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A meeting means a gathering of persons that has been convened to

transact business or to discuss notable matters or even act in common


interest. The transaction of the business of companies, clubs or even local
authorities is done through meetings and by taking decisions. Even in
everyday life, much of the business and communication takes place
through the way of meetings. Overtime the law of meetings has continued
to evolve and it has been done primarily to ensure that the people these
meetings are treated fairly and the meetings do not contradict the welfare
of the society. Meetings too have evolved overtime as one of the very
efficient ways of conducting business. Business meetings are pervasive in
NewZealand for the purpose of decision making. The law related to the
conduct of these meetings in NewZealand has also evolved. However,
there may be variations from company to company that may be due to
the variations in statutes or organizational rules.
Most of the meetings take place informally and the consensus method is
used to discuss a point between the participants so that they can all agree
or disagree and then move forward. It is also why most people do not
really get a chance to chair a formal meeting. If someone belongs to a
company, an incorporated society or even a body with a committee acting
on behalf of the members, he will be required to hold formal meetings. It
is just to ensure that all the correct procedures are followed with regards
to the changes taking place at the organization in its constitution,
financial arrangements or even other types of decision making affecting
the members of the group (Aldridge, 2013). Such meetings can include

general meetings or annual general meetings (Nzile, 2016). These


meetings mostly follow similar patterns of apologies, minutes, finances,
reports, general business etc. Occasionally an organization may also
require extra ordinary meetings.

These extraordinary meetings despite

having despite being held under the formal business procedure are
different in various aspects from all the general or annual general
meetings. These meetings also require a formal notification and there are
no financial reports except for the topic of the meeting (societies, 2015).
There are a number of factors that are specific to a formal meeting.
First of all the date, time, content as well as the venue of all the formal
meetings have to be notified in writing and within a specific period as the
governing rules or the constitution says. The main difference between the
formal and informal meetings lies in the procedures around discussion.
Everyone can speak as many times as they like under the consensus
method and there do not have to be any formal motions. On the other
hand a motion has to occur before any discussion may be started and it
has to be seconded.

Organization of these meetings is a major issue and

it is around their organization that most of the difficulties take place.


Another difficulty is regarding if all the members have a fair hearing. In
these circumstances the debate frequently takes place around the
constitution and the rules of order.
The supervision of the meetings is a responsibility of the courts
which can be referred to by the aggrieved party in case a meeting is run

improperly. The courts can give a ruling on how to proceed and even
correct the records of the concerned organizations if the need be. These
are also known as the supervisory powers of the court. It is why the
people responsible for running the meetings ensure that they are lawful.
Meetings should not contravene any statute or law.
The main purposes of a meeting are explained below:
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Sharing views: Meetings are not just so that people can make
important decisions during these events but also that the parties
that differ may get an opportunity to reach a consensus as well

as explore issues and express views (Pitchforth, 2010).


Solving problems: Problem solving is another major purpose of
business meetings. The examples of such meetings include those
held with the purpose of negotiation or for mediating outcomes
of debating any local issues. Such meetings also include those

held with the purpose of dealing with a situation.


Adhering to purpose: Before a meeting is held it is always
important to know its purpose. In several cases the purpose is
obvious as well as routine. The chair as well as those attending
the meeting should be aware that what the meeting is intended
to achieve. The meeting style can also be crafted on the basis of

the purpose of the meeting.


The main sources of law for meetings are as follows:
First of all it is the various statutes under which the organizations

are constituted which are applicable to the meetings.


The common laws which apply to the behaviour of the public are
also applicable to the meetings.

The common law itself is also applicable to the meetings.


Custom and conventions are also useful indicators of what has to
be done in any particular situation.

Notice of Meetings: Good Practice


The rules for the meetings can be different based upon the legal structure
being used. In case of the companies, it is required under schedule 1 of
the Companies Act 1993 that a written notice of the meeting is sent to
every shareholder. The same act also requires the notice to be in writing.
The constitution of most societies too requires the notices to be in writing
and even if it does not it is recommendable. Some of the organizations
also have special provisions for the calling of a meeting using a phone or
a fax and then large meetings are most often called by posting the notice
in a newspaper circulated in the relevant area. The most important thing
is that the meeting is called in a way that adequate notice is given to all
the parties concerned.
Some roles and rules also need to be clearly defined before the meeting
begins.
Chairperson/facilitator:
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He should guide the meeting procedure.


Ensure that the meeting starts on time.
Set a time frame for the meeting and keep it.
Stick to the agenda (DOL, n.d.).

Minute taker:

The minute taker has to play a very important role which is to record the
minutes of every meeting that include agreed decisions and tasks.
Discussion is not necessary to be recorded unless a specific reason exists
for doing so. Apart from it the minute taker should also note the date,
time and venue for the next meeting.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS:
Meetings are also a means to run the organizations. All the full members
of a meeting are entitled to take part at least in one meeting which is the
annual general meeting. The annual general meeting is also considered
the occasion to call the officers and the organization to account. It is also
usual to receive reports at the annual general meeting related to the past
years activities and to elect new office bearers. At the annual general
meetings the reports may be questioned and

the accounts may be

scrutinized as well as outgoing officers be replaced with the people that


are expected to better respect the wishes of the organizational members.
According to section 120 of the Companies Act 1993, Every company
must hold an annual meeting of shareholders once in each calendar year.
Generally, the meeting must be no later than six months after the
companys balance date and no later than 15 months after the previous
annual meeting (business.govt, 2015). The authority of the committee of
the board ends at the term of its office and new authority is handed over
at the annual general meeting for the New Year to carry out the
organizations administration. While some of the organizations may have

set periods of office the others may arrange for their officers to take office
during the AGM or at its end. Most of the organizations that are governed
by a statute are required to holds an annual general meeting. It is the
organizations constitution which sets out the time for the annual general
meeting (NZindians, n.d.).
In case of the Energy Trust of New Zealand Inc.:
The Business of the Annual General Meeting of Members shall include the
receipt and consideration of the reports of the Chairman, Treasurer and
financial statements and the Auditor. The election of officers and
Executive Committee members and such other business as may properly
be considered by an Annual General Meeting (ETNZ, 2014).
Executive committee: The executive committee is a group selected to
carry out the organizations day to day basis. An executive committee
may be constituted because calling all the members of the organization
every time a crucial decision has to be made can be highly costly as well
as inconvenient.
Executive committee meetings :
An executive committee meeting is the meeting of the executive body of
an organization. The names of the executive body may differ from
organization to organization. In some of the organizations it is also called
just the committee or the council. It is the responsibility of the
constitution to make the role of the executive committee clear. Especially,

it is important that the roles of the executive committee with regards to


the matters of policy, governance and administration are made clear.
Some organizations also have employees that are entitled to attend the
executive meetings in an advisory capacity. It is the constitution that
declares the rights of these employees to attend the executive committee
meetings or of the executive committee
For example, following are the rules for the executive committee
meetings at the ETNZ.
The Executive Committee shall meet at least annually. Meetings of the
Executive Committee shall be at such times, dates and places as the
committee determines. A meeting may be summoned by the Secretary
and shall be called by him/her on receipt of a requisition in writing stating
the business of the meeting signed by the Chairman or by three (3)
members of the Executive Committee. The meeting shall be summoned
by notice posted to all committee members giving no less than seven (7)
days notice, unless notice is waived by all committee members present in
New Zealand at the time of the meeting. The notice shall specify the
business of the meeting. The chairman, or in his absence the vice
chairman, or in the absence of both the chairman and vice chairman a
member elected by the meeting shall preside at all meetings of the
Executive Committee. A member elected by the meeting shall retire from
the chair on the arrival of the chairman or vice chairman. The chairman of
the meeting shall have a deliberative vote only. There shall be no casting

vote. Voting shall be on the voices or by a show of hands and shall be by


a minimum of three (3) votes. A vote by ballot shall be taken on the
request of any committee member. Meetings of the Executive Committee
or of any Sub Committee may be held by teleconference (ETNZ, 2014).
General Meetings (Special or Extraordinary):
In some organizations, general meetings are also held on a regular basis.
However, the other organizations have general meetings only under
special conditions. Sometimes these meetings are also known as special
meetings or extraordinary general meetings. In case there is a special
business to be conducted and there is a need to send a special notice to
the members, a general meeting should be called. The rules for any
special or extraordinary general meetings must be laid out in the
constitution. Any extraordinary meeting held in the organization should
only deal with the matters for which a notice has been provided. Some of
the constitutions also require that such meetings be held only under
special circumstances.
Section 121, Companies Act 1993
Companies may need to call special meetings of shareholders from time
to time to vote on specific issues requiring shareholder approval. For
example, a special meeting would need to be called to decide on proposed
changes to a company's constitution or to alter shareholders' rights
(business.govt, 2015).

Hui Maori:
Organizing a formal meeting or a Hui Maori first requires looking at
different decision making styles. The Maori culture places great value on
hospitality and its essence should not be lost even in the conditions of a
meeting. However, Maori like to take their time on the negotiations table.
High pressure tactics are not preferred and directness and honesty are
always required. In the Maori culture the meetings most often begin with
a karakia or prayer (Communitynet, 2015).
Most community organizations run less formal meetings that commonly
include
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Checking the minutes of the previous meetings.

Checking the finances

Checking the progress report on various activities including the


worker activities and projects.

Generally the less formal meetings are quite relaxed. However, it is yet
important to make clear decisions that can be recorded with the majority
support. The organizer or the chair should ensure that it happens. A
formal resolution process should be adopted for financial or other
decisions.
Good results come from well-organized meetings and therefore it is
important to focus on the organization of meetings. If a meeting is not

organized well then the results would not be good and the participants too
would be disappointed. Moreover since meetings can take a lot of peoples
times so it is important that they are run smoothly.
Planning is the key to running well organized and smooth meetings and in
this regard to be effective people can use a checklist.

Clear reasons for the meeting.

Advance invitations.

Appropriate time and venue.

Objectives are clearly communicated and well understood.

Any type of background papers are circulated before the meeting


begins (Legaldocuments, 2016).

Apart from the Maori, there are Europeans and Asians too in NZ and in
the European culture too it is important to focus on punctuality and
honesty. Even the Europeans would prefer that they are informed well in
advance and that the topic and other things are made clear before the
meeting starts.
The Meetings of the members at the energy trust of New Zealand follow
the following rules:
Types of meetings of members: At least every twelve months and no
more that at the interval of every eighteen months after the last annual

meeting. However, special general meetings can be called from time to


time.
Calling of meetings of members: At least ten days notice of meetings of
members shall be given by notice to the last known address of the
secretary of members. The notice shall specify the date, time and place of
the meeting and the business to be conducted thereat. Meetings of
members shall be called by the executive committee by resolution or on
receipt of written advice stating a special matter or topic of business and
signed by not less than five (5) members (ETNZ, 2015).
50% of the members form a quorum at any general meeting of the
society.
Meetings are a very important part of the entire business process. They
are essential for several reasons. They are important for holding
discussions on important issues as well as to share crucial information,
make important decisions and to solve problems as well as to develop
relationships. Moreover, it is essential to see that the meetings are well
organized so that they can be productive and efficient. Not just this the
meetings also empower the staff and can increase the level of activity
inside the organization. However, the most important thing regarding
these meetings is that they have to be well planned so that they can be
executed well. Apart from it there are also other factors like law, culture
and organizational constitution that have to be kept in mind before
starting the meetings. Law is an essential factor and in this regard there

may be several laws to be reviewed before the meeting is planned.


Organization is an important factor and the notices to be sent have to be
clear about the time, venue and purpose of the meeting. The courts also
hold supervisory powers with regards to meetings held inside the
organizations. There are also several types of meetings and while some
can be formal, others can be less formal and more relaxed. Overall,
seeing the centrality of the meetings to businesses it is important that
focus is placed on their planning and organization. Well planned and well
organized meetings can also help achieve great results. Moreover, they
can also help achieve consensus as well as build rapport between
disagreeing parties. Meetings have to be according to the law, then they
should also be according to the culture since preferences and etiquettes
may differ from culture to culture. Unless every small factor related to the
meeting is clearly observed, difficulties may arise. Purpose of the meeting
specifically should be defined well before the meeting starts.

References:
Pitchforth, Roger (2010). Meetings: practice and procedure in New
Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: CCH New Zealand Ltd.

Notice of meetings requirements and good practice (2016). In Legal


Documents.

Retrieved

March

29,

2016,

from

http://www.legaldocuments.co.nz/notice-of-meetings-requirements-andgood-practice/

Aldridge, L. (2013). GUIDE TO MEETING PROCEDURE. In Lianza.


Retrieved March 29, 2016, from
http://www.lianza.org.nz/sites/default/files/lianza_guidetomeetingpro
cedure2013.pdf

Introduction to meetings (2015). In Communitynet. Retrieved March 29,


2016, from http://www.community.net.nz/resources/communityresource-kit/6-1-meetings-introduction/

RULES & GUIDELINES (2014). In ETNZ. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from
http://www.etnz.org.nz/Rules++Guidelines.html

Shareholder meetings (2015). In Business.Govt. Retrieved March 29,


2016, from https://www.business.govt.nz/companies/learnabout/compliance-requirements/meetings/shareholder-meetings

GENERAL MEETINGS (2016). In NZILE. Retrieved March 31, 2016, from


http://www.nzile.org.nz/about_nzile/rules/general_meetings

Holding meetings (2015). In Societies. Retrieved March 31, 2016, from


http://www.societies.govt.nz/cms/incorporated-societies/running-asociety/holding-meetings

Making best use of meetings (n.d.). In DOL. Retrieved March 31, 2016,
from http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/collectivebargaining/2preparing-negotiation/meetings.asp

PREPARING FOR YOUR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) (n.d.).


In NZIndians. Retrieved March 31, 2016, from
http://www.nzindians.org.nz/asp/pdf/ConCom/FS/No
%207%20Preparing%20for%20your%20AGM.pdf