General Aims and Duties of a National SF and F organization, and methods for achieving these.


Version 4

Note: The below goals are not exclusive. It is hoped that once the basic goals are achieved, the Natorg will be able to extend it’s duties a bit further. It is understood that we should take small steps, and make sure that each foundational goal is in place before attempting new goals


(For the sake of argument, and until a name is chosen this organization will be referred to as the NATORG.)

1)      NATORG be created as an incorporated, non-profit society, and receive an IRD number as such.

2)      In general terms, NATORG will be responsible for overseeing the annual New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention  (NatCon). This will involve:

a)      Administration of the process of awarding the NatCon to an organisation committee (ConCom).

i)        This will take place at each Natcon, where the members of the natcon will vote for a natcon two years hence.

ii)       If for some reason, a Natcon was not voted on the previous year, a Natcon may be voted for that is one year in the future.

b)      Providing an umbrella organisation under which ANY SF or F convention may operate so that their tax free status is assured, so long as:

i)        The convention agrees to be affiliated to the natorg. It will thereby receive the same tax benefits as the natorg, in the eyes of the IRD.

ii)       The concom will be required to sign a document stating that they will abide by the rules of the Natorg. (Eg. Rules relating to non-profit status, use of the database and so on.) [This document to be worked out later on.]

iii)     There are financial assurances to guarantee that a convention that fails financially cannot drag the natorg down with it.

c)      Holding funds from previous conventions, which can be used as a loan or as a grant to an upcoming NATCON.

i)        There will be specific requirements for receiving money from the Natorg. This is to ensure that the money is being given responsibly by the Natorg.

ii)       The Natorg will have the right to refuse further funding to a natcon IF it can be established that the concom is badly managing the Natcon finances. In extreme circumstances, previously advanced money may be required to be paid back.

iii)     The Natorg must ensure that funds for ongoing expense requirements related to the running of the Natorg are available.

iv)     The specifications for funding have yet to be worked out in detail.

d)      Holding the national Fan database in trust for future conventions and fan contacts.

i)        The use of this database will be governed by the Privacy Act.

ii)       The purpose of this database is to enable fans to be contacted about SF and F events happening in New Zealand.

iii)     Individual statistical information has been, and will be gathered. This will only be accessible to the database administrator/s. However, aggregate statistics containing no information from which individuals maybe identified will be available as requested by interested parties.

e)       Providing advice and practical help where possible to the committees of natcons and other conventions within New Zealand.

3)      The Natorg must also ensure that New Zealand national SF and F awards are made each year. This would normally occur at the Natcon. Provision should be made, however, in case a Natcon is not held in a particular year.

a)      National SF awards (The Sir Julius Vogel Awards) are to be made in conjunction with each NatCon.  Works may be nominated that were published or released in the calendar year previous to the Natcon. Only the members of the current Natcon may vote for these awards.

b)      Those awards shall include the following categories and any others that NATORG or their delegated agents may see fit.

i)        Fan Awards (given to fans for their contribution to these areas of fandom.)

(1)   Best Fan Writer

(2)   Best Fan Artist

(3)   Best Fanzine

(4)   Services to Fandom (as deemed appropriate)

ii)       New Zealand Awards (The following are suggestions. The idea is to use the Hugos as a basis for New Zealand awards. The fans choose their favourite works and vote on them.)

(1)   Best Novel

(2)   Best Short Story

(3)   Best Artist

(4)   Best Film

4)      The Natorg will contribute to the promotion of Science Fiction, Fantasy and fandom in New Zealand. This will be achieved by any or all of the following:

i)        Encouraging communication and relationships between fan groups around the country.

ii)       Encouraging the creation of new fan groups throughout New Zealand.

iii)     Being a Media contact for news media, publishers, film distributors, et al.

iv)     Advertising in order to increase public awareness of local fan groups and activities.

v)      It is hoped that with the “bulk power” of a natorg, numerous stores which have some relation to SF & F can be persuaded to give a discount to members of the Natorg. This allows the store/s to only deal with one organisation, rather than many scattered around the country.

5)      The administration of NATORG is to be carried out by a board consisting of:

·         President.

·         Secretary.

·         Treasurer.

·         Up to xxx other board members.

·         It is hoped that the committees of fan clubs in New Zealand will also take part in an advisory capacity.

6)      Membership of the Natorg.

a)      Membership can be obtained by registering as a member of a Natcon.

b)      Membership can be obtained by joining individually.

i)        It would be preferred that the natcon makes available an extra membership category that allows for ONLY Natorg membership. This simplifies the administration required, and if the fan chooses to later on join the natcon, it simply becomes an upgraded membership.

ii)       [We should also have PROVISION for joining straight to the Natorg, but this is a little more hassle administratively.]

c)      Honorary memberships may also be conferred. This class of membership has no voting rights.

d)      Lifetime Memberships may be conferred, by vote of the members. These memberships have full voting rights in perpetuity.

e)      All memberships will continue until the start of the NEXT natcon.

i)        Eg. A fan joins 3 months before a Natcon in Year X. Membership continues until the start of the Natcon in Year X+1. This method potentially allows membership periods of about 2 years if the fan takes out membership early enough.

ii)       In the event a natcon is not held in one year, membership will lapse 1 day before the date of the AGM. [I suggest that in this case, we state that the AGM must be held in the month of June, since that’s a more or less central month. It also allows time for the ]

f)       Membership benefits are:

i)        The right to attend the AGM, any SGMs, committee meetings and have their say.

(1)   This assumes that communications via internet and post are accepted as being methods for disseminating and receiving information.

ii)       The right to vote for matters concerning the Natorg.

iii)     The right to vote on the fan awards, SO LONG AS the membership held is also for the Natcon, or AGM, in the year of voting.

iv)     Any discounts or similar arranged by the natorg on behalf of it’s members.

v)      [If discounts are arranged, how will a member be able to prove to the “retailer” that they are a member? Membership cards are fiddly to produce. And keeping the membership straight would be a pain. If the discounts took effect from the start of the natcon (AGM) in question, then it becomes easier to do this, since it’s fairly easy to print out a list of natorg members and print the membership cards, all at the same time. Is this an option?]

vi)     [Also, as far as discounts go, if they can be arranged, I would like to see them arranged for ALL clubs as well. What do people think about doing this regardless, without requiring any sort of payment? Maybe the natorg could ask for a small payment in order to receive the discounts. This would allow the club to print a specified design on their membership cards, and the ALL their members could get those discounts. The same would apply to members of the natorg. Their membership badge would have the Natorg design on it, and they could then use it for the next year to get discounts.]

7)      The annual general meeting of NATORG will be the business session of the NatCon, at which time the election of board members will take place.

a)      Also at this time, the board members will say what they wish to accomplish in the following year. Each item must be agreed upon by the members present.