We are regularly asked by organisations to review their governance structures and key documents. This includes their Rules, Constitution or Deed and various Manuals and policies.
We focus here on 3 Key issues that regularly arise.

Best practice

More often we are finding a move by Maori and non Maori organisations to embrace concepts which for years have been misunderstood or maligned but are now recognised as best practice or just good sense.

This includes for example:

  • Triple or even quadruple bottom lines, i.e. balancing revenue growth with social, environmental and sustainability aspects;
  • A longer term, even inter-generational outlook;
  • Use of Maori processes such as commencing with Karakia, ending with Poroporoaki, the use of Pepeha with induction processes where Board members get to learn about each other and why they are on the Board, and treatment of manuhiri and third parties.

The issue of multiple bottom lines has been something that Maori organisations have had to grapple with for years. Balancing revenue growth and fiscal imperatives with social obligations can at times be challenging. When environmental and sustainability aspects are added then more so. But it is only in recent times that this has become not only more acceptable… but is also being recognised as best practice and even cutting edge.

The longer term outlook is also gaining fashion. In years gone by the trading banks and others doing business with Maori were more focused on this years performance or possibly next. Considering the big picture, longer term goals and the overall plan was irrelevant and made working together and obtaining finance for projects and joint ventures challenging.

There is also a greater focus on Health and Safety particularly for organisations in the Primary sectors including forestry, fishing and farming, not because of the pending changes to the law, but because it is good to look after your people and ensure that they are safe.

Fit for purpose

Ensuring that your key documents are fit for purpose and are still meeting your needs is also important. Technology is changing so notice periods, emailing, skype meetings and written resolutions can make good sense. Ensuring that you can conduct your business this way and your key documents are up to date and work for you, rather than against you, is very important.

Conflicts of interest

Maori organisations are often based on whanau or family connections so conflicts of interest often arise. Clear and sensible rules and procedures for identification of conflicts and consistently dealing with these situations are required to avoid all manner of nasty surprises and negative perceptions.

For advice and guidance with reviewing your governance structures please get in touch.