Executive Manual 2013

The Green Party National Executive is charged with the day-to-day decision making and governance of the Party outside of an AGM. It is comprised of a mix of elected and appointed members from the provinces, general membership and representatives from Caucus and Policy Committee. This manual is intended to guide for Executive members and provides best-practise processes.

Contents:

  1. The Manual
  2. Executive Membership
  3. Executive Appointment Process
  4. Meeting Times
  5. Meeting Attendance
  6. Meeting Agenda
  7. Meeting Procedures
  8. Meeting Conduct
  9. Minutes
  10. Decisions Between Meetings
  11. Consultation with members
  12. Reporting
  13. Confidentiality
  14. Executive decisions
  15. Reimbursement of Costs and Finances
  16. Review of Officeholders


1. The Manual

The Executive Manual serves as a record of how Executive has agreed it will function. The Executive Manual will only be modified by consensus of the Executive. A copy of the Executive Manual will be supplied via e-mail to any member of Executive on demand or on joining the Executive.


2. Executive Membership

The Executive consists of:

  • 10 Provincially elected Executive Networkers (1 per province, 2 for Greater Auckland)
  • 2 Party Co-convenors elected at the AGM
  • 2 Co-leaders; ex-officio members elected at the AGM
  • 2 Policy Co-convenors; ex-officio members elected at the AGM
  • 1 Te Roopu Pounamu representative appointed by TRP
  • 8 Annually appointed positions - General Secretary, Treasurer, International Secretary, Membership Secretary, Standing Orders Convenor, Exec Rep on Caucus, Exec Rep on Policy, Executive Secretary
  • 1 Caucus Representative appointed by Caucus
  • 1 Policy Representative appointed by Policy

Total of 26

3. Executive Appointment process

3.1. The Executive appointment process will be held at the September Exec F2F allowing for Exec members to be thanked at AGM and for the recruitment process to begin being advertised at that point.

3.2. The Co-convenors will advertise all positions beginning 3 months prior to the appointment date in all available publications including, Te Awa, Hoiho and General Announce, and on the members section of the website. All job descriptions and committee briefs will be kept up to date on the website to support this. This does not apply to interim appointments.

3.2. The Co-convenors will advertise all positions beginning 3 months prior to the appointment date in all available publications including, Te Awa, Hoiho and General Announce, and on the members section of the website. All job descriptions and committee briefs will be kept up to date on the website to support this. This does not apply to interim appointments, which will be given at least 1 month’s notice and for timing reasons will not appear in Te Awa.

3.3 Applications close 2 weeks prior to the appointment date and applicants must include an application, cover letter and supporting CV to the Co-convenors. CVs will be kept confidential to Executive Networkers. Where a role becomes vacant these same rules apply.

3.4. The Executive will deal with each individual position separately and only the nominees for that position will be asked to leave the room. Candidates will be asked to speak to their nomination prior to leaving the room during the appointment process. Any conflict-of-interest by those remaining must be declared and recorded in the minutes. The minutes will also record both those leaving and returning as well as conflicts. The Executive may request that individual candidates return to answer questions if it believes this is necessary and helpful to the deliberation of Exec.

3.4.1 Where applicants cannot be present at the Executive meeting, skype or video conferencing should be made available for candidates in order to introduce themselves and speak to their nomination.

3.5 Where possible the Executive will strive to ensure there is gender balance on Executive amongst appointed officeholders. Executive acknowledge this is not always possible yet highly desirable.

3.6 Where candidates are unsuccessful the Co-convenors are responsible for ensuring there is support available.

3.7 The Co-convenors will ensure newly successful candidates are guided through their job descriptions, that a handover process is in place and that a buddy system is set up with a current Executive member if necessary.

3.8 When a position that has previously been filled has no applicants the Co-convenors will contact the incumbents and discuss the situation. The decision will be held at the next meeting of Executive or re-advertised as per 3.2.

3.8.1 Where no nominations are received the Co-convenors will consider the situation and make a proposal to Executive as to either continuing to advertise or reviewing the position.


4. Meeting times

4.1 The Executive meets by conference call at 8pm on the fourth Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise advised.

4.2 Special calls may be called from time to time as necessary, especially during election year or where a substantial item/s require more time than is possible on a call and/or where a decision has time implications.

4.3 There will be four face-to-face meetings each year. One of these will be at the Party’s Annual Conference and at other times as agreed. The Co-convenors will poll members and choose the date where most people are available. This should usually happen around May when the majority of provinces have elected their Executive networkers.


5. Meeting attendance

The Quorum for an executive meeting is 75% of provinces represented. This equates to 7 out of 9 provinces represented.

In the circumstances where a vote is necessary, where provinces have chosen to job-share the Executive Networker position, only one of the co-networkers may vote for the province on a particular agenda item.

Where Executive Networkers know they will be unavailable they must find a replacement from their province, share their thoughts and or findings on any consultation work completed and ensure that they are provided with the agenda and all necessary documentation. The co-convenors should be made aware of the contact details for the replacement so that any last minute changes or additions can be passed on.

If quorum is lost discussion will often continue and either an email decision may be attempted or the item will be defered to the next meeting.


6. Meeting Agenda

6.1 The Co-convenors will order the agenda. The first item at the meeting will be to confirm the agenda giving members the opportunity to suggest re-arrangement of the items (with reasons), or to add urgent items

6.2 Agenda items should have an accompanying paper where possible or be marked as an oral item.

6.3 Standing items for each meeting will include

- Recording email decisions over last month
- Hot/current issues
- Management & Administration Committee Report (MAC)
- Decisions
- Action List

6.4 Papers for agenda items fall into 3 main categories

  • Reports (which may contain recommendations - decision needed)
  • Decision items – Specific proposals need to be identified
  • Discussion papers - no decision needed

6.5 All papers should contain:

Document type (see (d) above)

  • Title
  • Date
  • Name of author(s)
  • Background information
  • Proposal, where appropriate
  • Recommendation or recommended decision process, with timeframe
  • Numbered paragraphs and pages (for substantial documents)

6.6 All papers for agenda items should be sent out as soon as they are available, so that Executive members have time to consult their provinces where necessary, and at the latest by one week before the meeting (decisions not needing consultation should be sent no less than 3 days before the meeting to allow members to read these)

6.7 All items for inclusion in the agenda should be sent to the Co-convenors and where reports include a recommendation for a decision the specific proposal must be clearly communicated separately to the Co-convenors.

A draft agenda, with suggested times for each item, will be posted on GX one week before the Executive meeting and a final agenda posted no later than 48 hours prior to the meeting. Urgent items may be added however this should be where necessary as opposed to normal.


7. Meeting Procedures

7.1. The Co-convenors will facilitate the meeting, or will delegate facilitation to another person. Members of Executive can request a change of facilitator at any time.

7.2. Meetings will be out-of-committee by default unless otherwise stated and therefore all statements will be available to members.

Agenda items will be dealt with in the following way:

    1. Reports will be received and any recommendations in them will be moved by the report writer.

    2. Discussion papers and Decision items will be discussed for an agreed time, with the facilitator clarifying for the minutes any actions or further work to come from the discussion about the issue.  

    3. Actions/Decisions will note: 

      • Member notifying:
      • Person/s to be told:
      • Date to be completed:

Conference calls should be kept to no more than two hours, unless Executive agrees otherwise.

Items not dealt with will be carried over to the next meeting and prioritised alongside other items or dealt with via email where appropriate.


8. Meeting Conduct

All members have a responsibility;

  • to state their comments clearly, concisely and respectfully and to limit their input to relevant information which will help in the decision making process.
  • for ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to speak, that no-one dominates the discussion, and that comments address the issue under debate in a constructive, positive way.
  • to participate in seeking solutions to achieve a consensus decision.
  • to represent their role or province where possible
  • to announce any conflict of interest and this will be noted. A member may be asked to leave the room, or on conference calls this means the member must hang up their phone.
  • to respect confidentiality of Exec discussion when in committee
  • Chatham house rule may also be used to respect the confidentiality of the speaker
  • The facilitator may ask a member to withdraw a comment which is out of order, and to request the member to apologise, if appropriate.
  • The facilitator may ask a member to leave the meeting if there is a conflict of interest or their conduct is disrespectful, unhelpful or hindering the proper running of the meeting.


9. Minutes

9.1. The Executive Secretary will record the Minutes in the form of a summary of the discussion followed by the Decision made by Executive and the Action to be taken.

9.2. The draft Minutes will be posted on GX; any amendments received will be collated.

9.3. The draft Minutes and should be available as soon as possible, and no later than one week, after the meeting.

9.4. Minutes will be accepted at the next meeting of the Executive and amendments noted. These will then be posted on the Exec section of the website.


10. Email decisions between meetings

10.1. From time to time it will be necessary to make decisions between Executive monthly meetings. Email decisions are also used to accept candidate recommendations for general or local body elections where Executive has final sign-off.

10.2. If an Exec member wishes to ask for an email decision to be made outside of a meeting they must send their proposal to the Co-convenors who will make a decision on whether this is appropriate.

10.3. The Co-convenors will post the recommended proposal to GX, clearly outlining in the subject and body what decision is required, and the timeframe for responses. A maximum time will be set, not less than 48 hours, will be given for Executive members to respond. If an urgent decision is required within that the Co-convenors will contact members by phone. A summary will be sent to the list.

10.4. The Co-convenors may request responses are direct to them if appropriate, especially if response is a straight agreement, otherwise replies should be sent to the list.

10.5. They will use their discretion about trying to contact any Executive members by phone to clarify or further discuss their response.

10.6. If Executive members do not agree with the proposal, they should indicate in their response whether they would be prepared to allow consensus.

10.7. If those Executive members who respond in the specified time agree with the proposal, then the decision is made.

10.8. If there is not consensus in the responses received, then a vote will be considered. If 75% or more of the responses received from voting members are in agreement with the proposal, then the decision is made. Note that if a member does not respond, this will be treated as an abstention and will not be counted.

10.9. The decision will be posted on GX as soon as possible and will be minuted at the beginning of the next Executive meeting.


11.  Consultation with members

It is the role of Executive Networkers to consult as widely as possible with party members. Executive Networkers should have regular contact with Provincial Executives Province and Branch Convenors. Executive Networkers should consult on upcoming issues as well as ensuring members are aware of decisions made by Executive. Where consultation has not happened this should be declared before voting on decisions.

Other representatives should consult and inform their respective groups and committees and to ensure all components of the party are up to date with Executive’s decisions and workstreams.


12. Reporting

Executive Networkers should submit a report at least 48hrs prior to all Executive meetings. There is a template available which branches can be asked to fill in, however it is understood that different branches and provinces may wish to report differently. These should be filed online as well for members to view.

Cocovenors should report to Exec orally on each call and submit a monthly report on activity. Co-convenors will also send a monthly Green Announce to all members over email and write a quarterly item for Te Awa to keep members aware of Executive’s work. All other officeholders will submit a written report monthly 24hrs prior to meetings and these should also be uploaded online to the Exec-only area.


13. Confidentiality

Executive members are expected to keep a high level of confidentiality, At times the Executive will discuss candidates, issues and decisions of a highly sensitive nature and it is important that this is respected. Members must be able to have free and frank discussion during these issues. It is the responsibility of members to check whether information is appropriate to consult on or share with particular groups or members. A good guide is for anything that is minuted is usually open to members.


14. Executives decisions

will be made in accordance with the consensus decision making procedure as specified in clause 14 of the Green Party Constitution, which states:

All decisions by Executive shall be made by consensus. This means by the agreement of most participants with dissenters and abstainers agreeing to recognise the majority opinion as being the decision.

Where consensus on a motion is not achieved after reasonable attempts, a vote can be taken. A motion shall be carried with a 75% majority of the votes cast. Those who do not agree with the decision may have their objections included in any minutes recorded.

The provincially elected Executive Networkers are the only voting members. All other members have speaking but not voting rights. They bring the overall Party view to add to the views of the provinces. All other member, officeholders and representatives have speaking, but not voting, rights. Depending on the current handover process there may be an Immediate-past-Coconvenor who will sit on Exec for a period of no more than three months after a new convenor is elected; this person does not hold voting rights.

15. Reimbursement of Costs and Finances

From the Reimbursement of Costs policy; In order to minimise travel, the face-to-face meetings are scheduled around the AGM Conference and the Policy Conference, with another one or two held in between, often in Wellington which is a central point for travel from the far north and the deep south. Travel costs and conference fees of nationally appointed office holders are paid for those meetings that they are required to attend. Provinces pay for the cost of their Networkers' travel.

A system of travel equalisation is in place for these face-to-face meetings - the networkers' travel costs are added and divided by the number of provinces to find the average cost of travel. Provinces are then either sent a cheque or an invoice for the difference between what they paid for their networker and the average. For attendance at conferences, networkers can apply for travel equalisation from the conference budget.

Appointed Executive officers (for example Executive Secretary) will keep receipts and fill out an expense claim form available from national office as soon as possible. Receipts must show a GST number.

Finances will be dealt with according to the Financial Authorities Policy which outlines Signing Authorities and the Financial Management Responsibilities of the Executive.


16. Review of officeholders

Halfway through the elected officerholder’s term their roles and overall performance will be reviewed according to their job descriptions and with reference to the Executive Manual. This shall be facilitated by the Co-convenors with input from Executive members and officers; this shall be confidential where appropriate. The objective is to appraise the performance in a supportive manner and allow for feedback on received support and processes as well as an opportunity for priority setting. The Co-convenors will report back to Executive on any process or support issues raised during this process.


Appendix 1: Appointment Process

The appointment process for groups or committee will normally include the following steps as appropriate:

  1. Advertise - For open positions on the group the Executive will advertise the brief for the group or committee and call for nominations for members, with a deadline and the selection process.

People may self-nominate or nominate another person (with their consent) by sending a brief resume outlining how their skills and experience fit the required skill set.



  2. Selection - Appointments will be made democratically with care and transparency, taking into account the requirements set out in the brief for the group or committee.

This may be done by an appointments committee or standing committee who recommend appointments for confirmation by Executive or by The Executive directly

  3. Fallback - If there are no suitable nominations, or a lack of suitable nominations the Executive will look for another way of getting the work done, or may re-advertise.

  4. Convenor - Each group or committee must have a designated convenor who is responsible for facilitating its work and for reporting to the Executive.

The convenor may be selected and appointed by the Executive
or selected by the group or committee at its first meeting. In this case the Executive will nominate an interim convenor responsible for arranging and facilitating this first meeting.


Appendix 2: Executive Working Groups, Standing Committees and Consultation Groups

The purpose of this section is to provide a set of standard definitions and operating rules for groups or committees that may be established by Executive. The Executive decision establishing a group or committee shall include:

  • Its name

  • The type of group or committee as set out below

  • Its brief and timeframe

  • The procedure for seeking and appointing members

  • Any additions or variations to the standard definition and operating rules.

The three types of group and committees are:



Executive Working Group

  1. for specific tasks, projects, or work area identified by Executive which would be best carried out by a Working Group within a defined timeframe.

Standing Committee

  1. for delegated Executive functions or other ongoing tasks on behalf of the Party.

Consultative Group

  1. for providing representative consultation with provinces or other interest groups on specific issues or in support of another group or committee.

Executive Working Groups

1.1 Purpose

Executive Working Groups (EWGs) are set up by the Executive when it has identified a task, project, or work area which would be best carried out by a Working Group within a defined timeframe.

1.2 Accountability

The Executive is responsible for monitoring and managing all EWGs and their actions.

  1. All EWGs are accountable to the Executive, and will act in accordance with their brief and other instructions from the Executive.

  2. Green Party groups can legitimately act on the behalf of the Executive only with specific approval to do so from the Executive.

1.3 Formation Of An Ewg

The Executive will draw up a brief for the EWG. This will include:

  1. The purpose of the EWG

  2. The tasks set for the EWG

  3. Any limitations on the EWG eg lifespan of the EWG, number of members on the EWG, ability to co-opt other people with specific skills

  4. The desired skills / experience of members of the EWG

  5. Any Office holders / staff on the EWG

  6. The allocated budget, if any, for expenses related to the operation of the EWG.

1.4 Composition Of Ewgs

  1. There will be at least one Executive member on every EWG.

  2. The Executive will make appointments democratically with care and transparency, taking into account regional balance, gender balance, and rural / urban balance if appropriate.

1.5 Removal Of Members Of Ewgs

The Executive may remove a member from an EWG (with reasons given) where it believes it is in the best interests of the Party to do so.

1.6 Powers

EWGs are empowered to carry out the tasks laid out in their brief. This may include seeking Executive sign-off or approval as specified in the brief.

1.7 Reporting

  1. EWGs will take minutes of all scheduled meetings and make these available to the Executive.

  2. EWGs will send a report to the monthly Executive meeting one week in advance of that meeting or with as much notice as practically possible. If there has been no activity during the month, this should be reported to the Executive.

1.8 Communication With Executive

  1. When an EWG needs a decision from the Executive it will put its recommendation in its report to the Executive.

  2. In the uncommon event that an EWG requires Executive approval of a proposal sooner than is possible via the usual monthly Meeting, the EWG is required to seek Executive consideration/approval of their proposal by the usual means for Executive decisions between meetings, as laid out in the Executive Manual.

  3. Either the EWG convenor or the Executive member who is on the EWG will be required to attend the segment of an Executive meeting where the EWG report is being considered.

2 Standing Committees Of Executive

2.1 Purpose

Standing Committees are set up by the Executive to carry out Executive functions or other ongoing tasks on behalf of the Party.

2.2 Accountability

  1. Standing Committees are accountable to the Executive for the tasks set out in their brief.

  2. Each Standing Committees shall conduct an annual review of its brief and its operations, for presentation in an annual report to Executive prior the Party's AGM.

2.3 Formation Of A Standing Committee

The Executive will draw up a brief for each Standing Committee. This will include:

  1. The purpose of the Standing Committee

  2. The areas of Executive activity which the Standing Committee will cover

  3. The ongoing tasks to be carried out on behalf of the Party

  4. Any limitations on the Standing Committee

  5. The desired skills / experience of members of the Standing Committee

  6. A list of any Officeholders or staff to be on the Standing Committee.

  7. A list of any Officeholders that are to be ex-officio members of the Standing Committee.

  8. The allocated budget, if any, for expenses related to the operation of the Standing Committee.

2.4 Composition

  1. Standing Committees established to carry out ongoing tasks on behalf of the Party are to be made up of people selected by Executive on the basis of particular skills and experience related to the brief. Executive members may be full members or ex-officio members of the Standing Committee

  2. Standing Committees of Executive are established to carry out Executive functions and are made up of Executive members. Other people may be co-opted onto the Standing Committee as required to supply needed skills eg legal, recruitment skills.

2.5 Removal Of Members Of Standing Committees

The Executive may remove an appointed member from a Standing Committee (with reasons given) where it believes it is in the best interests of the Party to do so.

2.6 Powers

  1. Standing Committees are empowered to carry out the tasks laid out in their brief. This may include seeking Executive sign-off or approval as specified in the brief.

  2. Standing Committees may also exercise delegated responsibility from Executive for ongoing activities or the implementation of approved projects, campaigns and the like, including management of expenditure in line with budgets approved by Executive and subject to any reporting and review procedures determined by Executive.

2.7 Reporting

  1. Standing Committees will send a monthly report to the Executive outlining their activities and making recommendations on any matters requiring Executive approval.

  2. They may also be required to prepare strategy documents, budgets, timetables for campaigns and the like and to provide regular financial reports on their activities.

  3. Standing Committees will keep minutes of all meetings, depositing a copy with the national office. The minutes will be available to members of Executive on request.

  4. Each Standing Committee shall present an annual report to Executive as set out in 2.1 above.

2.8 Decisions Required From Executive

  1. When a Standing Committee needs a decision from the Executive it will provide a background paper to Executive along with the recommendation.

  2. Where substantive decisions are required, the background paper and recommendations should be circulated to Executive one month prior to the call/meeting at which the decision is required.

3 Consultation Groups

3.1 Purpose

Consultation Groups may be set up by Executive to provide a channel for representative consultation with provinces or other interest groups on specific issues or in support of a Standing Committee or Executive Working Group.

3.2 Accountability

  1. Collectively a Consultation Group is responsible for representing the best interests of the party as a whole through the consultation process.

  2. Individually the members of a Consultative Group are responsible to the province or other group that nominated them.

  3. A Consultation Group is responsible to the body, as nominated in 10.4.3(c), that they are working with for providing timely and relevant input as requested by that body based on consultation with the province or other group that nominated them.

3.3 Formation Of A Consultation Group

The Executive will draw up a brief or terms of reference for the Consultation Group. This will include:

  1. The purpose of the Consultation Group

  2. The basis of representation and thus the groups that nominate the members of the Consultation Group

  3. The body that the Consultation Group is working with

  4. Any constraints, eg. confidentiality, on the extent to which Consultation Group members may consult outside with other members of the Party.

  5. The lifespan of the Consultation Group and the timetable for the overall consultation process.

  6. The allocated budget, if any, for expenses related to the operation of the Consultation Group.

3.4 Removal Of Consultation Group Members

  1. A Consultation Group member may be removed (with reasons given) by the group they were nominated by where they believe it is in the best interests of the Party to do so.

  2. The body that the Consultation Group is working with may request that a member of the group be replaced (with reasons given) where they believe to do so would be in the best interests of the Party.

3.5 Powers

  1. Consultation Groups are empowered to provide advisory and consultative input to the nominated decision-making process or group as provided for by their brief or terms of reference.

  2. Consultative Groups may present to Executive concerns that the consultative process they are involved in is breaking down or becoming ineffective as a result of the decisions, actions or timetable of the group they are working with.

3.6 Process

Each Consultative Group shall determine and documented, in consultation with the body they are working with, the processes and timetable they plan to use while consulting with their constituencies and reporting back. The process and timetable may be reviewed and revised as part of the consultation process.

3.7 Reporting

  1. Once the consultation process and timetable has been determined and documented it shall be made available to Executive and the constituencies being represented in the consultation process.

  2. Consultative Groups will report to the group they are working with following the agreed timetable and process.

  3. Consultation Groups may prepare summaries of the results of their consultations and present these to Executive and/or their constituencies.

  4. At the end of the consultation process the Consultation Group will present Executive with a summary and a brief review of the process used.



Other Executive Policies and Documents

  1. Green Party Acronyms Guide

  2. Protocol For Executive Minutes, Agendas And Papers (October 2001)

  3. National Job Descriptions (March 2006)

  4. Financial Authorities Policy (October 2002)

  5. Major Donations Policy (May 2003)

  6. Party Caucus Agreement (November 2003)

  7. Reimbursement Of Costs Policy (February 2004)

  8. Code Of Conduct For Staff (February 2004)

  9. Code Of Conduct For Volunteers And Office Holders (February 2004)