Natalie from New Zealand has asked this question. She asks:  I understand that 2 weeks notice should be given before an AGM.  Is it necessary for the reports that will be presented to the AGM be available 2 weeks in advance? (For a small organisation)

Should notices of motion be presented 2 weeks in advance, especially if they are to affect the governance of the same organisation?

Should such motions be rejected/delayed if they are not tabled until the actual AGM meeting?

I would be grateful for your comments.
Natalie.

There are several issues here. The first is about reports being sent out with the notice of the meeting. The answer is ideally yes, but you note that it is a small organisation and presumably voluntary. Reality is that in my experience, in small voluntary organisation, the reports are provided at the AGM itself. Sure, it would be good if they were available beforehand, but volunteers are giving their time and the last thing you want to do is scare them away with what they may see as bureaucratic or pedantic requirements.

The next issues are quite different.

Notices of motion MUST be provided in advance, especially if they are to do with the governance of the organisation. That is the point of the “notice of meeting”. The chair (or the meeting) is well within its rights to reject a motion presented at the AGM which affects the governance of the organisation if notice has not been provided.

Notice should be the exact wording of the proposed motion. Such a motion can also only be amended such that the intent is not altered.

Please Note: The author is not a lawyer and accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Careen Busing

    Kia Ora, I am in New Zealand and I am a beneficiary to a “Waitangi settlement treaty trust”. All our trustees are paid a salary to administer the Trust deed. Our Deed states that the trust must advise 20 days before of an AGM and must advise where documents can be perused before the meeting. See below relevant part of the trust deed. My query is our trust is having an AGM in 3 days and they have not supplied a copy of the documents they want ratified at the meeting, in fact those documents may not be ready til the day of the meeting. The trust administers over 100 million in assets, of that approximately 90 million is cash assets. Secondly; the only time the precepts of the deed can be altered is at a special general meeting…..and requires 75% majority to make changes to the deed.

    What does case law state as a reasonable time for documents to be “available” for perusal before a meeting? The documents they want ratified are the 5 year strategic plan and 5 year annual plan (an oxymoron considering annual means yearly). As of today these two documents do not exist, and yes I have asked for copies and have been advised they are still being worked on and will be available on the day. I look forward to any guidance on this matter.

    Excerpt from the Trust Deed
    The Trustees shall give not less than twenty (20) Working Days’ notice of the
    holding of the annual general meeting, ……………
    (c) details of where copies of any information to be laid before the meeting may
    be inspected.

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