Below is the full text of our current Rules & Regulations (Constitution)

Canterbury Interfaith Society Incorporated
Rules & Regulations

1. Name
This document represents the rules and regulations of the “Canterbury Interfaith Society Incorporated”

2. Statement of Purpose
The Society is a volunteer non-profit association of people representing the diversity of religious/spiritual communities and individuals in the Canterbury area.
The Society exists to promote religious tolerance, understanding, diversity, dialogue, interaction and events to enhance the common shared values within the wider community. A main purpose of this society is to actively contribute to local and global world peace efforts and initiatives.

3. Objectives
The objectives for which the Society is established are specified below and how it shall operate within New Zealand.
(a) To provide a forum for its members to consult and discuss matters of interfaith concern;
(b) To promote understanding of and respect for each other’s religious beliefs among the wider community.
(c) To promote co-operative relations among the diverse religious communities;
(d) To promote the elimination of religious discrimination, racism and other forms of prejudice;
(e) To promote a more just, informed, and tolerant society;
(f) To liaise and consult with the media, local and national governmental bodies, and other community groups and organisations, on matters relevant to the Society;
(g) To conduct and perform all such acts and deeds as are incidental or conducive to the attainments of the Statement of Purpose, and aligned with the objectives of the Society.
(h) The Society shall elect a governing board of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasure to oversee the legal, governance and executive requirements of the Society.
(i) The Society will actively engage in outreach steps to represent a diverse range of religious groups pursuant to the membership policy.

4. Limitation
In carrying out or performing the objectives and in all aspects of the administration of the Society the following limitation of actions, speech, and conduct generally shall apply:
(a) Avoidance of polemics. Disrespectful arguments and/or debates over controversial differences between and among religious communities, and traditions represented on the Society, shall not be translated into the business of the Society.
(b) Avoidance of proselytism. Attempts to use Society involvement to convert members of one religion to another are inconsistent with the objectives of the Society.
(c) Political neutrality. The Society shall not be aligned with any political party.
(d) Public Relations. Only the President of the Board and/or other persons authorised by the Board shall be empowered to make public statements on behalf of the Board or the Society.

5. Membership of the Society
(a) The Society shall be open to voluntary membership by persons over the age of eighteen. Application for membership of the Society shall be interpreted and understood to indicate that the applicant endorses the Statement of Purpose, Objectives and Limitations of the Society.
(b) Applications for membership should be submitted with annual fees.
(c) Membership fees will be decided by May prior to the AGM in August for the upcoming year, to provide ample time for members to pay their membership fees on or before the AGM.
(d) The Secretary shall keep a register of all members of the Society, containing the following information for each member:
·  date on which they joined the Society,
·  contact details,
·  religious affiliation (optional)
(e) Any member of the Society shall cease to be a member if either of the following circumstances apply:
i.     The member resigns by notice in writing to the Board;
ii.     The Board by a majority of three of the Board members present at a meeting duly convened for the purpose, may resolve that the member’s membership be terminated if the member’s conduct has been inconsistent with or detrimental to the purposes and the interests of the Society.  The governance board shall ensure that it consults with active members of the community prior to making any such decisions.

Where clause 5(e)(ii) applies, the member shall be advised of the reason(s) for their membership being terminated and shall be given 14 days to dispute the decision should they wish to do so.
If the member disputes the voted upon termination by the Board, an appeal process or NEW review will be organized by which the member can represent their evidence which the Board will further review. The Board shall then by a majority vote of three quarters of Board members decide whether to let the termination stand or whether to reinstate the member. The Board’s decision will be final.

6. Affiliation to the Society
(a) The Society shall consider an Application of affiliation from outside organisations with the Society to indicate the requesting organisations understanding of endorsing the Statement of Purpose, Objectives and Limitations of the Canterbury Interfaith Society.
(b) Affiliated organisations may nominate up to two persons to represent them, one as a primary and one as a backup on the Organisational Committee.

7. The Governance Board
(a) The Board shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer pertaining to governance requirements.
(b) The quorum for Governance Board meetings shall be three (3).
(c) The Governance Board shall meet every quarter or four (4) times a year to oversee the executive and governance obligations.
(d) The registered office of the Governance Board shall be at the residence or office of the Secretary, or such other place as may be determined by the Governance Board.
(e) A Governance Board member must be an active member and regularly attend Society meetings and events.
(f) Any member may suggest verbally, or in writing to the secretary, a suggestion to the Governance Board and it be put on the agenda for the Governance Meeting.
(g) Any member making a suggestion for business shall be entitled to speak at the Governance Board meeting.

8. Election of the Governance Board
(a) Only paid members of the Society shall be eligible to elect, and to be elected to, the Governance Board.
(b) At each Annual General Meeting of the Society, all members of the Governance Board shall retire, however they are eligible for immediate re-election.
(c) The Secretary of the Governance Board shall call for nominations for the Governance Board at least fourteen (14) days prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Persons nominated shall be invited to briefly speak to the AGM attendees.  If for some reason an active member is unable to be present at the AGM and is nominated for a position, they may provide a brief speech in writing to the Secretary, which will be read out on their behalf at the AGM.
(d)  Election of each officer shall be via a majority vote.  Electronic votes via email will be accepted in advance on the AGM if a member cannot be present at the AGM.

9.  Organisational Committee
A non-elected Organisational Committee shall be coordinated by the Governance Board that will consist of volunteers who desire to serve the operational needs of the Society.
The secretary shall keep a register of those on the Organisational Committee and will coordinate communications amongst the members (either directly or by overseeing another member to do this).
The Governance Board shall actively aim to ensure and encourage that the Organisational Committee consists of a diverse representation of the faith groups who are involved in the Society.
The Organisational Committee shall take responsibility for the organisation of events and activities throughout the year.   The committee shall also be responsible for encouraging membership, public relations, digital and social media, and any other activities that are considered appropriate to help fulfil the aims of the society.

10. Meetings of the Society
(a) The meetings are open to anyone to attend. After a person has attended three meetings, a request will be made to them to join the Society as a paying member.
(b) The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society will be held in August each year.
(c) At least fourteen (14) days notice of an Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be given to all the members stating the time, venue and business for consideration. The business to be transacted at the AGM meeting shall include:
1.      Annual Reports from the outgoing President and Treasurer
2.      Remits or Proposals for consideration
3.      Election of the Board
4.      General Business
(d) A quorum for the annual general meeting will be at least six members.

11. Common Seal

The Society shall adopt a common seal which will be held by the Secretary. The seal
shall only be used with the authority of the Governance Board.  Every document to which the common seal is affixed shall be signed by two members of the Governance Board.

12. Finances/Assets
Funds of the society will be controlled by the Treasurer.  The following general guidelines will apply

  1.  All money of the society will be deposited safely in a non interest earning account in a New Zealand based bank.
  2. The society shall not borrow any money.
  3. Upon dissolution of the society any remaining funds or assets owned by the society shall be donated to another Interfaith group within New Zealand.

13. Amendments to the Rules & Regulations
No amendment, addition or alteration to the Rules & Regulations shall be valid unless:
(a) A proposal for such an addition or alteration is submitted to a General Meeting of the Society, with at least fourteen (14) days notice of amendment.
(b) The proposal is agreed by consensus or, failing that, by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at the General Meeting.  If members cannot be present at the general meeting they may cast a vote prior to the meeting by emailing the Secretary.
(c) The amendment, addition or alteration will become effective after registration with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies,
(d) If a legal or governmental requirement has a time limit and must be addressed before a General Meeting can be organised, the Governance Board has authority to determine the best course of action on behalf of the legality. The situation will be shared with the members via the website.