The Governing Board held a Special General Meeting on Friday 10 November to vote on changes proposed to the Rules as part of the Governance Review.
Engineering New Zealand’s Governing Board has a complex role. It governs a medium-sized organisation and complex system of sub-commitments, leads the wider engineering profession and supports members’ needs. The Board currently has 12 members.
A report by Dr Jo Cribb in 2021 provided recommendations to strengthen governance, some of which could be actioned immediately while others would require a Rule change. On Friday 10 November, we asked members to vote on the proposed Rule changes. President Glen Cornelius also gave an address about the strategic direction of Engineering New Zealand and some industry challenges.
Proposals were consulted with members, and you can find out more this below.
The Governing Board consulted with members on proposals for changing Engineering New Zealand's Rules from Thursday 8 June through to Friday 28 July. Members could e-mail feedback or complete an online survey.
Two members submitted by email and 63 completed the online survey (90 started the survey – 73.3% completion rate). In total, we received 65 submissions on the proposals (about 0.3% of our financial membership).
Member feedback on the governance review consultation was generally positive. Overall, responders supported the proposals, but many raised valid concerns on parts of the proposals. These include:
- Proposed decrease in the Board from 10-12 down to eight, with three being appointed. Members were concerned by two key parts of this proposal: (1) The Board will not be big enough (or representative enough) to oversee Engineering New Zealand; and (2) reduction will mean that in some scenarios, appointed members would form the majority of the quorum (quorum would be five and if three are appointed, this makes a majority in some instances).
- Emerging, non-voting member. The majority supported the addition of an emerging member to the Board but there were some strong comments on the need for this to be a voting member.
- Payments to appointed Board members. There was general support for payments to appointed members but several members comment that this may create two ‘classes’ of Board members. Others were concerned with the financial impact of the proposal and the wider need (or lack thereof) for appointed members. There were also some strong comments on the need for members of small/medium businesses to be paid, to allow them to join the Board.
- Removing the Vice President and Past President. While this was generally supported, there were questions about continuity and handover.
- Matters pertaining to sub committees. Overall, members supported the removal of the Deputy President and President as ex-officio members but did not support removing provisions for transparency on minutes.
Areas of strongest support were:
- Changing the terms of President and Deputy President
- Removing Fellowship from the requirements for Senior Office Holder
- Ability of the Board to sanction or remove members.