I’ll be announcing the date and venue for our AGM shortly. Please let me know if there are any agenda items that you’d like added.
Frog Twissell, THGPC Secretary
Meanwhile for your wet-weekend delectation, here’s a rambling account of the NZHGPA AGM, which I had the privilege of attending recently as club delegate:
Cutting immediately to the chase, Evan Lamberton has stepped down as CEO and passed the mantle to our very own Nick Taber. Unfortunately Nick wasn’t in the best of health and joined the meeting by Zoom, along with a few others. This worked well on the whole.
In turn, Nick stood down as Airspace Officer now that a replacement has been found in the shape of Rhys Akers.
Many of you will be aware that Nicky Hamill has retired from the post of administrator; Ian Manton and Any Carruthers stood in until the AGM.
Many kind words were exchanged in recognition of the invaluable work that has been done for the association. Somewhat akin to a duck, above the waterline the club aims to maintain the simple serenity that we can simply go out and fly when we feel like it, while below the surface the poor bugger’s little feet are going like the clappers.
Remit B1 was that Airborn magazine should move to a digital-only format.
Bill Degen joined us via Zoom to talk about this matter. In brief, Bill has produced the magazine more or less single-handed for donkeys’ years and at relatively minimal cost to the club; this is supplemented by advertising revenue to make it worth Bill’s while. He was very clear that if we changed to a digital-only format then much if not all of the advertising revenue would dry up and that Airborn would become more or less a newsletter rather than a magazine. In addition, a printed magazine provides something tangible that can help keep new and ‘resting’ pilots engaged.
While it was widely felt that Bill had made a convincing case, some delegates had been given clear instructions from their clubs and were therefore obliged to support the remit. However, it was ultimately overturned and the association will continue to fund the printed version for the next year, at least.
Remit B2 related to approval of the budget for the coming year. The budget figures were discussed in details and a number of entries were adjusted accordingly, including of course the expenditure for printing Airborn. This created something of a paradox since the delegates for some clubs had been instructed to support the remit for the budget as presented; since the figures had been changed, it could be interpreted either that the delegates should support the remit or that, since the figures were different from what had been approved, they should oppose it. Much soul-searching later, the revised budget was approved, largely because the figures had been jointly agreed by the delegates, and partly because there was no plan B. The budget would eat into about a third of the association’s savings. It was pointed out that the association had put aside money for a rainy day and it was in fact precipitating intensely.
Remit B3 proposed that the membership fees should be unchanged from last year. This was proposed on the basis of various assumptions, including that Airborn would go to digital-only, and a few other assumptions that ultimately were somewhat different from the budget as approved under remit B2. We discussed this and the consensus was that a moderate increase (of the order of $10) would be prudent so as not to deplete the coffers and require a larger increase the following year. Again, several delegates had been given clear instructions and were therefore obliged to support the remit, which was ultimately passed.
Remit C1 proposed that if somebody resigned mid-year from the Exec, that the Exec could appoint a replacement at their discretion. This was passed.
Remit C2 relates to accountancy and is too boring to discuss here.
Remit C3 essentially corrects a typo in the constitution.
Remit C4 changes a couple of references to ‘pilots’ to ‘members’ since members may choose not to be pilots.
The Exec elections took place; the one moment of excitement was that Guntram Gross was proposed and seconded from the floor. However he didn’t get enough votes to make it on to the Exec.
For those who aren’t aware, the delegates elect members to be on the Executive Committee and then at the Executive Meeting the committee decide who is to fill which position, although in reality this is pretty much established beforehand.
On Sunday morning the Exec met to discuss the Exec remits. While these are essentially operational matters, any club delegates who are present at the Exec meeting are allowed to vote. Interestingly (to me anyway) delegates at the AGM carry a number of votes determined by the size of their club, while delegates at the exec meeting carry one vote each.
EEM remit 1 related to insurance, and moved that the Exec sort out, within 3 months, liability insurance for all instructors (specifically aimed at club instructors and other club committee members who could conceivably be held liable if something bad happened). The current state of play regarding insurance negotiations was explained, and the proposer of the remit ultimately withdrew the remit, being satisfied that the Exec was doing all that it could be expected to do.
EEM remits 2 and 3 asked for a long-term strategy for retention of flying sites and for a facility to help protect sites that are at risk. Kyla MacDonald, who seconded both motions, volunteered to follow up and this was warmly received. Well done Kyla, both remits passed.
EEM remit 4 regarded a Code of Conduct. There had been a number of representations (including from THGPG) regarding the content of the proposed code, as it included a number of provisions that were excessively broad, duplicated existing association or CAA rules, or both. However, it was very clear to all parties that the proposed Code was only a discussion document and the exec was considering whether such a Code should exist rather than on its specific content, which will be considered in due course. The remit was passed.
EEM remit 5, proposed by Kinga Masztalerz, requested that the Exec support and promote hike & fly activities in NZ. Since Kinga was asking for very little from the association beyond promotion and encouragement, this was readily passed.
Things that I took away from the weekend:
- it’s interesting to see how the national association works
- there’s work to be done regarding communication to clubs and members
- sending delegates with guidance rather than strict instructions is probably a good idea. Things can and do happen that change the landscape.
- we’re all pulling in more or less the same directio