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Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand

2006 AGM Minutes

Minutes of the 83rd Annual General Meeting held on Saturday, 1st July 2006 at the Devon Hotel, New Plymouth, commencing at approximately 4:45pm.

33 members, including representatives of affiliated societies, and 3 visitors.

The President Brian Loader called the meeting to order at 4:45pm.

Items of business
Respect for deceased members
Greetings to absent members
Minutes of the previous AGM held in Nelson
Matters arising from the Minutes
  1. Auditor changed
Election of Council
Annual Report of Council for the year 2005
Annual Accounts for the year 2005
Election of Auditor
Election of Honorary Solicitor
Notice of Motion
General Business as allowed for by the rules
  1. Letter about LEOTC funding
  2. RASNZ Logo
  3. Possible extension of conference

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1. Apologies:

Apologies were received from Dennis Sullivan and Murray Forbes.
Moved from the chair: that the apologies be accepted. / - carried.

2. Respect for deceased members:

Since the previous Annual General Meeting two members have passed away: Reg Sutherland, George Poste.
The President asked the meeting to stand in silence for a moment in remembrance of the deceased members.

3. Greetings to absent members:

Greetings were to be sent to Frank Bateson, Robin Adams, R.S. Cretney, Norman Dickie, Colin Keay, Olwen Jones, Jeff Knapp, Dennis Hills, Norman Rumsey, John Mackie, and Gerry Gilmore.

4. Minutes of the previous AGM held in Nelson:

The minutes of the RASNZ 82nd Annual General Meeting, held on 2005 June 25 at the Trailways Lodge, Nelson, had been available to members on the website since August 2005.
Moved: That the minutes be taken as read. / Pauline Loader, Grant Christie. - carried.
Moved: That the minutes be signed as a true and correct record of the meeting. / Brian Loader. - carried.

5. Matters arising from the Minutes:

Item 8. The treasurer noted that the appointed auditor, Mr Russell How, had become ill in 2005 and the accounts were audited instead by Mr Gregory Beck.

6. Election of Council for 2006-8:

The president read out the names of those nominated for offices and council. An election was not necessary, since the numbers of nominations received equalled or were less than the number of vacancies for each position. Those elected were:

  1. President, Karen Pollard
  2. Vice President, Grant Christie
  3. Secretary, Pam Kilmartin
  4. Treasurer, Pauline Loader
  5. Fellows Councillor, Denis Sullivan
  6. Members Councillors, Bob Evans, Duncan Hall, Steve Butler, Orlon Petterson
  7. Affiliated Societies Councillors, John Field, Ross Skilton.
  8. The past president Brian Loader becomes a vice president.
Since there was a vacancy for a Members Councillor nominations were called for from the floor.
Deborah Hambly was nominated by Grant Christie and seconded by Marilyn Head.
John Drummond was nominated by Ross Skilton and seconded by Alan Gilmore.
An election was held by secret ballot as there were two nominees. Pauline Loader and John Field offered to be scrutineers. Votes counted for Deborah Hambly were 16, for John Drummond 14, 1 invalid vote. The president declared that Deborah Hambly was elected.
Moved: That the ballot papers be destroyed. / Pauline Loader, Lionel Hussey. - carried.

7. Annual Report of Council for the year 2005:

The 83nd Annual Report of Council for the year 2005 had been published in the June 2006 issue of Southern Stars.
Moved: That the report be taken as read. /Dennis Goodman, Marilyn Head. - carried.
Moved:That the annual report be accepted by the meeting. / Brian Loader. - carried.

8. Annual Accounts for the year 2005:

The Annual Accounts for 2005 had been published in the June 2006 issue of Southern Stars with the Annual Report of Council.

The treasurer pointed out that although the accounts record a surplus of $1700, interest was at $1800, meaning that subscriptions are not covering costs. Projected increases in expenditure will lead to capital being spent.
Duncan Hall asked if fixed assets are depreciated? Yes, the Southern Stars computer is depreciated at 40% per year.
John Hearnshaw advocated a membership drive to increase revenue rather than a subscription increase.
The treasurer noted the high proportion of elderly members, and the rate of attrition - members last either 2 years or 10 to 15 years - but said the various reasons for resignation do not include many financial. Each of the 180 members should encourage others to join, as council is not able to man membership drives.
Orlon Petterson said that we could advertise more, but there was no guarantee the expenditure would be recouped. The website is a major recruitment tool.
Grant Christie asked how much surplus was needed per subscription; the treasurer replied that profit was not in the equation; Grant then asked if 100 members were added would that help? - yes, probably.
Duncan Hall inquired about the last subscription increase; 3 or 4 years ago, increased by $5.
John Field remarked that a society he knew of had an automatic subscription increase by a set amount every two years.
Roland Idaczyk asked if the society had charitable trust status, with tax-deductible subs? - no.

Moved: That the Annual Accounts for 2005 be accepted. / Brian Loader, Pauline Loader - carried.
Moved: That the Annual Accounts for 2005 be accepted. /Frank Andrews, Orlon Petterson - carried.

9. Election of Auditor:

The present auditor, Mr Russell How, had fallen ill in 2005, and passed the accounts onto Mr Gregory Beck. Mr Beck audited the 2005 accounts for the same figure as Mr How charged but indicated that, while he was willing to continue to be auditor, future accounts would be charged for at a commercial rate, $700 + GST and costs, according to the rate used by chartered accountants.
John Field asked if there could be a rule change not to have the accounts audited. Yes, but not advisable; incorporated societies do not have to have their accounts audited but must present them to their AGM and send copies to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.
The treasurer required such protection as much business was done these days through use of a personal credit card.
Frank Andrews asked if there was an accountant in the society who might be willing to do the job at a reduced rate? Could the accounts be audited but not by a chartered accountant?
Duncan Hall thought he could find one in Wellington, if documents could be transported there.

Moved: That the appointment of the auditor should be left to council if a cheaper way can be found. /Frank Andrews, Roland Idacsyk - carried, with one vote against.

10. Election of Honorary Solicitor:

The honorary solicitor, Mr John McCay, was willing to continue.
Moved: That Mr John McCay should be elected Honorary Solicitor for 2006. /Brian Loader, John Field - carried.

Moved:11. Notice of Motion:

Moved: That the unit of annual subscription be $75 beginning for the year 2007. / Dennis Goodman, Marilyn Head.
Discussion was short, much having already been said during items 8 and 9. The question of a reduction for early payment was raised, but this is usually decided by the council. Rose McDermott asked if income from the BAA Handbooks might be increased? - no, as it could not be specified due to exchange rate changes between time of ordering and payment.
The motion was put, and carried without dissenting voices

12. General Business as allowed for by the rules:

12.1 Letter about LEOTC funding:
Moved: That the RASNZ send a letter to the education minister expressing concern that funding for Learning Experience Outside the Classroom has been effectively cut, not having been increased since 1999; and that science education outside the classroom is now not funded, particularly the efforts made by Carter Observatory. / Marilyn Head, Frank Andrews. - carried.

12.2 Logo competition: Ashley Marles asked if there would be a new logo competition. Karen Pollard replied that at the last conference, there was one preferred design that came out of the competition, but it had some concerns about easy size change and reproducibility which the logo committee would look at further. Ashley noted that high school design students might be interested in helping.

12.3 Extension of conference by one more day: Brian Loader initiated a discussion of whether conference might be extended another day, either the Friday or Sunday, to accommodate an increasing number of meetings and papers. It was decided to put the question to the members in general, by means of the email newsletter or other form of circulation.

Closing thanks: The president concluded by thanking the society, and the council for their support over the last two years. Bob Evans moved a vote of thanks to Brian for his work as president since 2006, which was carried by acclamation.

Closure: There being no further business the meeting closed at 5:45 pm.

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