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Historical Vote to Transform NZ Red Cross


9 November 2009

The 78th annual National Council meeting of New Zealand Red Cross that was held in Wellington over the weekend (7 – 8 November) saw the membership pass a unanimous vote accepting a new constitution designed to revitalise the humanitarian organisation for the 21st century.

The vote marks the first substantial time the constitution has been changed since 1993.

Changes to the constitution are necessary to enable the implementation of a project that will transform the governance structure of New Zealand Red Cross.

After nationwide consultation conducted over the past nine months, the new constitution was presented to the National Council meeting on Sunday.

Penny Mason, New Zealand Red Cross National President, says the governance changes will sustain New Zealand Red Cross’ relevance in the 21st century, and to focus on local communities, by empowering the membership and volunteers.

“This vote marks an historical and exciting moment for Red Cross here in New Zealand. I commend the National Board and membership in their courage to pursue this challenge. I am confident that the changes we have proposed will make a real difference for Red Cross as we progress towards the future,” says Mrs Mason.

New Zealand Red Cross will undertake to grow and diversify the membership of the organisation and ensure that Red Cross people feel empowered, valued and fulfilled by the work they are doing. It will also ensure that there is a Red Cross presence throughout the country.

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Under the new governance structures New Zealand Red Cross will disestablish the current six regional boards and in their place establish 16 Area Councils across the country. Area Councils will have a closer link to their communities, a greater understanding of community needs and a better understanding of how Red Cross can make a real local difference.

The National Council also re-elected Penny Mason in her current position of National President for another three years and they also re-elected Vice President John Evans for a further one year term.

New Zealand Red Cross has been a part of the New Zealand community since 1931 and is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network – present around the globe for 150 years.


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