agm tagged to 14 November town-hall talk
To save dragging some of the same folk out twice in one month, Mahurangi Action is tagging its annual general meeting to next month’s Warkworth Town Hall Talk.
This is not to suggest that the society is permanently abandoning its salubrious tradition of meeting at Scott Homestead, but 2018, being Warkworth’s year of structure-plan processes, deserves Mahurangi Action’s continuing focus. Self-interest alone suggests that the interests of the Mahurangi watershed are best served by Warkworth’s planned, five-times-larger population being mindful, amongst other things, of the harbours elevated sediment accumulation rate.
Annual general meetings can be productive. One, that of 1993, after its worth had received the fulsome endorsement of historian Beverly Simmons, approved the publication of Dr Ronald Locker’s history of the Mahurangi. But generally, as democratically necessary as the process of electing—or, more typically, re-electing—a committee is, annual general meetings, for most, are the least endearing component of community engagement. And there is there is the attendant danger of election by ambushindeed, the writer’s introduction to community service at the treacherous hands of his father, at the ages 23 and 58, respectively. It might be a small democratic violation compared with what appears to be systemic in the New Zealand National Party, including the spousal-nepotistic stacking of council positions revealed this week, but it doesn’t make it right.
The need for incorporated societies to hold annual elections is almost never questioned. Yet parliamentarians, once elected, are generally free to make unfettered life-and-death decisions for others at least three years—five, in the United Kingdom; two in the United States, for members of the House of Representatives. Be that as it may, annual elections are more democratic, and democracy would be in considerably less danger now, has the Chartists’ sixth demand, for annual elections, been met:
6. Annual parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelve-month; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.
On Wednesday 14 November, the annual general meeting will closely follow Professor Bill McKay’s talk—temporarily titled for him Life at the End of the Motorway—at about 7.30 pm. To vote for committee members or on other issues, members need to be financial. This can be done online easily enough by credit card:
Cash or cheque on the night is also acceptable, particularly if the organisation succeeds in attracting a treasurer. Speaking of which, nominations for committee members can also be made online:
Meantime, Professor McKay’s talk can be calendarised at the push of a button: