AGM officially began at the My Bar upstairs function room in central Auckland at around 6:30pm, Friday 26th June. The Meeting was attended by over 40 SOBA members.
First up a speech from our President, David Wood which covered (among other things):
Success of the SOBA Awards and ensuing media coverage.
Acknowledgment of Martin Craig’s sterling work as the previous Pursuit of Hoppiness editor. Welcoming of Michael Donaldson who has stepped into the role and already made a great start.
Covered the three (extremely popular) SOBA funded beer festivals including how well they are being run and advancing the SOBA aims.
Acknowledging Greig and Alex McGill and their Hamilton crew for running the SOBA National Homebrew Competition and calling it the best run beer competition in the southern hemisphere. The torch has now been passed to Auckland SOBA members who have big shoes to fill.
The Auckland Local Alcohol Policy and how points raised in SOBA’s submission were almost entirely incorporated.
SOBA intervention preventing another controversial trademark being approved.
Intention to launch a membership drive.
Work on the SOBA website
Tom Coleman then presented the Treasurer’s report and answered a couple of questions raised through the online voting form:
A question re amount of bank fees SOBA is charged. The reason is these are mainly PayPal fees used for SOBA membership subs, events etc and is essential to the running of SOBA.
Question re printing costs – this is almost entirely used on Pursuit of Hoppiness production and as the magazine is getting more and more popular these costs are rising.
Explained why we need substantial reserves which is part is due to funding the beer festivals which require substantial up front payments.
Dale Cooper (Secretary) presented the results of the online voting.
Motion to accept the 2014/2015 SOBA Accounts passed 191 – 0
Motion to adopt a Code of Conduct for SOBA representatives passed 194 – 6
As no nominations for the three available committee member positions were received and the existing committee members (Dale, Tom and Maree) decided to re-stand for their positions they were elected unopposed.
The 2015-2016 SOBA Committee are:
David Wood – President
Dale Cooper – Secretary
Tom Coleman – Treasurer
Questions and Comments from AGM
A number of questions or comments were raised during the AGM and through online voting feedback. The vast majority of feedback was very positive and supportive of the work SOBA is doing and how it is being run.
Below are summarised versions of some concerns raised that may be relevant to the wider membership:
Comment: The new online voting system has removed the chance for robust discussion of the issues being voted on at the AGM.
Reply: The intent of moving to an online voting system was to make the process more democratic and allow members from all over the country to have their say rather than just the ones who could make it to the AGM venue at the designated time. We do plan to provide some sort of online forum to discuss the motions up for voting in the future, which should allow people to discuss and sway opinions.
Comment: We had a few comments requesting further detail in the Treasurer’s report leading to questions around bank fees and printing costs.
Reply: The specific questions re bank fees and printing costs are answered above. Our Treasurer, Tom, has taken aboard the feedback.
Comment: Some of the indicators of intoxication listed in the draft Code of Conduct may also be the result of medical conditions or other factors.
Reply: The indicators section has now been slightly revised.
Comment: Some background as to why the Code of Conduct was required would have been useful.
Reply: There has been no incident or person that has necessitated the introduction of the Code of Conduct. The reason is to do with making SOBA a robust, respected and professionally run organisation. The code sits alongside other documents such as the privacy and communications policies.
Comment: Is there also a code of conduct for attendees at SOBA events? That doesn’t seem to be covered by the proposed CoC (maybe this is handled elsewhere, if not, it should be!)
Reply: No, the Code of Conduct only applies to people presenting SOBA, examples are the SOBA Committee, Regional Coordinators and festival volunteers. We have no plans to implement a code for members in general but note the SOBA charter already allows for expulsion of members due to serious misconduct.
Comment: You would need to be an angel and quite boring to comply with this code of conduct. I was thinking of getting more involved with the SOBA organisation in a volunteer capability, but after reading this proposal don’t feel so inclined.
Reply: Sorry to hear that but the membership have voted overwhelmingly to introduce a Code of Conduct. We do believe there is some scope in the draft to be less than angelic and a little bit exciting while still complying with the code 😉