At the 2012 AGM (9-11 November), President Tony McLeod will move that the Constitution and Rules of the RNZA Association be amended. The motion will be seconded by Vice President Mike Dakin.
Rule changes at the AGM in 2010 reduced the qualifying period for Full Membership of the RNZA Assn to 3 months service as a gunner. This essentially means that all personnel who have completed their gunnery basic training are eligible for full membership.
However membership is still currently qualified by the requirement to apply and be accepted, and to pay an annual subscription. This procedural requirement and financial aspect are holding the Association back from fulfilling its real purpose of extending its fellowship to all gunners – not just those who have paid their subscription (or stumbled across a membership application form).
Unlike a sports club, where membership is dependent on payment of a subscription, the Committee considers that gunners have already paid for their right to membership of the RNZA Association by their service to the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery.
In April-May 2012 a survey was conducted with 50 senior members of the Association. The survey proposed that membership of the Assn should be automatic once a gunner had served his/her 3 months with the Regiment, and that membership for those so qualified would be free.
The proposal for automatic membership was supported by 80% of the respondents, and the proposal for free membership was supported by 70 % of the respondents. This level of support has led the Executive Committee to draft the following amendments to the Constitution.
Main Effects of the Changes
The main points of this amendment are:
Any gunner who has completed 3 months service with the guns becomes a Full Member of the Association (no change from existing). Membership is not compulsory.
- This is a lifelong status, unless the member resigns or is disqualified for any reason.
- The Registration For Full Membership form will still need to be completed by eligible Full Members so that their contact details may be recorded.
- Contact details for serving gunners will be gathered from 16 Field Regt.
- Gathering contact details for other eligible Full Members will be an on-going task for the committee.
- The Life Member category has been retained to allow for 'Honour and Recognition' to be bestowed upon any member who has given exceptional service to the Association. This is a subtle difference from a Full member, who whilst a member for life, is not necessarily a `Life Member`.
- There is no change to Associate Member status. Only Associate Members will pay a subscription, to be set at each AGM.
The New Zealand Gunner
- As a result of these amendments, and with effect from December 2012, The New Zealand Gunner newsletter will be published electronically (on the website).
- The provision of a printed Newsletter will be on a strictly user-pays basis.
- The charge for a printed Newsletter (4 issues a year) will be set at $20 per annum, but may be amended by the committee if it becomes necessary to meet costs.
- Operating costs for the Association will need to be met by donations.
- An annual 'Request For Donation' will be forwarded to all members, with the suggestion that $20 per annum would be a nice starting point.
We trust that this proposal to amend the Constitution and Rules of the RNZA Association will receive your full support at the AGM on Saturday 10 November 2012, so that the Association may become truly representative of the 'Family of Gunners', and that the expression 'once a gunner always a gunner' is given meaning.