What are the main authorities or references for meeting procedure in Australia and New Zealand

There are a number of books on meeting procedure in Australia and New Zealand.

CAUTION: Your organisation may use a book called “Robert’s Rules” (often referred to as RONR) – be careful as this is an American book which uses significantly different terminology from Australia and also covers issues which are peculiarly North American.

Robert’s Rules is not an appropriate book to use in Australia in my opinion as it uses different and sometimes conflicting terminology and also goes into minute detail (700 pages) which is rarely needed in meetings in  Australia.

These are the books which I recommend. I am the author of one and co-author of another.

General books on meeting procedure

Meeting Procedure Made Easy

By David Julian Price

Published by Cascade Publishing

Available at www.masterofmeetings.com

Take the Chair

By David Price, Harold Luxton and Bill Smith

Published by Australian Rostrum

Available at Rostrum Western Australia

Guide for Meetings and Organisations

By N.E. Renton

Published by the Law Book Company

Available at bookshops

Books for Company Meetings

Company Meetings, What you need to know

By Greg Bateman

Published by Butterworths

Available at bookshops

Books for more legal and technical information

Joske’s Law and Procedure at Meetings in Australia

By Eilis S Magner

Published by The Law Book Company

Available in bookshops

Horsley’s Meetings. Procedure, Law and Practice

By A.D. Lang

Published by Butterworths

Available in bookshops

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. This is not, and should be taken as legal advice. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement. If you are in any doubt, seek appropriate advice.

14 Comments »

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  2. avatar RONR User Says:

    I’d just like to point out that there is a “Robert’s Rules of Order In Brief” written and published by the Robert’s Rules of Order authors. This book is much shorter. Also, his original work was much shorter. Similar to what is happening with Renton, it was expanded as the readers sent in particular issues. I do agree that if the language is different you probably don’t want to use it in Australia, Henry Martyn Robert was a fan of Latin words since it is a dead language and the meaning can’t change.

  3. avatar walktall Says:

    Thankyou for your comment.
    Yes I am aware of the “In brief” version of Robert and I have a copy, but it still uses different terminology to that which is used in Australia.
    Renton is still the main authority although my own book, Meeting Procedure Made easy also has significant currency as it is easier to understand for many people which is the reason I wrote it.

  4. avatar Natalie Hopkirk Says:

    I have questions – I understand that 2 weeks notice should be given before an AGM, is it necessary for the reports that will be presented to the AGM be available 2 weeks in advance? (For a small organisation)

    Should notices of motion be be presented 2 weeks in advance, especially if they are to affect the governance of the same organisation? Should such motions be rejected/delayed if they are not tabled until the actual AGM meeting?

    I would be grateful for your comments.
    Natalie.

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  13. avatar David Price Says:

    Hello John,
    It is not necessary to have an independent chairperson unless a) your rules dictate it or b) it is the custom of your organisation.
    Even if it is the custom, there is no need necessarily.
    If however there are any contentious issues coming up at the AGM, it may be wise to have independent chairperson.

  14. avatar David Price Says:

    Natalie from New Zealand has asked this question. She asks: I understand that 2 weeks notice should be given before an AGM. Is it necessary for the reports that will be presented to the AGM be available 2 weeks in advance? (For a small organisation)

    Should notices of motion be presented 2 weeks in advance, especially if they are to affect the governance of the same organisation?

    Should such motions be rejected/delayed if they are not tabled until the actual AGM meeting?

    I would be grateful for your comments.
    Natalie.

    There are several issues here. The first is about reports being sent out with the notice of the meeting. The answer is ideally yes, but you note that it is a small organisation and presumably voluntary. Reality is that in my experience, in small voluntary organisation, the reports are provided at the AGM itself. Sure, it would be good if they were available beforehand, but volunteers are giving their time and the last thing you want to do is scare them away with what they may see as bureaucratic or pedantic requirements.

    The next issues are quite different.

    Notices of motion MUST be provided in advance, especially if they are to do with the governance of the organisation. That is the point of the “notice of meeting”. The chair (or the meeting) is well within its rights to reject a motion presented at the AGM which affects the governance of the organisation if notice has not been provided.
    Notice should be the exact wording of the proposed motion. Such a motion can also only be amended such that the intent is not altered.

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