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


Version 5

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.  Foundational goals have been marked as such.


Philosophy of the Natorg (according to Norman): I believe that the natorg should be run to benefit all fans as much as practicable. For instance, if the natorg becomes involved in advertising for conventions, I suggest that the advertising be phrased generally so that people who might just be interested in a club would contact the natorg, and be given the name of a club close to them.

This also implies that the natorg must be accountable to ALL fans. Legally, only members of the natorg have the power to influence policy, but the effort must be made to listen to all fans.

The natorg of course will try to find benefits for members, to encourage joining. Without members we don’t have resources, either monetary or people to help out.


Coming Up:

There is coming a point quite soon where we (the discussion group) will need to contact all the clubs and groups we can think of to let them know what we are doing. This will be to let them know what we are proposing and ask them if they are willing to let the natorg be a spokesperson for them. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we do this. I realise that the bigger SF clubs are aware of what’s going on, but there will be a number of other clubs like roleplaying clubs, SCA, and so that should be aware of what’s going on. They may not be interested, but at the least we’ve made the effort to let them know what’s being proposed.


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

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

a)      The natorg will exist with the mandate of New Zealand fans.

b)      The natorg will be run for the benefit of as many fans as possible.

2)      [Foundational] 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 attendees of the natcon and the members of the natorg 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. For that to happen legally, the following points are necessary.

i)        The convention needs to agree 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 convention.

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 convention IF it can be established that the concom is badly managing the convention 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)      [Foundational] Providing advice and practical help where possible to the committees of natcons and other conventions within New Zealand.

3)      [Foundational] 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)      [Foundational] The board of the Natorg are the people responsible for the running of the natorg, and the carrying out of the wishes of the fans.

a)      The administration of NATORG is to be carried out by a board consisting of President, Secretary, Treasurer and between 4 and 6 other board members. The President, Secretary and Treasurer are known collectively as the executive.

b)      The board will be elected at the AGM of the natorg, by the members of the natorg.

c)      The President will be directly elected by the members.

d)      The remaining members of the board will be elected generally, then the positions of Secretary and Treasurer will be chosen from among the elected members. Any other specific board positions will be chosen from among those board members. Ie. Between 6 and 8 board members will be elected from whom the board will choose Secretary, Treasurer and any other specific positions.

e)      No person can hold the same Executive position for more than 3 years consecutively. No person can be on the Executive for more than 5 years consecutively. They can rotate out to the general board if they wish. This is to avoid burn out.

6)      Membership of the Natorg. Because the natorg is a new organisation, ways of obtaining membership will be rolled out over the next few conventions. Section (a) Designates the way membership will work initially. Section (b) designates the way that membership will work when it’s appropriate to switch. We are still discussing section (b) in the group. This will be completed a bit later on.

a)      At a natcon, membership in the natorg can be obtained by ticking a box on the registration form. At the first convention, the only money asked for will be in the form of donations.

i)        Fans can also join by writing to the natorg, and asking to join. Fans not on email are asked for a donation to cover postage expenses. Suggested amount will be $5.

b)      Membership can be obtained by registering through a Natcon and paying a membership fee. The natcon acts as an agent for the natorg in this case, and passes the money and membership details to the natorg.

i)        Membership can be obtained by joining individually directly to the natorg and paying the membership fee.

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

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

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, an AGM will be arranged for that year. At the completion of the AGM, memberships that would have lapsed at that year’s natcon, will lapse.

f)       Membership benefits are:

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

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

iii)     The right to vote on the fan awards, SO LONG AS the membership will not lapse prior to the AGM at which the votes are declared.

iv)     Any discounts or similar arranged by the natorg on behalf of its members.