General responsibilities of the management committee
There are some general responsibilities which apply to all members of the management committee. These include:
- Ensuring that the association complies with its rules and requirement of the Associations Incorporation Act, such as those regarding calling and holding meetings. Note that under the Act, meetings must be held at least once in every four calendar months, but meetings can be conducted by using appropriate communication technology, such as teleconferencing.
- Acting honestly and in the best interest of the association.
- Exercising care, skill and diligence in carrying out their roles.
Under the Act and/or the model rules, the management committee also has responsibility for some specific tasks, such as:
- Ensuring a secretary is appointed.
- Conducting the business of the association.
- Giving consideration at least once a year to whether the association should take out public liability insurance. Note that if the association owns or leases land, or is a trustee of land under the Land Act 1994, the management committee must ensure it has current public liability insurance cover for the land.
- Preparing the audited financial statement, if required for your organisation, and presenting it to the annual meeting, and then having it lodged with the chief executive.
- Interpreting the meaning of its rules.
- Ensuring the association has an address nominated for service of documents and that notice of the nominated address and any change in the nominated address are given to the chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading. Committee members should work to maintain and enhance the organisation's unity and sense of purpose. Internal disputes which escalate can cripple the organisation and lead to its eventual demise.
Principles for creating a good working environment
Some important principles for creating a good working environment should be noted:
- If you agree to be involved in a particular project or a sub-committee, be involved; don't leave it to others to carry your workload.
- Listen to what others have to say. Try to understand their point of view, especially if it is different from your own. The general aim of a committee is to arrive at an acceptable and workable mix of the suggestions that have been made.
- Do your best not to invade another committee member's authority. For example, if someone has responsibility for publicity and you have noticed that some opportunity or avenue of publicity has been missed, don't launch into an attack. Talk privately, offering help and suggestions.
- Support the legal decisions made in meetings of the organisation. Even those who have been opposing a certain course of action are expected to accept responsibility for the final decision and its implementation. However, if you have some concerns about a decision, you may wish to suggest an evaluation of the chosen course of action after a trial period.