New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) CE Memo Musa announced today that a resolution calling for the dissolution of the NZNO Board is not legally valid and is inconsistent with NZNO’s Constitution.
The resolution was presented in a petition last month calling for an expression of no confidence in the current Board, dissolution of the current NZNO Board and for fresh elections to be held for all 11 Director positions.
The petition was signed by 1038 members of NZNO and 701 non-members. Mr Musa said that after receiving legal advice, including from a QC (Queen’s Counsel), he determined that it would be unconstitutional, and therefore illegal, for the motion to remove the democratically elected Board members even to be considered at an SGM.
"You can’t just remove Board members who have been democratically elected. There are provisions within NZNO’s Constitution that sets out requirements for this, and this resolution does not meet these requirements. The legal advice was that I had no other option but to reject the petition request.
"I looked at this matter fine detail because of its importance and I got the best legal advice available. I’m very confident this is the right decision."
Mr Musa said the constitution is NZNO’s rule book and it would be illegal for him to break its rules.
"I will therefore not be issuing Notice of an SGM (Special General Meeting) to vote on the resolution in the petition."
Mr Musa said there are currently five vacancies on the Board including the President and Vice President. NZNO will hold by-elections in accordance with its Constitution to elect new Directors to those five vacant positions. Nominations open on Friday 19 June..
"My focus is to look forward and to encourage members to fully participate in the Board by-election process by voting, by putting themselves forward, or by ‘nominating a mate’.
"It’s important to put these challenges behind us now, and to come together as a truly democratic union and professional association. With COVID-19 not over for health workers, we must stay strong together. We must keep fighting for what nurses need in their work places to keep themselves safe and, amongst other things, to retain and improve on current terms and conditions of employment."