Constitutions and Legal matters (dated 19/8/20)
Standard Club and District Constitution on the Lionsclubs.org.nz website.
The topic was raised re Constitutions at District Level and MD (lions NZ) level. The current situation is that most District Constitutions have been reviewed in recent times and don’t warrant any changes at their District level. Our (District E) Constitution has been rewritten only four years ago. The MD (lions NZ) Constitution has been rewritten /reviewed, but as there was no MD Convention in the last Lions year it is being put to the NZ lions at the next MD Convention for ratification..
It was reiterated that Lions Clubs need to go to the Lions Clubs NZ website, go to Resources and then Legal to find the current NZ amended Standard Constitutions and align their Club constitutions to the standard Constitutions. (Any changes necessary for any rewrite of Incorporated Societies has now taken six years and this will have some extended period of time for clubs to make any necessary changes. Nothing is likely to happen that will require Clubs to change within the next year or so.) Now is the time to change to the Standard International Constitution, and check your Trust document against the standard on the on the NZ Lions website.
The current difference of opinion between clubs within districts as regard to the two or one entity model need to follow the legal instruction given by the MD (Lions NZ) Legal council that has the LCI requirements in it. This is the current policy below that is current and on the NZ Lions website.
Also raised were difference of opinions between lawyers which was always going to happen in regard to how clubs were set up. These opinions are to follow the current instructions issued. It was suggested that all legal counsels get together and sort it out but again this is not likely to happen.
Submissions to Council of Governors, and certain other agencies.
For future reference any submissions to the Council of Governors by anyone must first be submitted to their District Cabinet who will decide if it is to go forward to MD (Lions NZ) Council of Governors for consideration. This also applies to any queries to Charities Services and Incorporated Societies, where the implications could effect other Lions Clubs.
Extract from the NZ Lions website updated recently and reinforced at the Council Governors at the weekend meeting 15 -16 Aug 2020.
Single Charitable Entity or Incorporated Club plus Registered Charity An issue arose over the year about whether it was better for Lions to register their Lions Club as a charity (single entity) or to continue with both an incorporated Lions Club and a separate Charity for the club (2 entities). To do this clubs needed to change their constitutions to comply with the Charities Services requirements. Lions International were asked if they would approve the proposed changes to club constitutions and they advised that they would not approve those changes. This means that to comply with the International Constitution a club should have a separate charitable entity and not combine the club with a charity in a single entity.If your club only has a single entity then you need to set up a separate charity. Once that is done you need to amend your club constitution back to that approved by Lions International and then deregister the club as a charity (keeping the Club as an Incorporated Society and the new Charity set up). Instructions and guidance on these steps is on the Lions Website. http://www.lionsclubs.org.nz/clubs/resources-for-clubs/our-legal-obligations/charities-commission-and-tax-on-project-funds
[Note – this is actually a broken link]
District Legal Counsel can assist with the process. If you need help then contact them or me if required.
If in doubt on any issue consult your District Legal Counsel on District issues and Multiple District Counsel on MD matters. (End of Extract)