Rules of the Richmond Contract Bridge Club Incorporated

1.         Name

The name of the Club is “Richmond Contract Bridge Club Incorporated” (“the Club”).

2.         Registration

The Club is registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

3.         Objects

The objects of the Club are those charitable objects and purposes which are recognised by the Courts of New Zealand, and including

(a)        Teaching and providing amenities, facilities and equipment for playing the game of contract bridge.

(b)        Promoting contract bridge sessions, tournaments, competitions and matches and providing for the control, administration and management of bridge sessions and events.

(c)        The provision and maintenance of premises considered necessary desirable or convenient for the advancement of such objects.

(d)       To purchase, take on lease or otherwise acquire any land or buildings or any interest therein which may be thought necessary or expedient for the attainment of any other objects of the Club and may sell, exchange, lease, let, hire out, sub-let, mortgage or otherwise dispose of or deal with the same, or any part thereof, and may build on any land and may repair, alter, improve or otherwise deal with any building, subject to clause 14(m).

(e)        To borrow or raise money by overdraft or by the issue of debentures, bonds, mortgages or other security over all or any part of the real and personal property of the Club or without giving such or other security or in any manner whatsoever.

4.         Affiliation

The Club is affiliated as a member of New Zealand Bridge Incorporated (“NZ Bridge”), being the governing organisation responsible for the management, control, administration and regulation of Contract Bridge in New Zealand. The Club shall seek to comply with any requirements imposed from time to time for membership of that organisation so as to continuously maintain such affiliation and the benefits of such membership. All members of the Club are, by virtue of that affiliation, also bound by the provisions of the Rules of NZ Bridge to the extent the same apply to members of affiliated Clubs participating in the game of Contract Bridge.

5.         Notices

These rules, the by-laws and any notices required to be given to members shall be displayed on the noticeboard at the Club rooms and may be available on the Club website. Copies will be provided on application to the Secretary.

 6.         Membership

(a)        The members of the Club shall be:

(i)         Life members

(ii)        Ordinary members

(iii)       Youth members, under the age 20 years

(b)        Life members shall be persons the Club desires to honour, and shall be elected in accordance with Rule 7. A life member is not liable to pay any annual Club subscription. Life members shall be deemed to be a financial member for all purposes under these Rules.

(c)        Ordinary and youth members shall be elected to membership under rule 8.

(d)       Youth members shall have the playing rights of ordinary members while under the age of 20 years. They shall have no right to vote or hold office unless they become ordinary members and pay full fees

7.         Election of life members

Recommendations for election to life membership can be made only by the Committee and shall require the approval of three quarters of the votes cast in a secret ballot at a general meeting, due notice of the recommendation having been given in accordance with rules 24(b) or 25(b).

8.         Election of ordinary and youth members

(a)        Every candidate for ordinary or youth membership shall sign the membership application form prescribed by the Committee. The application or a copy shall be posted on the notice board at the Club rooms for at least fourteen days. Any members wishing to object to any candidate must advise the Secretary in writing of such objection and the grounds for such objection within this fourteen day period.

(b)        Subject to meeting the conditions in rule 8(a) the Committee shall consider the election of the candidate, and if approved the candidate shall become a member of the Club.

(c)        Every new member shall be notified by the Secretary, and shall then be bound by the rules and by-laws of the Club.

9.         Resignation of members

Notice of resignation from membership shall be given to the Secretary in writing. A member who has not resigned before the end of the financial year is liable for the subscription for the ensuing year.

10.       Discipline and/or suspension of members

(a)        The Committee has the power to censure, suspend from membership for a period, or expel any member, but the member shall be given full opportunity to offer an explanation and otherwise be treated in a manner consistent with the requirements of natural justice.

(b)        Any member expelled under rule 10(a) has the right to appeal, by delivering a notice in writing to the Secretary to that effect within 3 months from the date of expulsion, to a special general meeting to be convened within 30 days of the date of delivery of such notice at which a majority of two-thirds of those present may reverse the Committee’s decision and/or in the alternative censure or suspend the member from membership for a period.

(c)        Any member whose subscription remains unpaid for two months shall be deemed to be suspended from membership and shall not be entitled to the privileges of the Club until the subscription has been paid. Should a subscription remain unpaid at the end of the Club’s financial year the person concerned shall cease to be a member of the Club but shall still be liable to pay the outstanding subscription.

(d)       Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-clauses (a) and (b) the Committee also has the power to refer any matter, allegation, or complaint of conduct, discipline or dispute that it considers sufficiently significant, concerning or important to the Board of Management of NZ Bridge for enquiry, investigation and/or determination by the Board’s appropriate Standing Committee, and in the event any such referral is accepted by the Board for that purpose the Committee shall abide any consequent verdict, decision or determination as the case may be.

11.       Annual subscriptions

(a)        Annual subscriptions shall be determined by the Committee in office in the preceding financial year.

(b)        Subscriptions are due in advance, on the 31st day of August.

(c)        A member whose subscription is unpaid 30 days after the due date may have their membership cancelled, at the discretion of the Committee.

(d)       The committee shall have the power in its absolute discretion to refund, dispense with or make reductions in the subscription paid or payable by any member.

12.       Officers

(a)        The officers of the Club shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer (or Secretary/Treasurer). The immediate past president, shall be an ex officio member.

(b)        All general meetings of the Club and all Committee meetings shall be chaired by the President or in the President’s absence by the Vice-President. In the absence of both of them the meeting shall elect one of their number to fill the chair.

(c)        No person shall hold the office of President for more than five years in succession.

13.       Election of officers and Committee

(a)        Only financial members of the Club are eligible for election as an officer and/or Committee member.

(b)        The annual general meeting shall elect the officers and six other members all of whom with anyone appointed under rule 13(f) or co-opted under rule 14(e) shall be the Committee.

(c)        Written nominations for election on the approved form, signed by two financial members and including the written consent of the nominee, shall be lodged with the Secretary at least 14 days before the annual general meeting.

(d)       At least seven days before the annual general meeting the Secretary shall post on the noticeboard a list of nominees together with such information (not exceeding one side of an A4 sheet of paper) as may be supplied in support of each nomination.

(e)        In the absence of sufficient valid nominations being received and remaining current at the date of the annual general meeting, nominations for any vacancies remaining may be made from the floor.

(f)        If a vacancy on the Committee occurs between annual general meetings the Vice-President shall fill a vacancy in the position of President, and any other vacancy may be filled by appointment by the Committee. The Committee may continue to act despite any vacancy.

14.       Management by the Committee

(a)        From the end of each annual general meeting until the beginning of the next, the Club shall be administered, managed and controlled by the Committee, which shall be accountable to the members for the implementation of the policies of the Club as approved by any general meeting and having regard to the best interests of the Club.

(b)        The Committee may engage employees on such terms and with such powers as it thinks desirable.

(c)        Other than matters required by law or by these rules to be decided by the Club in general meeting, the Committee shall do all things in the exercise of the Club’s powers and management.

(d)       The Committee shall meet at such times and places as it may determine and otherwise where and as convened by the President.

(e)        The Committee may co-opt any member to the Committee for a specific purpose for a limited period.

(f)        The quorum for Committee meetings is five.

(g)        Only the immediate past president and committee members elected under rule 13(b) or appointed under rule 13(f) or co-opted under rule 14(e) who are present in person shall be counted in the quorum and be entitled to vote.

(h)        The Committee may appoint sub-committees consisting of such members as it thinks fit and with or without power to co-opt. The President shall ex officio be a member of all sub-committees.

(i)         The Committee may act by resolution approved by more than half the members present. In the case of an equality of votes, the chairperson shall have a deliberative and casting vote.

(j)         The Committee shall make by-laws consistent with these rules for any matter affecting members and the management of the Club.

(k)        These rules, any by-laws, the resolutions of general meetings, the decisions of the Committee on the interpretation of these rules, and all actions taken by the Committee in accordance with these rules, and on matters not provided for in these rules, shall be final and binding on all members.

(l)         Each officer or Committee member shall immediately on resigning or ceasing to hold office deliver to the Secretary all books, papers and other property of the Club.

(m)             The committee must adhere to any agreements made with the Richmond Park    Bridge and Croquet Centre.

15.       Status and playing rights of members

The Committee may appoint a sub-committee chaired by a Committee member to decide members’ playing grades. The number of grades and of members allotted to each grade will be determined by the Committee, and any such grading sub-committee shall act from time to time to grade, classify and periodically re-classify all players consistent with the Committee’s determination. Should a member of the grading sub-committee not be available at any time the Committee may appoint a substitute. The grading sub-committee shall make recommendations to the Committee and in conjunction with it decide the grading of members. No question concerning the grading of individual members shall be discussed at any Committee meeting other than in a manner provided under this clause.

16.       Secretary

The Secretary shall be responsible to the Committee for secretarial functions.

17.       Records

(a)        The Secretary shall record the minutes of all general meetings and Committee meetings, and all minutes when confirmed by a subsequent meeting and signed by the chairperson of that meeting shall prima facie be evidence that that meeting was duly called and that the minutes are a true and correct record of what occurred at the meeting.

(b)        The Committee shall hold the past Club’s records, documents, and books at the Club rooms.

18.       Treasurer

The functions of the Treasurer shall include:

(a)        Keeping such books of account as may be necessary to provide a true record of the Club’s financial position;

(b)        Preparing budgets and reporting on the Club’s financial position to each Committee meeting;

(c)        Presenting an annual statement of accounts (statement of financial performance and statement of financial position) to the annual general meeting;

(d)       Chairing the finance sub-committee; and

(e)        Supervising all the financial affairs of the Club.

19.       Financial year

The financial year of the Club begins on the 1st day of September in each year, and ends on the 31st day of August.

20.       Major transactions

The Committee of the Club without any restriction whatsoever may decide if any proposed transaction is a major transaction and this decision shall be final in every respect. Any transaction exceeding $7500 in value will automatically be deemed a major transaction. Major transactions shall be referred to a general meeting of members. In all other matters the Committee may purchase, take on lease or otherwise acquire real and personal property of every description and generally act in all matters which may be thought necessary or expedient for the attainment of any of the objects of the Club, and may sell, exchange, lease, let, hire out, sub-let, mortgage or otherwise dispose of or deal with the same or any part thereof and may build on any land and may repair, alter, improve, or otherwise deal with any building, subject to clause 14(m).

21.       Finance and accounts

(a)        The Committee shall set playing fees from time to time and may impose additional fees for visitors to the Club and other charges as it may decide.

(b)        Moneys belonging to the Club shall be deposited in bank accounts under such conditions as the Committee decides. The Committee shall also give such directions as it may consider desirable for the payment of accounts. Authorities for payment shall be signed by two persons, including the Treasurer and/or Secretary and another appointed by the Committee for that purpose. The Committee shall ensure that proper books of account are kept.

(c)        At the annual general meeting the Committee shall submit a statement of accounts of the Club as at 31st August and an account of the income and expenditure for the period, such accounts to be audited or reviewed (looked over carefully and critically) by the auditor.

(d)               Any financial transaction involving a Committee member must be fully disclosed and the member must not vote on the issue.

22. Payments to members

No member of The Club or any person associated with a member shall practise in or materially influence any decision made by The Club in respect of the payment to or on behalf of that member or associated person of any income, benefit or advantage whatsoever.

Any such income paid shall be reasonable and relative to that which would be paid in an arm’s length transaction (being the open market value.) The provisions and effect of this clause shall not be removed from this document, and shall be included and implied into any document replacing this document.

23.       Auditor

An auditor who is a suitably qualified person shall be elected by majority at each annual general meeting. Any vacancy occurring during the year shall be filled by the Committee.

24.       Annual general meeting

(a)        The annual general meeting shall be held before the 1st November each year on a date fixed by the Committee.

(b)        At least fourteen days written notice of this meeting shall be given to members.

25.       Special general meeting

(a)        The Committee shall call a special general meeting:

(i)         whenever it considers it in the interests of the Club to do so, or

(ii)        upon receipt of a requisition to do so signed by more than 10 members and stating the business of the meeting.

(b)        Written notice of any business to be considered at any special general meeting must be given at least ten days before the meeting and in the case of a meeting called under rule 25(a)(ii), the meeting must be held within 30 days of the receipt of the requisition.

(c)        At any special general meeting no business shall be transacted other

than that stated in the notice convening the meeting

 26.       Voting

(a)        At all general meetings voting shall be on a show of hands or a ballot shall be conducted in such manner as the chairperson shall determine. In the event of any vote being tied the tie shall be resolved by another ballot. In the event of the second ballot being tied then the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote (except on the election of officers and committee members).

(b)        Two members (who are not nominees) appointed by the meeting shall act as scrutineers for the counting of votes and destruction of any voting papers.

(c)        Proxy voting is not allowed.

27.       Quorum

At all general meetings 15 members or one-half of the Club’s current members, whichever is the lesser, shall form a quorum. If there is not a quorum present 15 minutes after the time set down for the meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned and reconvened in accordance with rule 24B or 25B as appropriate.

28.       Alteration to rules

No alteration, addition or deletion shall be made to these rules except at a general meeting called for that purpose. Particulars of any proposed changes must be given in the notice convening the meeting. The votes of two/thirds of those members present on that occasion are required to effect any change.

29.       Common seal

The common seal witnessed by two members of the Committee shall be affixed to documents only as the Committee by resolution directs.

30.       Dissolution

In accordance with the Incorporated Societies Act 1908, or any law in substitution for that act, members present at a general meeting of the Club may resolve that the Club be dissolved as from a date specified in that resolution. Any such resolution must be confirmed at a subsequent special general meeting called for that purpose, and held not earlier than 30 days after the passing of the resolution. Members shall direct after all debts of the Club have been paid the method of disposition of the funds and property of the Club after its dissolution to New Zealand Bridge Incorporated or to any one or more society or charitable trust in New Zealand having as one of its principal objects the fostering and promotion of and participation in the game of contract bridge in New Zealand or in any part of New Zealand.

 31.       Visitors

Non-members may be invited to play at the Club on payment of appropriate table money.

32.       Patron

(a)        The Club may appoint a member as Patron for a term of two years.

(b)        The Patron shall be a senior and respected member of the Club.

(c)        The Patron will preside over ceremonial events including awards presentations and similar events.

(d)        The Patron will receive free subscriptions and the Club shall pay any NZ Bridge levies on their behalf.

(e)        The position entails no administration or decision making responsibilities.

(f)        Any candidate for Patron will be proposed by the committee and put to a vote of club members at a general meeting.

 33.       Honoraria

The Club may pay honoraria to committee members on approval of the membership obtained by resolution at annual or special general meeting.