General Aims and Duties of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) and methods for achieving these.

Version 7 - With Appendices

Note: The below goals are not exclusive. It is hoped that once the basic goals are achieved, SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ (according to Norman): I believe that SFFANZ should be run to benefit all fans as much as practicable. For instance, if SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ, and be given the name of a club close to them.

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

SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ 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.

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

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

b)      SFFANZ will be run for the benefit of as many fans as possible, not just members of SFFANZ.

2)      [Foundational] In general terms, SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ 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.

iii)     See Appendix A for requirements for a Natcon

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 SFFANZ. It will thereby receive the same tax benefits as SFFANZ, 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 SFFANZ.

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

iv)     See Appendix B for these requirements.

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 SFFANZ. This is to ensure that the money is being given responsibly by SFFANZ.

ii)       SFFANZ 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)     SFFANZ must ensure that funds for ongoing expense requirements related to the running of SFFANZ are available.

iv)     Appendix C sets out the requirements for the use of this money.

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 of New Zealand.

ii)       The purpose of this database is to enable SFFANZ to provide fans with information of interest to the SF and F community 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.

iv)     See Appendix D for the requirements of use for this database.

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

3)      [Foundational] SFFANZ 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 and members of SFFANZ may vote for these awards.

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

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

ii)    Best Fan Writer

(1)   Best Fan Artist

(2)   Best Fanzine

(3)   Services to Fandom (as deemed appropriate)

iii)     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)      SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ, numerous stores which have some relation to SF & F can be persuaded to give a discount to members of SFFANZ. This allows the store/s to only deal with one organisation, rather than many scattered around the country.

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

a)      The administration of SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ, by the members of SFFANZ.

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.

f)        The members of the Executive must be residing in New Zealand for the majority of their term. Other committee members can be living outside New Zealand.

6)      Membership of SFFANZ. Because SFFANZ 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.

a)      At a natcon, membership in SFFANZ 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 SFFANZ, 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:

i)        Registering through a Natcon and paying a membership fee. The natcon acts as an agent for SFFANZ in this case, and passes the money and membership details to SFFANZ when appropriate.

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

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

(1)   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. But membership will only encompass one Natcon / AGM.

(2)   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 before that year’s natcon, will lapse.

(3)   A membership renewal simply adds another term of membership.

(4)   Memberships can be taken out in multiple terms. Ie If membership was $5 per term, a person could pay $20 and be a member for 4 terms.

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)      Membership benefits are:

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

ii)       The right to vote for matters concerning SFFANZ 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 / Natcon at which the votes are declared.

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

Appendix A

Requirements to be the Natcon

In order to be allowed to be a natcon, the convention that wants to be a natcon MUST do these four things:

1)      Allow voting and presentation of the Sir Julius Vogel Fan Awards at the Natcon. This includes proxy votes sent by mail.

2)      Allow SFFANZ to hold its AGM at the Natcon

3)      Allow voting to take place for the next natcon

4)      Allow memberships for SFFANZ to be paid before the convention. We believe that it is possible to make the transfer of membership information to and from SFFANZ, easy.

A natcon is not specifically required to be affiliated to SFFANZ. If the natcon wants any of the benefits outlined below, then they must accept the requirements that go along with the benefits.

Note: None of these requirements are new except 4. 1 - 3 have always been implicit and expected of natcons.

Appendix B

Requirements for a convention that wishes to be affiliated to SFFANZ

Non-Profit Status

1)      The convention must run as a non-profit event.

2)      The convention is responsible for all debts and legal issues encountered while running the convention. In the event of financial or legal trouble, SFFANZ will support and help the convention in whatever ways it can. However, SFFANZ has a responsibility to its members to act in the best interests of all fans.

3)      For this reason, the convention committee agree that all financial and legal issues are the sole responsibility of the organizing committee. The committee may of course apply to SFFANZ for help in this event.

4)      Once the convention is finished and all outstanding debts are paid, the profits must be distributed. We suggest that the convention have a designated charity that they wish to support. There is no formal requirement for any profit to go to SFFANZ, but it must be given to an appropriate charity or non-profit organisation. If you wish to give money to SFFANZ, we suggest a 50:50 split between the charity and SFFANZ.

What will this money be used for?

This money will be placed in the Convention Account for use by future conventions. Possibly some may be used for the Sir Julius Vogel Fan Awards. It will NOT be used for administration of SFFANZ.

Appendix C

Financial Help

In order to receive any sort of financial help, the convention must be affiliated to SFFANZ. This means that the convention will be required to be non-profit, with a charity or NPO specified to receive any profits at the end of the convention.

The convention must also adhere to good accounting practices. The convention must keep an account of income and expenditure. The convention must also keep all relevant receipts especially  when money is paid to individuals for expenses.

The convention must present an initial budget, showing estimated income and expenditure for the convention.


The convention may apply to receive a grant from SFFANZ for a special reason. This money would not be expected to be paid back. This would be rare. In order to receive a grant, the convention must demonstrate that the money would be used in such a way as to benefit a majority of fans.


The convention may apply to receive a loan from SFFANZ.

Examples of loans

·         An initial seed fund to get the convention rolling

·         If money is required for a deposit for a hotel or airfares

All loans are just that. They are expected to be paid back before or immediately after the convention. These will be treated exactly the same as any other loan. ie. it must be paid back before any profit or loss of the convention is calculated.

Bail out funds.

In a worst case scenario, a convention may lose money due to unexpected circumstances. eg. Currency fluctuations may result in a $5000 airfare rising to $6500 (It’s happened!)

1)      The convention will have to present it’s accounts to SFFANZ along with all corroborating information.

2)      The committee of the convention will be expected to pay for the first $400 of any deficit.

3)      After that, SFFANZ will pay the remainder from the Convention account, up to a limit This limit is either half of the funds in the account, or up to where there is $400 left in the account.

4)      The remainder must be paid by the convention committee.

These exact amounts may be changed at the discretion of the SFFANZ committee.


Appendix D

Access to the Fan Database.

This database is currently owned by Norman Cates. You are being granted a non-exclusive license to use this data. Once the convention has finished and you no longer need the data, you will be expected to delete all copies of the database from your computers. You may not copy this database. Norman Cates retains copyright to all code and designs used in this database.

You may NOT give this database to ANY other organisation commercial or otherwise. Not even to another convention. Legally, we are required to make sure that this database is being used for the purpose for which it was intended.

This also ensures that the latest information is available to conventions.

Personal data in this database will be governed by the Privacy Laws of New Zealand. In short, anyone who is on this database may request to be removed, and may have access to all the data that is held about them.

You may use this database to send information to the people in the database about your convention, and events directly related to your convention. Please don’t use it to advertise about other events, since SFFANZ will be handling that.

You may not use this list to send ONLY advertising for commercial organisations. However, please feel free to include such advertising with a convention update. It is accepted that a commercial organisation may pay you to send advertising out with your convention updates. This is perfectly acceptable.

We hope to be able to provide this database as a centrally stored repository so that it can be updated easily and quickly over an internet connection. As such, it is expected that you will be willing to synchronise your copy of the database with the central version at regular intervals. This allows all the users of the database to have the most recent data. This is important, because there could be a number of different conventions using the database and they MUST be kept synchronised. Otherwise someone who has asked to be removed, or has had their details changed, will have incorrect details in some databases.

You will receive all possible help in customising and altering this database to work for your requirements. Norman asks that, if possible, he make changes to structure of the database, forms etc himself. Otherwise there could be incompatible versions floating around. The database is currently in Access 2000 format, and has been designed so as to allow the replacement of the User Interface separately from the data.