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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 60

Constitution and Rules of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce

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Constitution and Rules of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.


1. The Chamber of Commerce shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer, a Committee, and Ordinary Members.


2. The objects and duties of the Chamber shall be to originate or promote measures calculated to benefit the mercantile, trading, and maritime interests of the Province; to express the sentiments of the commercial community on questions of this nature, and to undertake the settlement of questions and disputes arising out of trade, by arbitration or otherwise, when submitted to it for decision.

General Meetings.

3. The general business of the Chamber shall be transacted at Quarterly General Meetings, to he held on the second Thursday of the months of January, April, July, and October, at three o'clock p.m.

4. Special General Meetings shall be convened by the Secretary, when directed by the Chairman, or, in his absence, by the Vice-Chairman; also upon a requisition of five members, stating the objects of such meeting, provided it he in accordance with the objects of the Institution, as set forth in Rule No. 2.

5. All Meetings of the Chamber and of the Committee shall be presided over by the Chairman, if present, or, in his absence, by the Vice-Chairman; or, in the absence of both, the meeting shall elect a Chairman from the Members present.

6. The Chairman presiding shall, besides a deliberate, have, in the event of an equality, a casting vote.

7. No Member shall be allowed to vote by proxy, and no Member shall be allowed to vote whose subscription is in arrear.

8. All elections of officers and of Members of Committee shall, when more than the number required respectively are proposed, be conducted by ballot, and be decided by a majority of votes.

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9. At all Meetings of the Chamber seven Members shall be a quorum.

10. In the event of a quorum not being present within fifteen minutes after the hour for which any meeting shall have been called, the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same hour that day week, and so from time to time until a meeting shall be duly constituted.

Annual Meeting.

At the Annual General Meeting in July in each year the following business shall take precedence, viz.:—

11. A full report of the proceedings of the Chamber for the preceding year shall be submitted by the Committee, together with a statement of the funds of the Chamber, duly audited.

12. A Chairman and Vice-Chairman (who shall also be Treasurer) shall be elected for the current year, and shall be ex officio members of the Committee during their tenure of office; and seven members shall be chosen who, in addition to the foregoing, shall form the Committee, whose duty it shall be to conduct the business and manage the funds of the Chamber until their successors are appointed.

13. The Meeting shall then choose Auditors to examine the Accounts to be presented at the next Annual Meeting.

14. The candidates for these several offices may be proposed by any member present at the Quarterly General Meeting, in April, or by a written notice in the Proposing Book three days prior to the Annual Meeting; and a list, showing the names and the offices for which they are proposed, shall be posted in the hall of the Chamber for the like period.

Committee and Secretary.

15. Any vacancy occurring in the Committee shall be reported at the next General Meeting, and some member shall then be elected by the Chamber to fill such vacancy.

16. The Committee shall not determine any public question, nor take any public action on behalf of the Chamber, but shall be competent to submit such questions as it may think proper at General or Special Meetings of the Chamber.

17. Three Members of Committee shall be a quorum thereof.

18. Any Member becoming bankrupt, or taking the benefit of any Act for the relief of insolvent debtors, shall thereupon cease to be a Member of Committee.

19. Amongst the duties of the Secretary, who shall be appointed, from year to year by the Committee, are to attend all Meetings of page 34 the Chamber and of the Committee, to keep a minute-book, and enter therein all proceedings that take place; to preserve the records and documents of the Chamber, receive all moneys, letters, and applications; to arrange business for the Committee and General Meetings; summon meetings in the manner directed by the Committee; collect the funds, and lodge them in a Bank to the account of the Treasurer of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce; countersign and enter all cheques signed by the Treasurer under the sanction of the Committee; collect and arrange all statistical information that may be deemed desirable, and generally to assist the Chairman and Committee in the promotion of the objects of the Chamber as they may require; also, to keep open the Hall, and be in attendance thereat at such time as may be directed by the Committee from time to time; and at such time to keep all books and papers accessible to the Members of the Chamber, but not to permit the removal from the Hall of any book or paper without the express sanction of the Committee.


20. Each candidate for admission as a Member of the Chamber shall be proposed by one member and seconded by another, at least one week prior to the day of election, in a book to be kept for that purpose, and shall be separately balloted for at the next General Meeting thereafter; one black ball out of every five members' votes present being necessary to exclude him. The Secretary shall state the names of all proposed candidates in the circular notice convening the said meeting. The candidate, when admitted, shall receive notice from the Secretary to that effect, and he requested to sign the official copy of the Rules.

21. Each Member shall, on admission, pay a subscription for the remaining quarters of the year after election, and thereafter pay an annual subscription of two guineas in advance, dated from the 1st January in each year.


22. It shall be lawful for the Chairman to expel any Member from their body, provided a Special General Meeting be convened to consider the question, by order of the Chairman, upon a requisition, signed by at least ten members of the Chamber, and that the motion for expulsion be affirmed by three-fourths of the Members assembled; and provided also that three days' public notice be given of such meeting, stating its object, viz., "To consider a motion for expulsion."

23. All Members whose annual subscriptions shall not have been paid on or before the 31st March shall thereupon cease to page 35 be Members of the Chamber, except in cases of temporary absence from the Province, when Members so absent shall be deemed Honorary Members, and shall be entitled to resume their privileges on renewal of their annual subscriptions within six months after their return to the Province.

24. Members whose names have been struck off the Roll by reason of non-payment of subscription, may, however, be re-admitted by consent of the Committee on payment of all arrears.

Amendment of Rules.

25. When any amendment or alteration of the Constitution or Rules of the Chamber is required, the same shall be considered in a Special General Meeting, to be convened by the Secretary, upon a requisition signed by seven Members of the Chamber, stating the object of the meeting, which object shall also be stated in the notice calling the meeting, of which not less than three days' previous notice shall be given.

26. An authenticated copy of the Constitution and Rules is to be kept with the records of the Chamber, to be signed by each Member of the Chamber, and by every new Member on his admission; and no Member shall be entitled to take part in the business of the Chamber until he shall have signed the Rules.


27. Members of the commercial community desirous of availing themselves of the decision of the Chamber on questions or matters in dispute shall enter into, and deposit with the Secretary, a submission in the subjoined form, together with a list from each party, containing the names of three members of the Chamber. Each disputant shall then deposit with the Secretary the sum of five guineas.

28. The Committee shall meet and select from each list one Arbitrator. The two Arbitrators so appointed shall select an Umpire from the members of the Chamber.

29. Each disputant shall submit a written statement of his case, together with particulars of such evidence and documents as he may propose to bring forward.

30. The Arbitrators and Umpire shall together hear the parties upon the matters in dispute, receive such evidence as may be offered, or may be considered by them necessary to the elucidation thereof, and thereupon make their award, a copy of which shall forthwith be transmitted by the Secretary to each disputant.

31. The award so made shall be reported to the Committee at its next meeting, and entered in the minute-book.

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32. The expenses of Arbitration, according to the following scale, shall be borne by the disputants in such manner or proportion as the Arbitrators may direct, viz.:—
£ s. d.
For each sitting, not exceeding two hours 5 5 0
Ditto, exceeding two and not exceeding four hours 6 16 0
And the Secretary shall dispose of the amount received in the following manner, viz.:—
To the funds of the Chamber, for each sitting 1 1 0
To the Secretary, for ditto 1 1 0
To the Arbitrators and Umpire, one-third part of the remainder.