Community Trust consultation trust deed & feedback

Community feedback on proposals for the Paekākāriki Community Trust

1. Chris Plummer replied:

As stated on your facebook page, I think that the intention to increase the size of the Board is a good one as it expands diversity, increases representation and spreads the work load.  My only comment from working with a number of volunteer boards is that increasing the quorum can be tricky if you find you are subsequently unable to fill the Board positions.

The increase in powers as stated is clumsily worded and too general.   It is also not clear why this is needed or the intention for the use of the new powers.

You do a great job and if you need to incease your powers for some reason, let us know what it is.   Providing voters with the solution, without explaining the problem that is being solved looks underhand.

2. Neville Pinfold replied:

In general I agree to the changes, however the add a new sentence should clearly place it’s location, to avoid any confusion. ie immediately following clause “A”

1. Add a new sentence: “The following objectives may also be undertaken
by the use of the hall”.

the brief point : Change the name of St Peters Hall to “Paekākāriki Village Hall”…. should read more that the Hall Trust would negotiate with the Anglican Diocese in an endeavour to have the name changed. ( The terms of the lease currently has the naming rights with the Diocese).

My general comment on this feedback process:

I only spotted this as an add on the Facebook page “Paekākāriki Tauhokohoko” which in turn pointed to link on the”Paekakariki.nz” website. It is disappointing that when canvasing the Paekakariki community that the advertising of seeking community consultation would be so severely limited to those whom may have spotted the link on Facebook and in turn to an even more limited group who even have an awareness of the website.

It reminds me of the film “Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy” where it had been posted on the interplanetary gazette that the earth was going to be destroyed to make way for an interstellar highway.

3. Kae Allen replied:

I think a name change to Paekakariki Village Hall  is a great idea.  I would not like to see the reach of the Trust narrowed down just to those things that happen in the hall. I think the Trust should still be outwardly focused to support the community. 

I am concerned the  new trust deed has been written by current members with changes they want prior to or at an AGM rather than the newly elected trust voting on it which means that new members would have had no input into it.   It is great the trust are asking for community consultation but I believe that after community consultation and discussion that any changes should be voted by the new trust at a meeting sometime after the AGM once they are settled into their roles. It should not be voted or approved by the current Trust as there is a need to ensure these are changes that all trustees want.

With some members stepping down and new members joining at the AGM it seems rather strange that the old Trust wants to push through changes.

It would also be great if a diverse range of people wanted to stand as trustees as this would better reflect the diversity of our community. While this Trust and previous Trusts have worked hard in their roles their demographic does not reflect that of the community.

Apologies if this is a bit rambling but I have had to write it on my phone which makes editing difficult.

4. Holly Ewens replied:

I would just like to begin my feedback with gratitude of the outstanding work you do. I know many of you work tirelessly behind the scenes to offer so much, and on behalf of the Community Board and as a resident, I thank you.

I have a couple of points that I would like to raise:

1) Consultation: The changes proposed are not insignificant and I feel the PCT needs to thoroughly consult with the community more. I recommend a letterbox drop coupled with an online feedback form, and social media engagement. In my roles as editor of Paekakariki.nz and as CB Chair I have promoted your draft proposal online, through our newsletter and on Beach FM — but I would expect a Trust rep to also be engaging in this role.

2) Deed amendments: Making changes to a trust deed prior to an AGM and appointment of new trustees is in my view, not best practice. Although I understand the workload of running the hall, I think the wide scope of the current deed allows for growth and narrowing it down from it’s current objectives unnecessary. In future years (the Deed will be around a long time!) these wide objectives may prove immensely useful. 

3) Name change: St Peter’s Hall is a brand. It has a history, it has a story. I would be very mindful of the impacts a name change can have.

4) Trustee terms and numbers: I support the increase in quorum numbers and trustees. I hope this would allow for more diverse representation on the Trust. I realise it can be difficult to get volunteers (your consultation process as said above could help to facilitate this!) but I welcome a wider cross-section of the community to sit as a Trustees. As well as Trustees, there is also the opportunity for the Trust to establish ‘working groups’ — this is a great way to harness volunteers and help to spread the load. 

Thanks again for all that you do!

5. Rochelle Wilson replied:

I and Stephen support the change of name to Paekakariki Village Hall.

Also all the other ammendments you have suggested in the Paekakariki new email

6.  Maree White replied

Thanks for all the great work on the hall. Unfortunately I am not able to make the AGM, be great if my feedback can be collated to be input into discussions at the AGM.

1. Agree trust should focus on the hall. Is a large enough job in it’s own right. 

2. Change of name of the hall – I dont support this. Current one is great and has so much history.

3. Trust name change – instead of the hall name changing the trust name should change from community trust to village hall trust, especially if changing the main focus and objective of the trust. 

4. Clause 4.2 – b-g. By leaving these rather than removing all together creates a lot of wording around what is not the main focus of the trust now. I would suggest removing them and adding a new one in general summary hall use to support community etc. Etc.

5. Clause 4.2 adding in further clause to say any other activity agreed. I do not agree with this.

6. Clause 5.1 agree to increasing number from 9-11

7. Clause 7.4 agree to increase quorum from 3 – 5.

8. What about the bike library? Is this still under the trust as it is based in the hall? 

General feedback – is it worth listing the different types of roles in the trust? Treasurer,and maybe leads of events, hall bookings, maintenance etc. to ensure people are clear on roles and what helping with?  May make it easier to attract volunteers.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback. 

7.  Fiona Gunter replied:

The proposed name change of St Peters doesn’t sound great in my opinion. 

The name St Peters is well established in NZ’s music industry folk law. Has anyone on the board spoken with any of the tour managers that book the hall regarding your proposal? 

I find the name to be overly long and not very good for use in marketing events on posters and advertising.

The community living in the village dont need to be reminded that they live in Paekakariki and they know that the hall is a village community facility. 

If you do feel the need to make the change I would suggest that you leave the word village out.

8.  Derek Borland replied

In general I support the proposed changes.

You may already be intending this, but in case not, I would suggest consultation with the church management prior to changing the hall name. All about good PR.

Keep up the great work!

9. Kate O’Connor

Yes!

Fully support hall name change to Paekakariki village Hall.

10. Mark Amery replied:

My feedback is based on  my knowledge of the trust, as someone with a legal background and my involvement as a trustee on 5-6 charitable trusts over the years (two currently).

I thank you for opportunity to provide written feedback as IO would rather provide it and then respect decisions reached, knowing how much you all care for our community and put in so much time.

1. To my view the change to “Paekākāriki Village Hall” is inadvisable on three levels:

A. Like any brand when you have a strong slowly growing public profile beyond a place, intellectual; worth grows in that name over time. St Peters has grown and earnt that over the years – losing that brand is a serious thing to consider.

B. St Peter’s is not the only village hall. It has distinct functions as does Memorial Hall, the library/tennis club hall and other spaces like St James and Scout Den. These change over time. And the name allows for that

C. History and heritage are important – the name carries 102 years of love and investment and it is adjacent to St Peters Church – the name acknowledges that history and connection and with it many others feelings

2. The objectives of the trust, I feel like I have seen this scenario before: the aims and ambit of a trust must be wide enough for it to be able to adapt and change over a long period of time, dependent on the needs of the community and the drive of the trustees at any particular time. The deed will be around far longer than the trustees. 

It is why I view with great caution the idea of changing the trust deed to try and effect some change. Real change comes from the trustees working together to agree to and define a current work plan and current priorities. These aren’t set by a trust deed, and changing the trust deed to effect such a change should in my view not be necessary

I have no issue with the trust looking to concentrate its energies on St Peters – it is trying to effect that change through the trust deed that concerns me.

3. 12 month term for trustees – this seems unusually short given (and historically proven) that trusts rely on the selfless contribution of community members to steer them over a number of years. But then I am not up with why this change is sought. If this was one of the trusts I’m on we’d collapse!

4. Increasing the number seems fine, though 9 is already a significant number.  More keenly I agree that a quorum of five is far more appropriate, 

With PICI we only have 4-5 official trustees but a much wider committee to enable wider involvement.  

Thanks for letting people input.

11. Bride Coe replied:

The current deed: – Objective a), this is mainly concerned with the restoration of the hall and is, by and large, complete. The community now owns a sound, warm, well-appointed, secular, building. Well done.

Whereas objectives b to g, are far more encompassing of the community and its needs at large. Under these objectives the Trust hosts the Bike Library, a huge success, and the Film Club, another well subscribed project, and there is potential to host so much more. Of course, hosting does not mean carrying out, so no extra work for the Trust, just benefits for the community.

The other six objectives aspire to address community needs and wants, that are not just hall centric.

Social wellbeing, sustainability [economic and social], employment, cultural and heritage, community services, and other partnerships. Any watering down of these original objectives is a backward step. The suggested alterations to the deed infer that all the above can be achieved within objective a), I believe this to be questionable.

Many, many, of the events in the hall are events managed by the hirer who just hires the venue. Things such as the mentioned weddings, funerals, various groups such as yoga, meditation, textile group, orchestra rehearsals, concerts etc, are all self-managed by the hirer. That is these come under straight forward rental of the hall to the user.

The cleaning is carried out by a paid contractor.

If a Hall Committee, responsible for all the hall business, was formed within the Trust, then the other objectives could be engaged with to greatly enhance the Trust’s involvement with community far beyond just the hall. Thus, fulfilling the original aims of the Trust deed. By concentrating on the hall housekeeping only, then all the other visionary aspirations in the current deed for our community are negated.

What are the pros and cons of changing the deed? It seems unfitting for a current Trust to change the deed before all the new members of the trust are instated. Maybe defer until 2 or 3 months into the new guard, so the incoming trust can take part in a democratic decision. At least around half of the members of the new trust will be new members if the number of trustees is increased to 11 as proposed.

Happy to support a name change. Maybe to Paekakariki Community Hall, or Paekakariki Village Hall. There could be a transition period where in small print below the name was ‘Formerly St Peters….’. The hall is no longer a church building, it belongs to the community and the name should reflect that.

I also support the proposal that trustees have a term of one year, with the right to stand again if they wish.

The Chair, and some of other trustees, are resigning, thus leaving positions open for fresh new trustees. This is an opportunity for any Paekakarikian, hopefully there will be some younger applicants, to get voted on at the AGM 2pm on November 1st [Sunday] in your hall.

12. Murray Williams replied:

Before I commence my response …can I point out that the registered version of the PCT Deed – that which appears on the Charitable Trusts Register ( https://ct-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz/ ) does not include a page containing clauses that empower the Trust Board to amend its constitution. It is, therefore, a moot legal point as to whether your intended changes are permissible.  However….I hope we can be pragmatic here and see this as an inadvertent omission of (most likely) a single page of the document….and assume that the amending authority of clause 4.10 of the 2006 deed was replicated in the 2011 version.

Changes to statement of Trust objectives.

  1. The proposed sentence addition to objective (a) and the subsequent subordination of all other stated objectives by restricting their pursuit solely to activities that can be undertaken at the hall seems a needless restriction of the Trust’s original broad intent, and of future ambition.  It changes what the Trust was set up to do, as well as its capability to benefit its community. However, the present Board  of Trustees already has the absolute discretion to focus its activities solely to those associated with the hall  – it is entirely reasonable to acknowledge that the Board cannot address every one of the Trust’s objectives simultaneously nor equitably. Any annual budget or workplan prepared by the Board  of Trustees would surely demonstrate that. So why restrict future possibilities when the Board can already enact and implement what you are seeking to enshrine by this amendment?
  1. Consider, for example, the recent use of the PCT to facilitate an evaluation of the potential of wind power generation on hills above the village as a community-scale energy initiative for community benefit. This was conducted under objective  4.1 c of your constitution and under the delegation powers outlined in its Section 9 .  It was not an activity that required use of the hall and it imposed virtually no demands on the financial or administrative activities of the Trust. The proposed amendment would compromise any re-emergence of this initiative and inhibit any similar initiatives for community benefit in the future. Why so?
  1. The justification provided for this amendment of far-reaching consequence is “The Trustees look after the maintenance, booking, cleaning, fundraising, and financial management.  This is quite a workload for the Trustees who are, of course, volunteers.” I accept this level of activity can impose an almost intolerable workload for volunteers. If the hall becomes an even more popular event venue, that “workload” can only increase. However, the solution need not demand a restriction of Trust ambition and objective. Instead the Board of Trustees could consider giving tangible expression to its objective (d) and, for example, employ a “hall manager”. The Trust’s historic financial records (as lodged on the Charities website) give ample evidence of its present financial ability to do so, and, additionally, it is an easy matter to  establish a levy  applying to each renting of the hall to defray  booking, cleaning and other management costs.
  2. I do not support the proposed amendment……. and instead encourage the Board of Trustees to consider other ways to manage or alleviate the volunteer workload.

Change to Trustee number, quorum, and introduction of terms of appointment

It is worth referring to the Trust’s original 2006 Deed. In this version, Trustee terms were defined as being of 3 years duration (clause 4.1 d(ii) ) and no trustee could serve more than 2 consecutive 3-year terms (clause 4.1 e (although d in the script)). A quorum was defined as “half of the Trustees” (clause 4.6 b). The number of Trustees was 6 (minimum) and 8 (maximum) (clause 4.1a) with the Board having the power to co-opt should the number of Trustees fall below the minimum 6, the co-opted member serving until the subsequent annual meeting (clause 4.6 g). 

The 2011 amendments omitted delineation of Trustee terms and restrictions on length of service, altered Board size to 3 minimum and 9 maximum (clause 5.1), reduced quorum size to 3 (i.e. to one-third of Trustees) (clause 7.4), and provided for co-option (without term limit) to re-establish a Board of 3 or more members (clause 5.5). Note that this latter power could technically be exercised to extend the Board back to its maximum complement of 9.

Trustee number

  1. A Board of up to 11 Trustees is a significant increase on that operated in the past (maximums of 8 and 9) and has been advanced without specific justification …other than perhaps implied by the overarching “quite a workload” statement referred to above. My experience of committees, Boards etc. is that an increase at the table is rarely a recipe for other than prolonged talkfests….the larger the assembly the more difficulty there is in achieving consensus. It is rarely a pathway to action or innovation. However, if the increased size is felt necessary to “share the burden” across exhausted volunteers, again I suggest the creativity of a paid “hall manager”. This offers a route to relieve the Board of Trustees of operational tasks and allows them to devote time to what Boards are actually meant to do…govern…establish goals, policies and procedures, and select annual priorities for activity and expenditure, and thereafter devolve implementation.   
  2. I do not support the proposed increase of Trustee number to 11 …and instead encourage the Board to consider other ways to manage the volunteer workload.

Quorum

  1. A quorum set at one-third of elected Trustees is too low to ensure a representation of viewpoints…..it can offer an easy opportunity for chicanery.
  2. A commonly used standard for defining a quorum is “a majority of the constituent members” and in practice “50% plus 1 of Board size” i.e. for a Board of 9 it would be 5, for a Board of 11 it would be 6 , for a Board of 6 it would be 4.
  3. The purpose of a quorum is “protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons.”
  4. I support an increase in quorum even at present Board size, and to 6 if the size is increased to 11. If the change in quorum as advised is not supported at the AGM, I encourage the incoming Board of Trustees to agree amongst themselves an increase in quorum size.

Trustee Term

  1. Restriction of term of Trustee appointment, subjecting existing Trustees to re-election on expiry of their term, and restricting service to 2 consecutive terms is, ultimately, an act of  democracy. Those whom the Trustees serve have the right of selecting those who represent them. These notions were clearly expressed in the 2006 Trust Deed.
  2. Terms and mechanisms of Trustee appointment/election were set aside in the 2011 amended deed.   I think that was a mistake. The present debate should have been solely about length of term (shorter or longer), not whether terms should be introduced at all.
  3. The suggested imposition of a trustee term somewhere in the existing deed calls for annual re-election of all Trustees. Is this sensible, or even practicable? Does this serve the efficient and focussed running of the Board?  Trust Boards take a while to “bed in”. New members must “feel their way” into the task, and there is always a period of learning about past and present activity, community expectations and financial capacity to do things. Projects enacted are likely to extend over multiple years. There is wisdom in having institutional knowledge to call upon. There was recognition of this when the 2006 deed established 3-year terms for Trustees. A refinement that could have been added would have been for a proportion of the Trustees to be subjected to election/appointment annually e.g., one-third if terms are of 3-years, 50% if terms were of 2-years, thus ensuring a roll-over of expertise.  Re-electing all Trustees annually is not good practice for an enduring Trust.
  4. I support the introduction of Trustee terms
  5. I do not support a 12-month Trustee term…….. it is too short…. So, I encourage the Board of Trustees to reconsider its perspective on this matter.

Wider changes to the Trust Deed 

I perceive the 2011 amendment of the Trust Deed to have set aside some sensible, and some essential, clauses from the 2006 document. 

For example,  ……..

  1. Principles of operation –  an entire section in the preamble to the 2006 deed outlining principles of operation.  Included was broad guidance as…
    1. The makeup of the Trust will reflect as best it can the range of interests in Paekakariki
    2. The Trust will not undertake activities that fall within the statutory role of the Paekakariki Community Board
    3. The Trust shall honour  (give effect to) the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi).
  2. Representation amongst Trustees. Clause 4.1 (a) gave guidance to “as far as possible” having Trustees able to represent a range of interests in the community and including (clause 4.1 (b)) the opportunity for a Trustee nominated by Ngāti Haumia.
  3. Annual General Meeting. Specifications surrounding the timing, notice and transaction of the Annual General Meeting of the Trust are not highlighted. The requirement for an AGM  of the Trust, open to the public and electors, is specified in clause 4.4 (a) of the 2006 Deed, its tasks stated in clause 4.4 (c) and 4.2 (election of Trustees) with public notification requirements given in clause 4.5 (c) and (d). No specifications of how Community members may advance notices for discussion at the AGM were given (an inadvertent omission surely). However, the 2011 revision simply states that the “Board shall hold a meeting once every calendar year as its annual meeting and at the meeting shall elect a Chair[man]…”{ (clause 7.2) . This is an annual meeting of the Board, not the Trust, and apart from a reference to trustees being appointed “at the AGM” (clause 5.4) there is no further reference in the Deed to an Annual General Meeting of the TRUST.

There are also issues which a careful reading of both Deeds leads me to suggest should be addressed . Amongst these are:

  1. Definition of Paekakariki Community. The Trust has been established to advance the interests of the “Paekakariki Community” but nowhere is this “Community” defined. I think it should be….and I would include it as item 3.2 in the deed as….

“The Paekakariki Community is defined as all people resident in or adjacent to Paekakariki. For Trust voting and representation purposes, the Community is redefined as all residents registered to vote for Paekakariki ward candidates in Local Body elections.”    

  1. Board of Trustee’s liaison with its Community. The Board  of Trustees has not been particularly effusive in its communication(s) with its Community.  For example, I am not aware of there being a digital or paper-based archive containing annual reports of its activities an interested resident can seek out. Last newsletter I recall was from 2018 (July?). I think The Board of Trustees should be mandated to communicate regularly with its Community  – by placing in the Trust deed a clause requiring annual (or bi-annual?) communication and describing acceptable means for doing so. I hesitate to offer wording….I think this should be given wider consideration….but it is the requirement for  direct communication that I suggest should be enshrined.
  2. Annual General Meeting requirement and procedure. The Trust Deed should specify the requirement for an annual general meeting of the TRUST. Its purpose  should be clearly stated as (for example)  1. to hold the BOARD of TRUSTEES to account by formal receipt of, perusal and interrogation of its Annual Report of activity against the stated objectives of the  Trust deed, and perusal of its statement of Financial Performance (the accounts).  2. To consider the Board of Trustee’s plan of intended action for the forthcoming year (i.e. the draft work plan and budget); 3. To elect new Trustees; 4. To address any notices of motion or other items of general business advanced by Community members which the Board of Trustees is thereafter required to implement or report back on. A timeline for meeting notification and the receipt of items for inclusion on the AGM agenda should also be included.
  3. Powers of the Board of Trustees. These are described in Section 6 of the present Trust Deed and are very liberal for guiding financial and asset management. I perceive them as providing carte blanche to Board of Trustee decision-making and activity and, personally, would like some enshrined limits imposed on financial activity e.g., transactions involving property or monetary values exceeding $100,000 to be subjected to Community approval. A broad revision of the Trust Deed would offer an opportunity for reconsideration of such authority.

I hope these few examples are sufficient to indicate that the entire Trust Deed, not just a couple of clauses, is worthy of review and revision. It seems to me that an appropriate course of action might be for the Board of Trustees to withdraw its notified amendments and for the AGM to request the incoming Board of Trustees to undertake that review…….and perhaps do so by seeking assistance from those in the Community who have expertise in this matter…there are several other Trusts operating in Paekakariki from which advice etc. could be obtained, and there may well be members of the Community  with particular skills in this regard.

To facilitate this,  it is my intention to advance at the AGM the following motion for discussion ….

“THAT 

(1).  The incoming Board conduct a review of the 2011 Trust Deed with the view to amending or rewriting the Deed to improve its instructions for the operations of the Board, reconsider the powers allocated to the Board, and ensure it is an up-to-date reflection of the Community’s  requirement of the Trust;

AND

(2). The Board seeks Community ratification (by way of public meeting) of its revision/rewrite before registering changes to the Trust Deed.”

 

Read the proposed amendents here

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