Chair Andrew Sweet, retiring deputy chair Paul Bohmer and Executive Director Shaun Robinson after today's NZAF AGM. The NZ AIDS Foundation is to do away with it's annual membership fee in a bid to attract more members and broaden its community mandate. In a remit which was passed unanimously at its AGM this afternoon the Foundation chose to do away with the $30 fee which members have to pay, although some categories of membership such as people living with HIV, have not historically had to pay to become members. The number of members in recent years has varied in the 200 to 300 range. The loss of income from ending membership fees would be negligible, the board said this afternoon. It is the members who elect the governing Trust Board of the organisation and in its explanation of the move the board said it wished to "actively enhance the current membership through recruitment and retention aimed at ensuring that the membership is representative of the community we serve, and that it is fully participating in the organisation." More that 85% of those contracting HIV in New Zealand are men who have sex with men. Responding to concerns that the membership could be artificially stacked prior to AGMs the board has opted to give voting rights only to those who have been members for at least two months, not one month as at the present. Among other business at the AGM, which was attended by only eight members other than those on the board, the death of long-time kaumatua Aunty Wai Mason was noted with chair Andrew Sweet saying she will be "sadly missed and very fondly remembered." Sweet himself was re-elected unopposed to the board and deputy chair Paul Bohmer, who has served on the board for a record seven years, was farewelled.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Saturday, 23rd November 2013 - 10:16pm
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