Annual General Meeting II

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  • #14696

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Re;

    https://www.monarch.org.nz/forum/topic/annual-general-meeting

    Last year when I raised a similar question about the accounting timeframe not being in sync, I was informed in the AGM, that this would be improved from this year to start bringing the accounting timeframe into sync. I hope this is underway. It certinally needs raising for discussion at a ‘special meeting’ not ‘Any other business’ in a AGM. However a discussion is needed about why a ‘special meeting’ should be called for.

    Regarding Chch, Is there anyone coming to Akl for the AGM from Chch, possibly it may need postponing (if they are not already in Akl anyway).

    Robert.

    Quite happy for this post to be moved to the orginal thread to keep the forum tidy.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 30 total)
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  • #26672

    Darren
    Participant

    I have reworded the information on our registration page to explain the levels of membership more clearly:
    https://www.monarch.org.nz/tagging-transects

    The idea was raised about having symbols next to people’s names on the forum to indicate their level of involvement, but the wordpress/bbpress setup we have does have any provision for that. If we can get our drupal project off the ground it should be possible.

    btw, wordpress isn’t antiquated, we updated it recently. But it is an “entry-level” type setup, which aims to keep it simple.

    I think this kind of discussion about philosophy and future of the trust is very valuable, and I like seeing it out in the open. When I get a chance I’ll make a new section for it.

    #26671

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Anna, I was a financial member from 2008 – 2010.
    Might join again someday 🙂
    Trisha

    #26668

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Hi Anna,

    I’m not sure if you realize on the forum not everyone is a ‘financial member’.
    I think this is where a lot of people get confused over the issue. They think when they join the forum they’re a ‘member’ of the Monarch Butterfly Trust.
    If you just sign up for the forum you’re a ‘member’ of the forum.
    If you pay your membership fee of $20 (email) and $25 (mail) then you’re a financial member.
    We did try a while ago to have something changed on the forum to show this, but we didn’t get very far as I think it was going to cost $$$$ that we didn’t have;-(

    Cheers
    Char

    #26661

    Anna
    Participant

    …Just curious Trisha…How long have you been a member for?

    #26657

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Interesting analogy, Darren.

    Taken a step further, if your adolescent were showing great promise using technology, but reaching a crossroad on his/her path, would you fund a salary and office for him to make his own way forward, or would you get in a professional to upgrade his computer and give him lessons and tutorials to future-proof him a little?

    If there were a philanthropist/sponsor, somewhere out there, willing to invest in your adolescent, which option do you think he might choose? The philanthropist might even found be in the technology industry?

    #26654

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Darren is there someone/company out in little NZ who would like to invest in the trust’s technology.
    I know its a big ask but there maybe someone out there willing to help us out.
    This way you can spend more time with your family;-)

    Cheers
    Char

    #26652

    Darren
    Participant

    When I was a small child I read the novelist Neville Shute’s autobiography and it made quite an impression on me. He was an amazingly creative individual, and had many great ideas which started in his shed, so to speak. As they grew they became impossible for him to manage on his own so he recruited various friends to help out. As they grew still further they outgrew his friends skills and he was forced to fire his friends and replace them with highly trained professionals. Eventually the enterprises would grow to the point where he could see that they had outgrown his ability to manage, and his final act would be to fire himself. With time on his hands he would start pottering around and have another brainwave. So he would call up his friends and the whole cycle would start over again.

    He reached the conclusion that there were “starters” and “runners”, and that he was a starter, but once the company was up and going successfully it was better handed over to the runners.

    With that paradigm in the back of my mind I have recognised it at work in my experience of many businesses, churches, soccer clubs, astronomical societies, toastmasters clubs and so on. They begin with a starter having an idea, then that person recruits other starters and it takes off, eventually it reaches a critical mass and ends up being taken over by runners.

    Take http://www.alpha.org.nz as an example. I registered the alpha.org.nz name and created their first website when it was starting in my second-cousin’s sleepout in Wellington. Eventually my cousin was building extra rooms onto his sleepout and I knew it was time to hand the website over to someone better qualified than myself. Now the office address is in Auckland, and the website is full of javascript and cascading style sheets and other stuff I could never have done for them. Good for them!

    But I have also seen that transition from starting to running can be a very difficult time. There can be a protracted adolescence, where the starters are tired and getting resentful, but it is not quite at the stage to be able to hire runners. Sometimes groups get stuck in that phase, like a 40 year old still living at home with his parents, or it all goes wrong, like a 13 year old streetkid.

    I wonder if MBNZT is hitting that adolescence stage. I know the website needs more than I can give it and I would gratefully hand it over to a professional tomorrow if we could afford to hire one.

    #26650

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yeah, Terry, I surely hope the trust doesn’t come to grief.
    Youself, and a very few others, did spark the general interest in Admirals, for sure!!!! Fabulous. I am rearing some Yellows now.
    Norm Twigge is a valuable asset to the trust here in NZ.
    A shame Robert didn’t renew, but I understand why. I don’t know where Angie is – she has done great work with Monarchs and Admirals in this Auckland region. There are other private projects going on too.
    Confidence in the board wanes when it overturns members’ decisions to pay a salary “subject to sponsorship being obtained” and goes ahead and does it anyway. I have no issues with reasonable expenses being paid to officers – Jacqui has always had those.
    Like time, I have money to give, but not to waste.
    I hope the recent rumbles will make a difference. I would pay again willingly.
    I hope you get another great project going there. It must be so difficult in that climate.
    Best
    Trisha

    #26649

    Terry
    Participant

    Trisha
    I sincerely hope you can save the trust and keep it going. I was never suggesting that any dissent from members was meant to harm the trust; I was just worried that there would be a big falling out, and lots of bad feeling would ensue. Monarch Trust and its NZ members and users of this website have done so much good over the last few years; it would be a shame to see it end. I never believed when I first came across this site and asked to post my “Breeding Yellow Admirals Document” that so many people would become interested in NZ Admirals and start rearing/breeding and planting Nettles as have done in the last few years, I guessed a few would be interested but not the amount of response I ended up with. I received lots of feedback and personal emails asking for more advice. I am very impressed at what has happened and hope it will continue into the future in some form or other for the sake of all your Butterfly Species. I like to hear good news to help me cope with what can be a very depressing existence at times.

    #26648

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Jacqui, great you had an excellent meeting. I hope you had an excellent turnout and some healthy debate ensued. Hopefully new trustees were appointed to build it up again after last year’s resignations. More fresh eyes.
    Yes, well, that’s the point rather, my points will be “noted”.
    As Robert and Charlotte have pointed out also, if an idea doesn’t appeal to you it goes no further.
    Terry, I don’t think any dissention is intended to harm the trust – the reverse in fact.
    The trust is facing something of a crisis. Jacqui has resigned as volunteer secretary and the clock is ticking on her paid position. What happens then? It is very difficult to imagine anyone could step in and take over unless things have changed some behind the scenes.
    I did volunteer and offered to do more, but many things could be done only by Jacqui – according to her.
    I don’t believe there is any hope of securing a major corporate sponsorship to fund na CEO, office and garden.
    I hope you won’t lose your favourite website.
    With respect
    Trisha

    #26647

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all
    First: for Anna, ELG Entomological Livestock Group
    Link here http://www.pwbelg.clara.net/
    Paul Batty (Editor) does not get much time to make many updates to the site, and I don’t need to explain why to you all, as this is part of the debate on this thread, about time finances and real life commitments. Paul spends most of his spare time putting together the fortnightly lists and posting or emailing them to the members. Without his commitment it would probably fold, which is why I pointed out to be careful how you criticize because unless you want to take it over yourselves (Monarch Trust) you could end up with nothing.
    The ELG lists average about 3 x A4 sheets with adverts from members offering livestock (Butterflies, Moths, Stick Insects, and Beetles etc) or exchanges of livestock, books, netting, cages, and other miscellaneous items. With contact numbers and addresses. Most stock is reasonably priced or just enough to cover postage costs. The history of the ELG is on the front page of website.
    Secondly: It appears you are already becoming more open about your problems, dislikes, etc so my posting has started the real debate. There is no point falling out over problems that can probably be solved through open debate and compromise. As many of you already know I have very strong views about restricting trade in Butterfly livestock but I still accept others will take a contrary opinion, well I will just have to live with it! That’s life for you! We will never all agree all of the time so if the Trust makes mistakes you just have to learn from them, repair the damage and move on, Better it keeps going than not, after all it has had a terrific impact on many people in NZ who through your combined efforts are now helping your native species to hold on to and sometimes gain ground in what is becoming (worldwide) a hostile environment to be a Butterfly. Mankind is doing horrific damage to the planet and your efforts will and are making a difference. Keep plugging away; you know it’s worth it!
    And like Bernie has pointed out, we live in the UK but it?s his favorite website, and mine too!

    #26644

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Well said Darren and Terry.

    Darren you’re a real asset to the trust and your time is very much appreciated.
    We all donate our time for LOVE and for the love of the butterflies we seen in our gardens.

    I can see why your wife is making pointed remarks about your time on the computer.
    Al & I went through the same thing when I was looking after Trade Me and doing trust work.
    I used to think Al was making things up but when I stood back and took time away from it all I could see what had happened.

    Now things are so much better and we’re enjoying our gardens and Al is enjoying his photography course and taking photos.
    Something I wouldn’t of been able to enjoy if I was stuck at the computer all the time.

    Cheers
    Char

    #26643

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Thanks Trisha for documenting these points.

    We had an excellent meeting yesterday and one thing we will be doing is to survey the members in the near future – this will be discussed by the trustees in due course – certainly I’ll put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

    And although you are not a financial member the points you raise will also be noted. Bear in mind that you are just one of many people and of course we have not heard from the silent majority, so the results of our survey will be interesting.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    Jacqui

    #26640

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yes, thanks Terry for your thoughful post.
    My dissention is about the trust administration only – the website, and particularly the forum, are very valuable. You are a most respected contributor.
    I applaud Jacqui and her son for getting this all up and running, but Jacqui points out it is now beyond the capability of volunteers. I disagree with that.
    Rather than spend money on paying Jacqui to fundraise to keep antiquated and undocumented systems going, why not invest our subsctiption money in upgrading these so volunteers can manage on a day-to-day basis?
    Darren does a great job 🙂 He has pointed out it is difficult.
    I volunteered on the admin side for a few months but in the end said I had time to give, but not to waste, so stopped. My skills were not utilised. I also declined an invitation to join the board because it was made clear one person contolled all.
    I can’t see how an office, paid CEO and demonstration garden benefit lepitoptera until the MBNZT has substantial projects to encourage in a more positve way.
    If people love their newsletters that is great. I think it is a disproportioniate expense in the Trust’s balance sheet in it’s cutrent form.
    I would love to see the trust do better. At the moment it looks like it is financially at risk without some outside expertise.
    I am currently not a financial member for the above reasons. I hope to join again if/when things change.
    Trisha.

    #26638

    Anna
    Participant

    Hey Terry…what is the ELG? I’ve tried googling it, but don’t think I got the right answer.

    #26637

    Bernie
    Participant

    To All those who make this website what it is,I would like to say a heartfelt thank you.I only found this particular thread yesterday but completely agree with Terry’s view on butterfly conservation here in the UK.
    You may think you have a limited knowledge of things to do with computers Darren but that is only because you haven’t met me! Without you and Jacqui and all the others who make this tick I wouldn’t have my favourite website.
    best wishes for the future and good luck.
    Bernie F.

    #26636

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I second that, Terry. He’s a wizard.

    #26635

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all
    Thank you for your kind comments about my post, however I disagree on one point! Darren your computer skills are not meager, give yourself some credit! I don’t think I could cope with looking after the website, especially when it goes wrong, and I don’t think you sound grumpy, I would probably be very stressed if I had just lost my Job and had young children to worry about, and of course all the other costs that go with being unemployed, I hope you can soon get back into employment and things improve again.

    #26634

    Janis
    Participant

    And well said Anna – I am a $25 member as I like to receive the newsletters by snail mail – they are very well presented and very informative and can be passed on to interested people. Please keep up the good work.

    #26632

    Anna
    Participant

    Well said Terry and Darren. As a reasonably new member, I really appreciate all the work, and knowledge you have shared to help people like me learn more about NZ’s Butterflies. Its also great to be able to encourage others to look up info on here, and hope that they become a member.
    Just being aware of the caterpillar castles has been a real help to me, and I have managed to rear a lot more that I had formally.
    Keep up the good work…I’m sure theres tons more butterflies flying around right now…because of it.

    #26631

    Darren
    Participant

    Thank you Terry for your very thoughtful post.

    I speak for no one but myself, but I personally could not care less about committees and meetings. I didn’t know the charities commission had a website, and now I do I don’t really care. I have become interested in butterflies, and I have a few meagre computer skills. I like learning, and I enjoy helping where I can.

    The forum is an awesome place for me to learn from people who know so much more than me, and share my experiences with fellow beginners.

    As a teacher and former scientist I loved the tagging project. Since the tags are free it seems obvious to me that someone somewhere must be paying for them. While I strongly believe that information wants to be free, printing and posting comes at a cost. $20 a year seemed a small amount to contribute to the continuance of the project in return for the enjoyment it gives me. What’s that, 6 cups of coffee downtown?

    Now I am unemployed with two children and cups of coffee downtown are a fading memory. I cannot afford financial membership until my circumstances improve.

    On the other hand I don’t mind helping out on the computer side of things. I can edit webpages and help people who have forgotten their passwords. But behind the website front end that we all see is a massive database, or probably several databases, I wouldn’t know. I don’t know anything about databases. The website uses wordpress. I didn’t know anything about wordpress, but I am trying to learn as fast as I can.

    But there are so many other things that need doing. We had hundreds of spammers joining, how do we stop them? Why don’t we have a kids section? This link used to work, why doesn’t it work now? Where can I find this information? I can’t be bothered filling out a registration form, you do it for me. Please change my email address. There are updates available, please upgrade. I got a great one the other day:

    Look here you strange people. A ridiculous password but even so when I paste it into the password place it is rejected. Don’t you want outsiders to join???????? Unbelievably crazy.

    I love helping, but there is a limit to my time. My wife is making pointed remarks about the time I spend on the computer.

    So before anybody bursts into print saying “why don’t we have this?”, “I want to see that!”, perhaps they should ask themselves “what can I do to help?”

    Sorry if that sounds grumpy, its probably caffeine withdrawal.

    #26630

    Terry
    Participant

    I am not a paying member of the Monarch Trust either, not for any ideological reasons, I have my own societies in the UK but I am a proud member of the ELG first and foremost, because of the scientific and common sense outlook of it’s members, and also of Butterfly Conservation but with ?very deep? reservations, because of the often non scientific approach and prejudiced views against Butterfly Breeders like myself. I have no idea how many members Monarch Trust has or how many you have lost recently or why, but my advice, if you can get enough members, is to go down the same route as the ELG and use the trust firstly to encourage Butterfly breeding and trading/swapping amongst members of captive bred species within NZ, and secondly the educational and conservation route, avoiding any involvement with Government bodies unless absolutely necessary and not going down the route of restricting trade at home or overseas as this has no effect whatsoever on the population status of NZ Butterflies. The more people you get interested through rearing/breeding, the more members you will get and the increase in finances might in the future allow you to expand in to other areas such as acquiring rights to areas of parkland or reserves where you can advise and assist the authorities in “real” habitat improvement. It will never be easy, most people don?t care about Butterflies but you can only do your best and the best you can do as stated before is to get as many people as you can actually breeding butterflies, this is the practical ?hands on? approach that keeps people interested, Most members of Butterfly Conservation in the UK don?t actually breed or study Butterflies in this way and that?s why they have a big turnover of membership, most Butterfly Conservation members I have met are walking in reserves and taking photos or doing counts, they have very little hands on experience and thus are limited in what they really know. The more people who become ?hands on? interested the more those people will want to learn and then they will conserve their own little areas of NZ whether it be by planting Swan plants for Monarchs in the garden or Nettles for the Admirals and encouraging Coppers and Blues etc. You are already doing much of this so I ask myself, why are some members reluctant to say why they won?t rejoin, something must have upset them. So you need to find out what the members want and debate things in an open and frank exchange of views. You cannot have any society or trust run by a small clique which makes others feel like their opinions don?t matter, or that one or two people have a veto over all differing opinions, if you run the trust like that it will lead to disaster. I don?t know if this has happened but as an outsider (overseas) looking in, it?s strange to me that members discussing the AGM on the forum are not willing to state why they have problems rejoining.
    Butterfly Conservation and the Amateur Entomological society in the UK did a lot of damage to their reputations and membership in the UK in the 1990s when they chose to go along with restrictions on captive breeding and spout non scientific propaganda from the green movement. Many people have a sheep mentality and will do anything for a quiet life rather than fight for what they know is right and true. (I have just sent some Jehovah?s Witness cult members packing from my doorstep who interrupted me and then for trying to brainwash me whilst I was trying to write this post) After all we all like to be loved, but when the general view of the establishment or societies you are members of are wrong someone has to stand up and tell them even if it means being unpopular for a while. At the same time I would point out to members just how difficult and time consuming it can be to take on a project such as running the Monarch trust so criticism must be constructive not destructive, ask yourself the question, would I like to put all this time and effort in to running the trust myself? Then you begin to appreciate what it entails. At the end of the day you are all in it together and must sort out the problems together. I want the Monarch Trust to go from strength to strength, but as I said before it is never going to be easy and you need to try to go forward united.

    #26624

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Char,

    You ask why I didn’t re-new my membership. Well there are many reasons that I’m not going to discuss here.

    As for a poll to find out why people leave, I believe it’s a waste of effort (by the volunteer) as ‘The Trust’ will choose to ignore any worthwhile contribution that would add value to a persons membership. I get the feeling this is because it would ‘affect the bottom line’.

    Char, you mention that the AGM has no chairperson. This is interesting as I have never being to a meeting without a chairperson (or stand-in in cases of sickness). I also remember being taught at college that a meeting isn’t valid without a chairperson too.

    Two out of three trusties is a reasonable turnout.

    Robert.

    #26610

    Charlotte
    Participant

    We need to come up with more ideas as to how to grow the membership and would love to hear suggestions about how we can do that.
    A few members Jacqui have done this in the past and had cold water poured on their ideas. It gets very discouraging Jacqui when some really good ideas come through and if you’re not happy with them they get squashed.
    I don’t want you to think I’m nit picking as I’m not like that at all, but I do think the financial members need to have their say as it is some of their money that the trust is using. So I do hope a few will come along tomorrow and ask some pertinent questions.

    We do need to grow our membership drastically before anyone will look at funding or sponsorship with us.
    I have seen a few companies in the last 2 days that have the Monarch as a symbol and could be good potential sponsors/funders but they wont support us if they have to pay wages.

    I also think the meeting should have been postponed until Norm (Chairperson) could attend, as it’s not a good look to have just 2 trustees and a treasurer at the AGM.
    Norm is the chairperson and should have been present to chair the meeting.

    Thanks
    Char

    #26607

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Good idea, Jacqui.
    I don’t know anything about the IRD’s expectations of a charity, but I am very comfortable documenting my concerns to the Charities Commission.
    Will do so next week and share any feedback here.
    The fall in subscription revenue in the last reporting year suggested more than a few members had not renewed.
    The website and the forum, in particular, are excellent resources.
    Trisha

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