Have your say on the future structure of our organisation

As we've previously shared, the pandemic pushed Property Council New Zealand into an unknown and uncertain future.   

Thanks to your support we have been able to maintain strong membership subscriptions for the 2020/21 year but have been significantly impacted by the loss of planned event revenue. These events and conferences generate a large proportion of Property Council’s income.  With restrictions affecting our ability to deliver regional events we moved quickly to offer members access to webinars and postpone large events to later in the year, resulting in our income being drastically reduced.   

We are now pleased to be back offering face-to-face events once again (subject to COVID-19 Alert levels) and are committed to continuing to offer virtual events and opportunities on a digital platform. In light of these changes, we have recently restructured our organisation to create a more streamlined and connected operation. These changes, which included saying a sad farewell to several staff members, the team collectively taking a 20% reduction in salary for three months, and some prudent budgeting, allowed us to make required budgeted savings of approximately $500k in 2021. 

A broader reset to enable efficiencies is needed, and that process starts right now. 

Resetting our governance structure 

The goal of this reset is to create a sustainable and “fit for purpose” Property Council New Zealand.  We want to ensure the organisation can run more efficiently and effectively and respond with agility and accuracy. We want to be able to leverage the amazing resource that our members provide to further and strengthen our message. 

There are five key areas of proposed change: 

  • Simplifying the membership structure 

  • Consolidating the branch structure from five branches and one chapter to four regions 

  • Revising the Constitution  

  • Revising the governance structure 

  • Revising the nomination, election and voting process for governance positions. 

Property Council's current governance structure:

Property Council's proposed governance structure:

 

By modernising these areas, we will unlock efficiencies and reduce the heavily administrative nature of our business. Outcomes include: 

  • A simplified constitution that all staff and members understand 

  • A contemporary framework for the organisation to operate from 

  • A transparent, consistent and simple election process for all committees 

  • Updated terminology befitting the times 

  • A flexible structure for future changes. 

For the first stage of consultation, we have engaged with National Council members, Corporate Members, Regional Executive Committees, and all National Committees.  

The feedback provided has been used to develop a suite of documents which cover three levels of governance and operation: 

Constitution 

  1. This formally outlines the purpose of the Property Council, why it exists and how it operates 
  2. The Constitution specifies the National Board 
  3. The Constitution can only be changed at an AGM.

By-laws 

  1. This sets out the structure and rules that govern the way Property Council operates and sets parameters for specific areas such as membership structure, admission, establishment, and operation of committees 
  2. The By-laws can be changed by the National Board. 

Operational Guidelines 

  1. These are internal Property Council operational documents that would be used for National and Regional Committees to ensure consistency and transparency. It would include the purpose of a committee, detailed operations, expectations of members, job descriptions for key roles, and the induction process. 
  2. These are approved by the National Board. 

We invite all members to have your say by Monday 21 September 2020 and help set the platform and framework for our organisation for the future. 

Please send all feedback to Rona Miller via rona@propertynz.co.nz

Next steps 

Once your feedback has been received and reviewed any resulting changes will be incorporated in the final version of documents which will be sent to all members on 2 October in preparation for our AGM on 30 October in Auckland.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Based on the feedback and questions to date, we have attempted to answer some of the more common questions raised.  

First, let's take a look at Property Council's current membership structure:

Here is Property Council's proposed membership structure:

What are the main changes for Corporate Leaders and Members? 

This category remains the same, but the terminology is proposed to change. Corporate Leaders will become Industry Leaders – Owner/Developer. Corporate Members will be Industry Leaders – Construction, Property Services & Professionals.   

It is also proposed to stop the additional separate membership fee for the New Zealand Council of Retail Property (NZCoRP).  These companies would be members based on the appropriate category, and then elect to be part of this as a special interest group. 

What are the main changes for Core and Associate Members? 

For Core Members, we are creating a new category for those with a property portfolio valued at over $500m and for Associates a category for those with over 80 employees.  It is proposed that branch membership be reconfigured and recognised as a national membership.  

The appropriate membership category will be determined by the number of employees/value of portfolio nationally. National Associate Membership will be absorbed into the new national membership structure.  

A move towards a national membership structure means members can access any member service or event in any area of the country, even if their business operates from elsewhere. It will mean that members can personalise their preferences and interests such as: 

  • By region
  • By specific sector – eg commercial, industrial, retail, residential 
  • By special interest groups eg Future Directions, Women in Property, Diversity & Inclusion, 
  • By selecting and being part of Communities eg RMA, government, sustainability, community and social housing and dedicated advocacy working groups. 

What are the proposed changes around the country to branch/regional representation? 

The objective is to create an efficient, streamlined support framework for members around the country which is financially sustainable. We are proposing to move from five branches and one chapter to four regions. Auckland and Wellington remain the same, while the Bay of Plenty and Waikato become one central region, and the Otago chapter is incorporated back into the South Island region. 

Why is it important to update the Constitution? 

The current constitution was drafted in 1992 and is not in keeping with modern times. It has been added to and amended multiple times since then, without the whole document being reviewed and the current 27-page document contradicts itself in numerous places. The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 is being reviewed by Government and our proposed Constitution has been developed in line with the principles of what is proposed in the revised Act. 

What is the timing for these changes? 

All proposed changes are being presented at the National AGM in Auckland on 30 October 2020. After this, transition plans will be developed where necessary. The launch of the National Board is planned for implementation in early 2021. Branch committees will continue as-is for a period next year until a clear plan is developed for change. The new process for voting will be implemented for next year's National AGM. 

What are the main changes to the national governance? 

We want to ensure the organisation can be run in a more disciplined and business-like manner. The National Board will be responsible for the operational side of the organisation, replacing National Council and the Executive Committee. The current 17-person National Council will be replaced by the National Board with seven members. 

An Advisory Group will be established with the objective of setting the advocacy strategy and industry leadership issues.  This will include all Industry Leaders, Chairs of the Regional Committees, and Chairs of the National Committees.  This becomes the key industry group for setting the future direction of the organisation.   

What are the main changes to the Regional and National Committees? 

The establishment or dissolution of these committees can be approved by the National Board. The size of each committee will be between 5-15 with two-year terms. The term of the Chair is also two years with a maximum term as Chair of four years. There are no maximum terms for committee members, but all committees will be asked to consider the matrix of skills required and to put in place a succession plan. Terminology such as Branch President will be updated to Regional Chair. All National and Regional Committees can also appoint a Deputy Chair from the 5-15 committee members and an optional additional committee intern.  

What are the requirements for a Regional sub-committee? 

The Operational Guidelines specify guidelines for committees to ensure transparency and consistency. Each Regional Committee can create additional sub-committees if needed but are also responsible for the administration of any additional sub-committee. 

What happens if someone resigns from the National or Regional Committee? 

The committee can leave the position vacant or co-opt someone to the position until the next election. This vacancy will be filled at the next election according to the voting process. 

What’s happening with nominations, elections and the voting process? 

We are proposing to create a transparent process that is consistent and streamlined across the country. All nominations for National and Regional Committees will be requested 6 weeks prior to the National AGM which will be held in September each year. There are criteria to be nominated on a Regional Committee or NZCoRP. 

After nominations close, Property Council will prepare a pack of voting information with information about each candidate. For National Committees, the voting will be sent to the respective company National Representative. For Regional Committees, the voting pack will be sent to the respective company Regional Representative. After voting closes, the results for National Committee positions will be tallied and presented at the National AGM. For the Regional Committees, they will be presented at the next regional meeting to be held within 2 weeks of the AGM. All terms are two years and commence on 1 November. 

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