Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals

Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals Constitution

  1. The name of the Society is “THE COALITION OF DEAF MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS“. The abbreviation “CDMHP” is also used in this document.
  2. The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals is committed to advocating for the wellbeing of the signing Deaf Community which is significantly disadvantaged by a lack of culturally affirmative mental health care delivered in their first language, New Zealand Sign Language. It believes that addressing inequalities in service provision, and improving wellbeing for this community requires the development of nationally coordinated, culturally driven, Deaf mental health services. Its core activities are focussed upon achieving this objective through providing advice on the development of these services and raising awareness of Deaf mental health needs.
  3. The objects of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals are to:
    • Provide advice and cultural consultation to secure the services identified in the groups Mission (above)
    • Support the establishment and work of a Community of Practice partner group to advance the foundation and application of evidence based practice; enhancing Deaf community wellbeing and practice standards for services working with Deaf clients.
  4. Core Activities:

    Activities include but are not limited to:

    • Providing advice and undertaking awareness raising work with the Deaf Community, health, education and welfare providers, Government, funders and planners, and other key partners to develop culturally appropriate sustainable pathways which secure improved mental health outcomes for the Deaf Community
    • Undertaking collaborative initiatives such as practice groups, community and agency meetings, media releases, policy submissions, newsletters, presentations and developing a dedicated website to further group objectives and increase general visibility of the group’s mission
    • All of our initiatives are Deaf led, reflecting close consultation with the Deaf Community
    • CDMHP has a national vision to achieve quality mental health service consistency for the Deaf Community which is scattered throughout NZ in small and often isolated communities. For this purpose, it takes an active role in promoting its work to interested external groups and individuals outside Auckland where the Coalition is based.
    • The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals ensures that it is engaged in networks which keep it well informed on central and local government priorities developing effective political links with ministers, ministries and government departments (central and local).
  5. Values:

    The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals is founded upon the following core values:

    • The lack of culturally appropriate Deaf Mental Health service provision for the Deaf Community is unacceptable, creating significant barriers to wellbeing and potential.
    • Deaf people have a right to quality services which uphold their cultural identity, and provide a validating context for recovery
    • These services must be fully competent in Deaf people’s first language, New Zealand Sign Language
    • People working together make change happen; and
    • Our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi informs how that change is made
  6. The registered office of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall be situated at 51B Matai Road, Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa, Auckland, 0932 or at such other place or places as The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall from time to time determine and notify to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.
  7. Memberships:

    • Membership shall be open to all people with experience of providing support to Deaf people with a mental health issue of any description including family members, peers, service users, paid professionals, and volunteers
    • Any person not already a member may apply to be admitted upon the recommendation of any existing member of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals. That person’s application shall be considered by the Board at its next meeting and the person granted membership unless vetoed by at least two Board members voting in the bona fide belief that the aims and objectives of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals would not be advanced if that person became a member. Any person so vetoed may challenge this decision through the annual general meeting of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals at which the person may be present. The person shall be admitted to membership if a majority of members present at the meeting vote in favour of admission.
    • Members may be added or removed from time to time by unanimous decision of the Board or majority decision of a general meeting provided that the total number shall not at any time be less than 5 [see also clause 7.2 on termination].
    • The secretary shall create and maintain a list of current members. The list will include each person’s contact details, gender, and date of entry to membership.
    • No person may become a member until he or she has signed a declaration that he or she has read and understood the mission and values of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals, agrees with them and will promote and not hinder them. This clause does not however prevent one or more members from proposing changes or additions to any currently stated mission or values.
    • No private pecuniary profit shall be made by any person from The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals except that:
      • Any member may receive full reimbursement for all expenses properly incurred by that member in connection with the affairs of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals;
      • The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals may pay a reasonable and proper remuneration to any employee or contractor of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals (whether a member or not) in return for services actually rendered to The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals;
      • Any member may retain any remuneration properly payable to that member by any company or undertaking with which The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals may be in any way concerned or involved for which that member has properly acted, provided that the member shall not be able to determine or materially influence in any way whatsoever the income, benefit or advantage that they may receive as a result of their employment by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals, and that such persons shall not participate in any deliberations and proceedings by which such income, benefit or advantage is being determined.
  8. Termination of membership:

    Any member wishing to resign from The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall give notice in writing to the chair of that wish. The resignation shall be effective when accepted by the Board or one month after receipt of the notice if that is sooner.

    • The Board may at any time in writing invite any member to retire from membership within a specified time:
      • for breach by that member of these rules (or of any regulations made from time to time by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals which are consistent with these rules); and/or
      • for misconduct; and/or
      • in circumstances where the Board has reasonable grounds for believing that the member is not supportive of the aims objectives and values of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals;.
    • In default of such retirement the member may be expelled by unanimous decision of the Board or majority decision (by secret ballot) of a general meeting. At such a meeting the member whose expulsion is under consideration shall be allowed a full opportunity to offer an explanation verbally and/or in writing. On expulsion the member shall forthwith cease to be a member of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals but without releasing him or her from any antecedent liability. If the member so expelled is a community member, the nominating body or agency shall be entitled to nominate a replacement representative.
  9. The Board and its officers

    • The affairs of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall be managed by a committee (“the Board”) comprising between 6 and 12 people who collectively shall be elected or co-opted in accordance with the rules stated in this section.
    • The voting members of the Board will be elected at a general meeting – usually the annual general meeting – of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals for a two year tenure and may offer themselves without limit for re-election. If a member is elected between annual general meetings his/her tenure will last until the next but one AGM after the date of election.
    • Nominations for election must be made 21 days before the date fixed for the general meeting and circulated with notice of the meeting to all members of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
    • If there are no more nominations than vacancies, those nominated shall automatically be elected unless the members present at the general meeting otherwise determine by majority vote.
    • If there are more nominations than vacancies, the general meeting will firstly attempt to reach a consensus decision about whom to elect and if unsuccessful will proceed to secret ballot.
    • If for any reason a vacancy occurs in the Board, the Board may co-opt to fill the vacancy and the tenure of the person co-opted shall be until the next annual general meeting. The Board may also at any time co-opt additional non voting members for specific purposes and for specific periods of time.
    • The officers of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall include a chairperson or co-chairpersons, a treasurer and secretary (the office of treasurer and secretary may be combined). The officers will be elected by the voting Board members from among their number after each annual general meeting and if a specific office should fall vacant between annual general meetings the voting members shall as soon as possible elect one of their number to fill that vacancy. Where possible, Board elections will be by consensus.
    • Any officer or Board member may at any time resign by giving written notice to the secretary and/or members of the Board. The person resigning shall be responsible only for actions and consequences authorised while that person was an officer and/or Board member.
    • A quorum for Board meetings shall be at least 40% of voting members.
    • The Board shall have the responsibility of defining policy and control of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals financial operations and may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised and done by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals in accordance with these rules and additions and changes to these rules that shall be determined from time to time by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals at a general meeting.
    • The Board shall have authority to make policy for the efficient running of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals itself.
    • The Board shall meet monthly or so often as they may determine and may be called together by the Chair/s or 3 members of the Board upon giving notice to the Secretary.
    • Any member of the Board, who fails without formal apology to attend 3 consecutive board meetings shall cease to be a member of the Board.
    • No member of the Board shall be allowed to vote on any question in which he/she is personally interested and in all disputes and matters referred to the Board other than those referred to in section 7 on Termination, the Board’s decision shall be final.
  10. General Meetings:

    • The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than the 30th day of November each year at a time and place fixed by the Board for the following purposes:
      • To receive and approve the chairperson’s report, the treasurer’s report and audited statement of accounts for the preceding year.
      • To elect members to the Board where one or more vacancies exist.
      • To transact any other business and generally decide on any resolution which may be duly submitted to the meeting.
      • To appoint an auditor and honorary patrons
    • A Special General Meeting may be called at any time by order of the Board or on the requisition signed by at least 3 members of the Board or by at least 7 members of the organisation.
    • 14 days notice of an Annual or Special General Meeting shall be given to the members stating the object and business of such meeting.
    • 5 members shall form a quorum at all general meetings and except where otherwise provided by these rules a simple majority of the votes recorded shall be binding.
    • Every member present at a meeting shall have one vote. Whenever possible the business of the meeting shall be decided by consensus. If that is not possible the chairperson shall (where a ballot is not especially provided for in these Rules) rule upon a show of hands in the first place, provided however that any three members may demand a ballot. The chairperson of any meeting of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals where there is an equality of votes shall have a casting vote in addition to their deliberative vote.
    • At all meetings the chair shall be taken by the chairperson or in the event of this officer being absent, by such member of the Board as the meeting shall determine.
  11. Responsibilities and Powers of Board office holders and the Manager:

    • The Board will create and maintain an up to date set of policies describing the roles and responsibilities of Board members, Board office holders and the Manager of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals
    • The Board of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall have the following powers:
      • To develop and/or approve strategic and business plans, budgets and policies that set the parameters for the operation of the organisation.
      • To appoint a Co-ordinator
      • To arrange, facilitate and bring together groups of people for the purposes of the organisation.
      • To deliver such services in furtherance of its aims, objectives and values as it considers appropriate and within its ability to deliver.
      • To levy a fee, bond or deposit in return for its services.
      • To receive donations from individuals or organisations whether the money, goods or services offered are in response to services provided by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals or otherwise and to reject any donation if the acceptance of that donation would for any reason compromise the aims, objectives and values of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
      • To supply services to the community, that facilitate, change and enhance the quality of life for all in line with The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals objectives, aims and values.
    • The Manager of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall have the following powers in accordance with the strategic and business plans and the budgets and policies regularly set by the Board:
      • To employ and remunerate any person or company or services in or about the formation, organisation, extension, promotion, training and business of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
      • To purchase, take on lease, hire, rent, acquire or manage real and personal property in such a manner as The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals may think fit.
      • To invest, deal with, dispose of and sell all or any part of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals funds or property in such a manner as The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals may think fit.
      • To borrow, raise or secure the payment of money in such a manner as The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals may think fit.
      • To hire out facilities to persons or groups consistent with the aims and objectives of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
    • With respect to the above powers, The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals will at all times act with respect, flexibility and co-operation towards the Deaf community and will encompass the cultural and spiritual values of that community to the extent that those values are not in conflict with the aims, objectives and values of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
    • Audit : The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals books shall be audited prior to each Annual General Meeting and for that purpose an auditor shall be appointed at each Annual General Meeting. The Board shall also be empowered to arrange for a special audit at any time should it be deemed advisable.
  12. Alteration of Rules:

    • The Rules of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals may be altered, added to, rescinded or otherwise amended by a resolution passed by three-fourths majority of those present at a general meeting of which 14 days special notice has been given setting out the nature of the proposed alteration, addition, rescission or other amendment.
    • Duplicate copies of every such alteration, addition, rescission or amendment shall forthwith be delivered to the Registrar in accordance with the requirements of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
    • Notwithstanding the above, no resolution by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall be passed which shall result in an amendment or alteration to the Rules such as would affect the charitable nature of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
  13. Control or use of Funds:

    • All moneys received by or on behalf of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall forthwith be paid to the credit of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals in an account with a bank.
    • Signing of cheques, etc. Withdrawal slips and cheques shall be signed by any two of the following, namely the chairperson, secretary, treasurer, or other person designated by the Board (whether a member or not) provided that at least one signatory must be a member of the Board and provided also that no person may sign a cheque or withdrawal slip which is directly or indirectly payable to that person.
    • No pecuniary gain shall be derived by any member from the operations of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals or by the use of any of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals property saving only such fees and/or salaries as may be paid bona fide by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals to any member for services rendered.
  14. Affiliation:

    • The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall be empowered to affiliate with any other club associations or organisations having objects similar to the objects of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
  15. Conflicts of Interest:

    • Any member who is or may be in any other capacity whatever interested or concerned directly or indirectly in any property or undertaking in which The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals is or may be in any way concerned or involved shall disclose the nature and extent of that member’s interest to the Board, and shall not take any part whatever in any deliberations of the Board concerning any matter in which that person is or may be interested other than as a member of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.
  16. Commercial transactions:

    • Notwithstanding anything expressed or implied in these rules, no commercial transaction shall be entered into unless, having regard to the terms and conditions of the loan or agreement, payment of interest or rent shall not exceed current commercial rates and receipts by way of interest shall not be at less than current commercial rates.
  17. Winding up:

    • Upon the winding up of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals the funds after payment of all debts and expenses of winding up shall be disposed of to registered charitable organisations within New Zealand. Such organisations as shall be the recipients of the funds of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals shall be decided by The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals in general meeting and shall be determined in accordance with the objects of The Coalition of Deaf Mental Health Professionals.