Special General Meeting


Special General Meeting

In 2018, the NZVA Board set the wheels in motion to ensure that the association is fit for the future by the end of 2019. Board members were unanimous that there are compelling reasons for change to better meet members' needs and achieve unity and sustainability as an association. See more about the Change Project here.

On the 30th May, following consultation with members, branch committees, employers, partners, staff and other stakeholders the Board made decisions around changes to governance and structure to help us to ensure we are fit for the future. These decisions were communicated to members in June. Most of the decisions made require making changes to the NZVA's Constitution.

The changes to the Constitution will be voted on at this Special General Meeting. Find more information about this below. We welcome members attendance and contribution in what will be an important day in our profession's history.

The Constitution and changes will be made available to members to view by Monday 29 July.


What: New Zealand Veterinary Association Special General Meeting (SGM)
When: Wednesday 28th August 2019, arrival from 12.30pm (lunch provided)
Where: Area Events, 1 O’Reily Avenue, Wellington


  1. Welcome
  2. Confirmation of quorum
  3. Overview of constitutional changes
  4. Motion to amend the Constitution of the NZVA – the proposed constitution will be circulated no later than Monday 29th July 2019
  5. Close of meeting

Quorum and voting eligibility

Thirty (30) Members of the Association who are eligible to vote will constitute a quorum. These thirty members must be present at the SGM. Members eligible to vote are; Ordinary Members, a Retired Member who elects to pay the annual subscription, and Life Members.

Can I vote if I am physically unable to attend the meeting?

A member who is unable to be present at the SGM may appoint any other member, who is entitled to vote, to vote on their behalf (this is a proxy vote). In order to appoint a proxy the attached form must be completed and returned to the Executive Assistant, Megan Miller via megan.miller@vets.org.nz no later than 4pm Monday 26th August 2019.

Note that your proxy (ie. the member who is voting on your behalf) must attend the Special General Meeting. Contact Megan Miller at the above email address to inquire about assigning your proxy vote to someone who is attending.

Download the proxy form here.

How will the vote take place?

Voting for the constitutional changes will take place with one motion. Voting shall, in the first instance, be a show of hands. Any two members may request that a ballot be taken. The amendment to the rules is carried by a majority of no less than two thirds of eligible members present at the meeting.

Confirming attendance

To help facilitate requirements can you please confirm your attendance with the Executive Assistant, Megan Miller via megan.miller@vets.org.nz by 4pm Friday 23rd August 2019.

Proposed changes

See the proposed new constitution here.

See the current constitution here.

See the Board decisions around changes to governance and structure, along with the clauses they relate to in both constitutions here.

If you have any questions about the proposed changes please email the Board at nzva@vets.org.nz.

Summary of the key proposed changes

The NZVA Board have undertaken a full review of the Constitution, and there have been a number of administrative changes to reflect. Below is a summary of the more significant proposed changes.

Clause 5 – Retired Members

  • Retired members may apply for free Association membership.
  • A Retired Member (including those with free membership), are eligible to vote for at all meetings of the Association and be an officer of the Association.

Clause 7 – Composition of Board
This reduces the size of the Board from a current maximum of 11 to a maximum of seven members, and includes up to two independent members with governance skills.
This proposal seeks to bring a focus on governance skills and experience, and diversity.

NZVA Board – Skills based (Chair + six members)

  • One Board Chair (leader of the NZVA Board, veterinarian or non-veterinarian with recognised governance skills).
  • One President (position to be reviewed in 2021. See clause 12).
  • Six Board members
    • Three NZVA member veterinarians (elected by NZVA members)
    • One NZVA member veterinarian (elected from within the Member Advisory Group)
    • One NZVA member veterinarian (appointed by the Board)
    • One governance professional (appointed by the Board after open recruitment)

Clause 12 – Transition to New Board Composition
This clause details how the transition to the new Board composition will/can take place.

Clause 15 – General Meetings
This proposed change allows Annual and Special General Meetings to be held by means of audio, or audio and visual, communication by which all members participating and constituting a quorum, can simultaneously hear each other throughout the meeting.

Clause 21 - Member Advisory Group
This new proposal seeks to bring a member voice to the Board and to enable better collaboration between branches and national office, and more effective delivery of services for the benefit of all members.

With special interest and regional interest branches the Member Advisory Function seeks to advise the Board on technical and standards-related matters, and to ensure the voice of members is heard.

  • Elected representatives of seven special interest branches.
  • Three elected regional branch representatives (for north, central and south).
  • The NZVA CEO and Chief Veterinary Officer will attend group meetings.

Clause 23 - Regional Networks
The primary objectives of the Regional Networks is to retain Regional Branches but reduce the complexity. It aims to eliminate onerous administration demands on volunteers and enable delivery of a more consistent quality of member experience – irrespective of location.

  • Pre-existing Regional Branches that wish to have a committee may still do so.
  • The primary function of regional networks is for collegiality and continuing professional development, and to encourage professional debate and discussion.
  • Regional networks shall be run by local volunteer groups/individuals who shall liaise with central coordination provided by national office and shall be funded as approved by the Board. No annual general meetings of regional networks are required.

Clause 26 - Special Interest Branches
This proposed structure seeks to deliver benefits to all NZVA members by providing access to specialised technical information and expertise developed through Special Interest Branches. It will support collaboration between special interest branches, regional branches and the national office to reduce duplication and costs, and also to improve service delivery.

Clause 25 – Retired Veterinarians Network
This proposed network's primary function is to provide a special emphasis on retired veterinarians to recognise their contribution to the profession and to encourage collegiality and continued involvement in the Association. The network aims to:

  • Be recognised as a group of experienced veterinarians from which other bodies, including the Board, may seek advice and assistance on matters affecting the profession and the Association.
  • Provide a focus for retired veterinarians and their families to meet, foster collegiality, share knowledge and provide mutual support.
  • Maintain links between veterinarians, retired veterinarians and the Association.
  • Enhance the enjoyment of retirement through information dissemination and social gathering.
  • Provide a source of information for those members of the Association planning retirement.
  • Help the Association by offering expertise or historical knowledge.