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New constitution a milestone for RNZFB

New constitution a milestone for RNZFB

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) has reached another milestone in its quest for self-determination.

Following the passing of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act 2002 in December, the RNZFB was required to prepare a new Constitution for the RNZFB.

The adoption of the new Constitution had to be voted on by RNZFB members in a special resolution by postal ballot.

On Tuesday 11 February, in a landslide majority, 96.8 percent of members who voted, supported the special resolution to adopt a new Constitution for the RNZFB.

RNZFB Chairman Jonathan Mosen says this clearly shows that members have endorsed the provisions of this new Constitution.

"This is indeed a day that means a great deal to many people who have worked so hard and carefully on the mechanics of this complex process," says Mr Mosen.

"So many of us have believed for so long in the right of blind and vision-impaired people to determine the direction of the organisation.

"The outcome of this special resolution confirms that the majority of our members also believe in that right as well."

Of a total voting membership of just over 11,000, 5166 valid votes were received. Exactly 5000 (96.8 percent) voted yes and166 people (3.2 percent) voted no.

This is only the second time a referendum has ever been held by the RNZFB as well as being the second time ever using fully accessible voting papers.

The voting paper used in this referendum had both large print and braille writing with an embossed circle to tick inside for Yes, and an embossed square to tick inside for No.

"This meant that regardless of members degree of vision loss, they could vote without assistance,“ says Mr Mosen.

“Independent voting is something that sighted New Zealanders take for granted, but for those who are blind or vision-impaired it is another important step towards self-determination."

The next stage in the process is a call for nominations for the first Board of Directors of what will become the Royal New Zealand Foundation OF the Blind.

Following that, in mid to late March members will vote on who they want as their representatives on the Board. In the meantime, the present Board will continue to provide governance and leadership for the RNZFB.

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