1. Name
The name of the Organisation (“the Organisation”) is the Psychosocial Oncology of New Zealand (“PONZ”)

2. Administration
Subject to the matters set out below the Organisation and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee constituted by clause 7 of this constitution (“the Executive Committee”)

3. Background Statement
Three out of four families are affected by cancer each year, and many more are touched by allied diseases.  However, the psychosocial dimension, while the most universal, remains the most under-recognised and untreated dimension of care for patients with cancer and allied diseases.

Virtually all patients and their families experience distress varying from the predictable worries and fears to more serious forms of distress impacting on treatment and quality of life.  Studies show that one third of cancer patients experience severe emotional problems.  The mission of PONZ is to establish a multi-disciplinary professional organisation whose mission is to promote the psychosocial and physical needs of patients with cancer and allied diseases and aim to support their families at all stages of disease and survivorship through practical supports and resources, counselling, clinical care education, research and advocacy.

4. Objects
The Organisation’s objects (“the objects”) are:

  • to organize an annual conference called the ‘PONZ’ meeting.  The purpose of this meeting is to promote the exchange of new research and clinical developments and ideas in psychosocial oncology.
  • to advance the understanding of psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and ethical aspects of cancer and its treatments
  • to promote interdisciplinary research in psychosocial oncology
  • to promote high professional and ethical standards of psychological and social support for cancer patients, their families and healthcare providers and so improve the quality of psychosocial care
  • to promote education in psychosocial oncology for counsellors and social workers and all other health    care professionals concerned with cancer care
  • to influence policies on psychosocial care and research priorities within New Zealand through liaison with key organisations
  • to foster and maintain collaboration between psychosocial oncology societies throughout the world
  • to foster collaboration between professionals involved in psychosocial oncology
  • Advocate for programmes and policies to meet the psychosocial needs of oncology patients and their supporters.

5. Powers
5.1 To raise or borrow money required for the objects of the Society by means of subscriptions, donations, bequests, entertainments or other functions or by any other means;

5.2 To acquire whether by purchase, hire or lease real and personal property for the purposes of the Society and to dispose of property no longer required;

5.3 To invest and lend monies of the Society upon such investments as are from time to time authorized by the law for the investments of trust funds;

5.4 To do all such other things that in the opinion of the Executive Committee are necessary or desirable for attaining all or any of the foregoing objects of the Society;

5.5 In constructing the foregoing objects, the construction of any clause shall not be limited or restricted by reference to any other clauses;

5.6 The Society and its affairs and activities shall not be conducted for the profit of its members or any of them and no part of the income or assets of the Society shall inure for the benefit of any officer of the Society or any member, excepting grants to members for research or other academic purposes;

5.7 No member of the executive Committee or any person associated with that committee for the purposes of the Income Tax Act 1994 shall be able by virtue of his or her capacity as:

i.   a member, or
ii. member of the Executive Committee, or
i. a person associated to that committee,
to determine or materially influence in any way the determination of, the nature of or the amount of any benefit or advantage or any income or the circumstances of that benefit or advantage is to be received by that person in the course of carrying out the business of the Society.

6. Membership
6.1 Individuals wishing to join the Society may do so if they have an interest in psychosocial oncology and subscribe to the Constitution of PONZ; Associate/Affiliate members include non-health professionals, family/whanau and those who may have/have not had a cancer.  Members are defined as health professionals.

6.2 Every candidate for membership shall be proposed in writing (in the form set out in Appendix I to these rules) to the Secretary/ Treasurer of the Executive Committee by one member and seconded by another member of the Society and may be elected to membership by a majority of two-thirds of those present and voting at a meeting of the Executive Committee.  Both the proposer and seconder shall be members of more than one years standing.

6.3 The Secretary/ Treasurer shall send to all newly elected members written notice of their election, and upon payment of the appropriate entry fee and first subscription, the person shall become a member of the Society;

6.4 A register showing the names and addresses of all members, and date at which they became members, and the date at which past members ceased to be members shall be kept by the Secretary/ Treasurer.

7. Subscription
Upon admission to membership, a member shall pay to the Society shall pay to the Society an annual membership fee, the amount of which will be set annually by the executive committee.   If any alteration of the fee is contemplated notice of such a proposed alteration shall be given with the notice of the General Meeting.  In special circumstances the Executive Committee shall have power to remit the subscription in whole or in part.

8. Payment of Subscription
All annual subscriptions shall be payable by the first day of June each year.

9. Default in Payment of Subscription
If any member fails to pay their annual subscriptions within two months after the due date notice shall be sent to them, calling their attention thereto.   If the subscription is not paid within one month after such notice the committee may remove the defaulter from membership of the Society, but if at any time they shall give a satisfactory explanation to the Executive Committee, upon payment of all arrears, they may be re-admitted to membership without payment of any entrance fee.

10. Charge for Special Privileges
The Executive Committee may make a charge to members using property of the Society or privilege in respect of that user.

11. Resignation
Any member may resign their membership by giving the Secretary/ Treasurer notice in writing to that effect.  Any member of the Society who fails to send in their resignation within three months following the end of a financial year, shall be liable for the current year’s subscription.

12. Disciplinary Action
The Executive Committee may by resolution suspend or expel a member from the Society where the Executive Committee is of the opinion that a member of the Society has persistently refused or neglected to comply with the provisions of these Rules or has persistently and wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the Society, provided that, before expelling such an offender, the Executive Committee shall call upon the offender for an explanation of his or her conduct, and shall hear what he or she may wish to say in defence.  Expulsion of such a member will not abrogate the rights of the Society in the legal process.

13. Members Liabilities
The liability of a member of the Society to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the Society or the cost, charges and expenses of the winding up of the Society is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid by the member in respect of membership of the Society as required by Rule 5.

14. Executive Committee

  1. a. The entire management of the Society and its property shall be vested with an Executive Committee consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary/ Treasurer and three other members.   The Executive Committee shall include the immediate past Convenor of the Annual Meeting and the Convenor of the next Annual Meeting.  In addition, the Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt such other persons as the Executive Committee considers appropriate;
  2. b. The office of the President may be held by one person for not more than two consecutive years, but after being out of such office for one year, such a person shall be eligible for re-election as President.  The maximum term of appointment for all members of the executive committee (including President and Vice President) will be two years, except for the Convenor of the next Annual Meeting who will be appointed for one year, and the following year will continue appointment for one more year as the Convenor of the last Annual Meeting;
  3. c. The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting by nomination and ballot.  The Executive Committee shall have power to fill a casual vacancy on the Executive Committee;
  4. d. The Executive Committee shall annually appoint a Convenor to organize the annual conference and shall have the power to remove the Convenor if the Convenor is not adequately discharging their responsibilities pursuant to rule 22.

15. Meetings of the Executive Committee

  1. a. A meeting of the Executive Committee may be called at any time by the President.   Notice of the meeting shall be dispatched by the Secretary / Treasurer within seven days of the receipt by the Secretary/ Treasurer of a requisition signed by the President or by three members of the Executive Committee.  Meetings may be in person or by telephone link-up;
  2. b. If any member of the Executive Committee fails to attend without receiving prior leave of absence from the Executive Committee, either three consecutive meetings of the Executive Committee, or a total of four meetings, the Executive Committee may remove them from office and replace them.

16. Quorum
At each meeting of the Executive Committee four (4) members, including either the President or the Vice President, shall constitute a quorum.  All members including co-opted members present at the meeting shall have the right to cast one vote, and the Chairperson shall have a deliberative and casting vote.   The President, if present, shall be the Chairperson; if the President is not present the meeting shall be chaired by the Vice President.

17. Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held at date to be determined at the prior Annual General Meeting, or by the Executive Committee.

18. Notice of Annual General Meetings
Notice of the Annual General Meeting must be mailed to every member of the Society, at least fourteen days before the time appointed for the meeting, a memorandum of the time and place of such meeting, and of the nature of any special business to be dealt with.   Special business is other than matters arising from the minutes, accounts for payment and correspondence.

19. Other General Meetings
The Executive Committee may at any time and shall, within twenty-one days after requisition in writing of at least twelve members (which requisition shall be set out in the form of motions, the business proposed to be transacted at such a meeting), convene a General Meeting for any purpose or purposes.

20. Notice of General Meeting
The Secretary/ Treasurer shall, at least fourteen days before any General Meeting, send to every member at his/ her address in the Society books, a notice, stating the time when, and the place where it will be held, the general nature of the business to be dealt with (subject to other rules as appropriate).

21. Procedure at all General Meetings
At all General Meetings the Chair shall be taken by the President, or, if he or she is not present, by the Vice President.  Every member shall have one vote, and in the case of equality of votes, the Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.  The quorum at any General Meeting shall be fifteen (15) members.  Voting shall be by voice, but if any member so desired the Chairperson shall call a poll which shall be indicated by a show of hands, or, if the meeting desires, by ballot.

22. Special Meetings – Allowance For

23. Alteration of Rules
These rules may be amended by a resolution passed by a majority of two-thirds of those present and voting at a General Meeting, the notice of which shall have specified the proposed amendment.  The Secretary/ Treasurer shall at least fourteen (14) days before any General Meeting convened for the purpose of the amending these rules send to every member at his or her address in the Society books, a notice stating the time when and the place where it will be held, as well as the business to be dealt with.  Nothing in this rule shall prohibit the amendment by a General Meeting of any proposal which has been specified in the notice.

24. Regulations
The Society may from time to time by resolution in General Meeting make, amend and rescind regulations not consistent with these rules governing procedure at its meetings; the business of the Society and the conduct of its members.

25. Duties of Convenor
The responsibility of the Convenor is to organize the annual meeting of the Society and to liaise with the rest of the Executive Committee to ensure the proper organisation and smooth running of the annual meeting.  The convenor may, with the consent of the Executive Committee, appoint a sub-committee to assist in the organisation of the annual conference.

26. Duties of Secretary/ Treasurer
The Secretary/ Treasurer shall keep and have the custody of the Minute Book containing full and correct minutes of all Executive Committee and general meetings and shall keep all entries in such books properly up to date.  The Secretary/ Treasurer shall also keep such books of account as the Executive Committee and good accounting practice may from time to time require, and shall keep all entries in such books properly up to date.  The Secretary/ Treasurer shall deal with all monies as directed by the Executive Committee.

27. Bank Account
The bank account shall be operated by the Secretary/ Treasurer and cheques shall be signed by any two of the President, Vice President and the Secretary/ Treasurer.  For the purposes of the Annual Scientific Meeting a separate account may be held, and cheques from this account shall be signed by any two members of the Executive Committee, which may include the Convenor and one other Executive Committee member.

28. Financial Year
The financial year of the Society shall end on the thirty-first day of March or such other date as is fixed by the preceding Annual General Meeting in each year, to which date the accounts shall be balanced.

29. Auditor
An Auditor, who shall not be a member of the Executive Committee, shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.  A vacancy occurring in the office of Auditor during the year shall be filled by the Executive Committee.

30. Financial Statements
A statement of Income and Expenditure and a Balance Sheet shall be prepared and audited and a copy shall be sent to each member of the Society with the notice calling the Annual General Meeting.

31. Change of Address
Every member shall from time to time communicate to the Secretary/ Treasurer any change of address, and all notices posted to such address shall be considered as having been duly delivered.

32. Honoraria
The Secretary/ Treasurer may be voted an honorarium at the close of each financial year, the amount to be decided upon by the Annual General Meeting.

33. Winding up
The Society may be wound up voluntarily if at two successive General Meetings of the Society, no more than two months apart, at least two-thirds of the members present and voting support a resolution requiring the Society to be wound up, provided that any such society receiving those assets must be approved by the Inland Revenue Department as being for charitable purposes.

If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Society there remains after satisfaction of all costs, debts and liabilities and property, assets, income or other funds whatsoever these shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Society but shall be given or transferred to some other Society or Societies with objects similar to those of the Society and which Societies also prohibit distribution of its income and property among its members.

The Beneficiary associations shall be determined at or before the time of the dissolution by a simple majority of the members of the Society present and voting at the General Meeting.

34. Borrowing Powers
The Executive Committee shall have power to borrow such amounts and on such terms as it thinks fit, and to give as security for the repayment of sums borrowed and interest thereon such security as the Executive Committee deems expedient.

35. Investing Powers
The Executive Committee shall have power to invest the funds of the Society in such trustee investments as are allowed by the Trustee Act only.

36. Common Seal
The Common Seal of the Society shall be kept by the Secretary / Treasurer and shall not be affixed to any document, instrument, deed, writing paper, or thing unless a resolution to that effect has been passed by the Executive Committee.  Such Seal shall be affixed by the Secretary / Treasurer in the presence of two other members of the Executive Committee and the Secretary / Treasurer, and the other members aforesaid shall sign such document, instrument, deed, writing, paper or other thing.