairperson’s report – business
    • Treasurer’s report – financial
    • Executive Officer’s report – activities
    • Remits – Notices of Motion
    • Approval of plans for balance of year and next calendar year
    • General business



Communications  from the Federation are channelled through the Federation office in Wellington, but Learning Centres should communicate specific issues through their Regional Representative.

A bi-monthly newsletter is produced and distributed by email to Member Learning Centres. Other communications such as sponsor offers are distributed in like manner.

Notices in regards to Annual General Meetings and related matters are subject to a specific timetable as prescribed in the Constitution and Rules

Regional Meetings are held at regular intervals (ideally two Regional Meetings every 12 months). Learning Centre management and tutors are encouraged to attend these meetings to exchange ideas, receive information from the Federation and to provide feedback to the Federation on ways to improve the Society. Regional meetings are organised by the Executive Officer, the Regional Representative and the hosting Learning Centre –wherever possible Learning Centres are expected to take turns at hosting Regional Meetings.


Important Dates

  •   Financial Year: 1 January to 31 December
  •   Annual General Meeting: Held between 1 April and 30 June:
    •  Committee nominations called no later than 28 days before AGM
    • Member Motions close 28 days before AGM
    • Notice of AGM no later than 21 days before meeting
    • Committee nominations close 14 days before AGM
    • Learning Centres advised of Member Motions no later than 14 days before AGM
    • Learning Centres advised on Committee nominations no later than 10 days before AGM
    • Indication of attendance no later than 10 days before meeting