Blind Union Primary Country Delegate Position 

Call for nominations

Rule 10 Elections, clause 10.1, directs Blind Citizens NZ in its election procedures. In publicising this year’s scheduled election and the call for nominations, members are advised that: ▪ people currently in these positions are eligible for re-election;

  • the term of office for each of the two positions is three years;
  • successful candidates will commence their term immediately following the conclusion of this year’s Annual General Meeting and Conference (18-19 October);
  • the election for the two positions happens at the same time by a ballot of all eligible Ordinary (voting) Members;
  • nomination forms and | or email nomination procedures are available upon request from National Office.

Anyone standing for election is encouraged to take the time to ask for, and become familiar with, the duties and responsibilities of Blind Citizens NZ’s Board Members. This information identifies the much-needed skills, experience and knowledge for a Board Member of Blind Citizens NZ. Additionally details that identify specific skills and expertise required of candidates in this year’s election will be available by mid-May and can be obtained from Blind Citizens NZ’s National Office. These details will also be published in our June Focus Issue. Contact details for National Office are at the end of this Focus issue. Here are the details about timelines and procedure for the election of all positions.

To be eligible for nomination for any position, you must:

  • a. live in New Zealand;
  • and b. for at least 24 months of the past five years up to and including 29 August 2024, have been a (financial) Ordinary Member of Blind Citizens NZ.

Nominations require two people to support you i.e. one to move and another to second your nomination.

There are two ways nominations can be completed and submitted. You can use a paper form or the email process.

If using the paper form, signatures of all three members involved in the nomination are required. Email procedures similarly require the same people to confirm their respective role in the nomination process. If choosing the email procedure, you are required to contact the Returning Officer at National Office prior to commencing this process. This is important, as there are instructions unique to the email procedure that must be followed. The email procedure mirrors, as closely as possible, the requirements for the paper-based option.

Ordinary Members, financial as at 29 August 2024, are eligible to stand for election to these two positions. The closing date for nominations is 4pm Thursday 29 August 2024. Candidates are required to provide their CV at the same time as their nomination is submitted to the Returning Officer.

Nominations and CVs should be sent to the Returning Officer at one of the following:

Once nominations close, if the maximum number of nominations for the two positions is received, no election will be needed. Candidates will be declared elected unopposed. Should nominations exceed the number of positions being elected, an election will then be held.Page 15 of 32

Voting in the election

Ballot material (names of people standing for election, information they have provided about themselves etc.), will be sent to all Ordinary Members recorded as financial on the member database at National Office as at 4pm, Thursday 29 August 2024. No later than Thursday 19 September 2024, ballot material will be distributed in the voting member’s preferred format.

When does voting close? Completed ballots (votes cast by voting members) must be received at National Office no later than 4.00 pm, Tuesday 8 October 2024. Vote counting will take place no later than Wednesday 16 October 2024.

Ways to cast your vote in Blind Citizens NZ’s election: there are several options available for members to participate in the election process. Election (ballot) material about candidates standing for election is available in large print, audio, Braille, by email, and via our National Feedback Line bulletin on TellMe. If you are in any doubt about what your preferred communication option is to receive information and vote in Blind Citizens NZ’s election, please contact our National Office to check.

You choose your preferred voting option:

When voting in Blind Citizens NZ elections, you can choose one of three options. It is important to remember that the way you vote, can be different from the way you choose to receive your election (ballot) material. You can cast your vote using the large print form, the Braille-card option, or TellMe. For many reasons we encourage members to try TellMe. This offers a truly independent, confidential, and empowering voting experience.

Using TellMe means you can independently do all the things you need to do in an election – you hear about the candidates standing for election, and you can cast your vote. Casting your vote by TellMe means you are in control. This includes certainty that your vote will be received by the due date and time. There is no worrying about whether a postal ballot will reach its destination in time to be counted.

Postal votes offer less certainty that your vote will arrive by the close of voting. If you would like to know more about using TellMe and casting your vote using this option, please contact our National Office.

Applications needed for Blind Citizens NZ’s World Blind Union Primary Country Delegate Position Rose Wilkinson, Chief Executive

Blind Citizens NZ is New Zealand’s country member to the World Blind Union (WBU). The number of delegates (representatives) assigned to country members is based on the country’s population. New Zealand has two delegate (representative) positions. Each of these positions differs in terms of the status given to them. However it is important to recognise that the work the two delegates carry out is complementary and requires them to work together. Each of the two positions must be held by an Ordinary Member (voting | financial) of Blind Citizens NZ. Details to inform interested members about this position are a little further on in this item.

On this occasion the Board is calling for applications for the primary WBU Country Delegate position.

These close 4pm, Tuesday 7 May 2024. At its May 2024 meeting, the Board will finalise its approach and timeline towards short-listing and interviewing candidates. This information will be conveyed to those who have submitted applications.

The Board has determined the term of office for this position will align with the secondary WBU Country Delegate position. Once appointed, the successful candidate will serve their term through until November 2025.

About the WBU Country Delegate Position

Applicants must be aware the successful person appointed to this position, if they are not already on the Board of Blind Citizens NZ as an elected member in their own right, will be co-opted to the Board. This is a constitutional requirement which in turn means the successful person becomes a Board Member. Being co-opted to the Board means the successful applicant is obliged to attend Board meetings and to fulfil the duties and responsibilities expected of a Board Member. The point of reference for this constitutional provision is Rule 6.3 “Co-opting Additional Board Members”.

Applicants should firstly request the WBU Country Delegate position description. It is also advisable to obtain a copy of the role and responsibilities of Board Members. Each of these documents sets out the respective skills, requirements and attributes the Board believes necessary for the person in this role. Applicants shortlisted for this position will be interviewed by a Panel appointed by the Board of Blind Citizens NZ.

Where to send applications

Applications close 4pm, Tuesday 7 May 2024. These are to be submitted to Blind Citizens NZ’s National Office via either of the following two options: