2021 Royal Federation Conference & AGM – Day Two

2021 Royal Federation Conference Delegates – The Team

Day two of the conference opened with a Guest Speaker, Tahir Nawaz JP from the Wellington Assn. Tahir is a senior analyst of Muslim affairs and has been involved in community service as the President of the International Muslim Associations of New Zealand (IMAN).  Since 2010, Tahir has been referenced and interviewed by national and international mainstream media on Muslim affairs. During his speech, he spoke on the need for diversity, inclusivity and the need for tolerance which nicely linked into the Conference slogan ‘A Case for Change’.

The guest speaker was followed by the opening of the Royal Federation Annual General Meeting with the presentation of the standard agenda items.  A summary of some of those more important items are listed below:

An election of a new Vice President was held with two candidates standing for the position Lindsay Dow and Peter Osborne.  Peter Osborn from the Waikato Association was elected.

Four Notice of Motions were then introduced and debated with two being carried, one being withdrawn and one being lost as it did not comply with constitutional changes.

Six Remits were then heard and debated:

Remit 1 – that the RFNZJA Board clarify the AML requirements and wordings required for attestation, above the Jurat on documents.  This remit was lost however the meeting was heartened by the presentation of the previous day by Rajesh Chhana Deputy Secretary Policy, Ministry of Justice who advised that the ministry is currently working on this issue and hopefully will have a result to report at the next AGM.

Remit 2 – that the RFNZJA approach the Ministry of Justice to request the official wording of affidavits and declarations be in Te Reo as well as English, noting that Te Reo is an official language of New Zealand.  This remit was carried.  Well done Wallis Walker for your work on this remit.

Remit 3 – that the RFNZJA Board review the education and training policy and procedures with a view of increasing the allowances and reimbursable expenses.  This remit was carried.

Remit 4 – that the RFNZJA Board review the current Federal model of Association Membership and consults member associations as part of the review with an initial report to be provided at the 2022 AGM.  This remit was carried.

Remit 5 – that the RFNZJA Board be empowered to use electronic communications directly to all members of associations without the pre-approval from associations and where the Board believes that such communication is in the best interest of the members.  AJPA raised an amendment to this remit wishing it only to be exercised during times of national emergency which was lost.  This remit in its original form was carried.

Remit 6 – that the RFNZJA Board review the format and appropriateness of Regional Conference with regard to whether they deliver outcomes and reflect the need to associations.  This remit was carried.

The business then moved on at the speed of light with Taranaki being confirmed as the venue for the 2022 Conference and AGM. The conference will be held at the Devon Hotel over the period 25 – 27 February 2022. Southland was also confirmed for the 2023 Conference and AGM.

The Royal Federation President provided an update on a number of issues as follows:

The development of a national database – initial work has been undertaken by the board but it is still very much a work in progress with more pressing issues requiring the Boards attention in the form of the new website. A further update will be provided at the next Conference.

Online Education – This is also a work in progress as the Online Education Materials used in the old website is no longer compatible with the new website.  A review of the usage of the material was poor however the Ministry of Justice has been advised of the need and are supportive that this type of training is made available.  It will however require manpower and funding and we await further input from MoJ.

Competency – There is growing agreement by the Ministry of Justice and ongoing discussions are continuing to be held.  The Board will report back at the next AGM.

The three workshops held the previous day ran concurrently to which attendees, on the whole, found interesting and very worthwhile. Workshop topics were ‘The Learning Space’ – How to engage adults in online learning, ‘Thinking Inclusively’ Understanding and Managing Conscious and Unconscious Bias and ‘Getting to Yes’ Successful negotiation and dispute resolution. Some consideration will be given to bringing one of these workshops to our Regional Conference in September.

A social hour was provided prior to dinner where Justices were entertained by a group from the Virtuoso String Charitable Trust. The Trust runs a comprehensive, holistic, free education scheme.  The group were very well received.  Dinner was served and an enjoyable evening of auctions, music and good company was enjoyed by all and some Auckland Council members came away from the auction with a little less coin in the pocket.  Then, Yes the dreaded news broke that Auckland was moving back into COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2.  Council members sprang into action, and the website was updated, and emails flew to postpone meetings that were scheduled to run in the upcoming week.   Most then retired to await the decision of the Wellington Assn to determine what would happen the following day.