The New Zealand Institute
of Patent Attorneys, Inc
17 May 2021
Review of composition of Council
There have been a number of changes in our profession over the last few years. There are more firms in both New Zealand and Australia then there has ever been. As a membership organisation it is desirable that the composition of Council reflects the diversity of our membership. Statistical information about the composition of the membership of NZIPA is set out below. As an interim step for Council to reflect our membership we have created observer roles for In house Counsel and Young Practitioners.
We anticipate that the composition of Council and the selection process will evolve over time and that some Rule changes may be necessary in the future to facilitate this. However, there is scope for changes in the composition of Council and how council members are selected that can be made within the current framework and Rules. This means we can implement some changes in the near future - possibly as early as our AGM scheduled for 6 August 2021 without having to change our Rules.
Council members must be a Fellow (Rule 8.0). The term for each council member is one year and they are eligible for re-election (Rule 8.1). A commitment of at least 3 years per Councillor would be desirable. We anticipate that in time the term served by any on Council member will be significantly shorter than the terms served by current Council members.
For the next AGM Council actively seeks nominations for two vacancies on Council from the membership with a preference for nominations of members representing particular types of members, such as In-house counsel; small firms; young practitioners (up to 5 years post qualification). We will have ballot at the AGM if required.
To provide continuity and retain institutional knowledge we propose creating an honourary role of Immediate Past President.
The relevant Rule - rule 8 - can be found here.
We welcome member's feedback on the proposal - you can comment below - and look forward to starting the change process in August!