Annual Conference Guide

The purpose of this guide

This guide takes you through the agenda of Annual Conference and explains how you can participate and take full part in the whole meeting.

1 Timing and dates

This meeting normally takes place during the primary school term break in September/October each year at a time set by the National Executive.

2 Venue: the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua

The venue is currently set as the Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Queens Dr, Rotorua.

3 Pōwhiri

The very first part of Annual Conference is the pōwhiri – the pōwhiri is a welcome ceremony by the tangata whenua that draws everyone together in the opening of the conference. There is a specific kawa that determines the roles of Annual Conference tangata whenua and manuhiri (please see Annex 1).

The pōwhiri will be held in the Events Centre Foyer – on the first day of Annual Conference at 1:00pm.

Light refreshments (sandwiches/savouries) will be served following the pōwhiri – sharing food at the end of the ceremony is the completion of the process of drawing everyone together.

Representatives and Observers should ensure that their travel arrangements allow for arrival in Rotorua prior to the pōwhiri so that involvement in all Annual Conference activities is maximised.

We will gather in the carpark outside the Events Centre main entrance.

4 Registration

4a        Registration packs need to be picked up prior to the pōwhiri.  There will be a registration desk located in the foyer of the Southern Sportsdrome building. You will need to collect your Registration pack from the registration desk prior to the commencement of the 1st session.

Your registration pack will include:

  • Your name tag
  • Your speaker number (if you are a representative)

4b      This process provides us with data to provide a registration list.

Anyone seeking registration after the 1st session has started will need to work through their Area Council Liaison staff member.

  • Reports and other materials for the  meeting can be found on the Conference website or app.

When you are seated in the main conference room after the pōwhiri a copy of all materials will be on the tables.

5 The first day of Annual Conference

This day is structured so that all representatives and observers can get to the meeting, take part in the pōwhiri, deal with the business of the Annual Meeting, and then attend the President’s Awards Dinner in the evening.

This programme includes discussion on the National Executive Report to Annual Meeting and the Te Reo Areare Report to Te Kahui Whetu

  • There will be opportunities for representatives to ask questions about the issues detailed in the National Executive report or the Te Reo Areare report on activities and on the financial statements.

Seating is set out in Area Council grouping according to the seating plan. You can view the seating plan on the website and app and copies will be made available at the venue for reference.

  • President’s Awards Dinner

Please note the timing of the President’s Awards Dinner from 6.45PM for a 7.00PM start 

The dinner is a special way of recognising members who have worked long and hard for both education and for members of NZEI Te Riu Roa.

Invitations to attend the President’s Awards dinner have been extended to a number of education sector representatives and trade union associates, as well as past-presidents and Life Members of the Institute.

Given this is a formal occasion an appropriate standard of dress is requested.

6 The second, third, and fourth day of Annual Conference

Commencing Monday morning activities will move into conference style, there will be opportunities to listen to presentations as well as have discussions and feedback from the group of people you are sitting with.

All representatives and official observers should be seated 15 minutes prior to the start time. The formal business of the Annual Meeting will continue on Wednesday morning if required.

The agenda on the website and app is the guide for the business of the day. Every effort is made to keep to the times noted in the agenda.

7 Karakia, waiata

Karakia at the beginning of the day is a time to focus on the tasks ahead. Karakia at the end of each day is a time to pause and take stock. There could also be a thought for the day that will focus the mind. Waiata are sometimes sung after presentations, ballots, for visitors and sometimes to lift the spirits of those attending.

8 Speaking and voting rights

Representatives who have registered are entitled to speak and vote.

The Rules are clear about who can attend, speak and vote at Annual Meeting.

Branches / Aronui Tomua / Komiti Pasifika with an entitlement to one representative shall also be entitled to have one official observer attend Annual Meeting.

Observers are NOT entitled to speak or vote during the Annual Meeting segments of the conference.

9 Formal resolutions

These are detailed in the agenda for ease of reference. They set out the formal arrangements for the annual meeting segment of the conference. 

10 Standing orders

Standing orders mirror what is in the Rules about how the Annual Meeting segment of the conference will be run. Refer to your agenda for details.

11 The rest of the Annual Conference agenda

Topics to be discussed and work-shopped as part of Annual Conference include:

  • Presentation from local and across the Tasman union leaders
  • Show casing current union work
  • Pasifika Session
  • Hui Session
  • Keynote speakers

12 During the Annual Meeting session speaking to motions and amendments



A)      Mover

The mover of a resolution has only two entitlements to speak to a resolution and amendments to a resolution:

  • at the time of formally moving a resolution and then
  • EITHER to an amendment to a resolution

OR replying to participants at the conclusion of the debate.

(This option will be negated if the mover has spoken to an amendment).

B)    Seconder

The seconder of a resolution has only one entitlement to speak to a resolution and may elect to speak –

1       EITHER immediately after the mover has moved the resolution

OR at any later point in the debate by “reserving the right to speak”.


  • The mover of an amendment has no right of reply
  • The seconder of an amendment may not reserve an entitlement to speak

13 Getting your name on the speaking list during the Annual Meeting segment

During the business sessions that include the National Executive Report to Annual Meeting, Te Reo Areare Report to Te Kahui Whetu and Annual Meeting, other reports or position papers and the resolutions to amend or repeal Rules and Policy, hold your representative’s number card (orange) up high so that it can be seen and read from the top table. The ‘Spotters’ will signal to you from the stage when your name has been put on the list; The National President uses these speaking lists to order the debate and announces who will be the next speaker(s).

During a debate, the National President will read out the names of the next speakers. When your name is called please move to the microphone position nearest to you and await your turn to speak.

Even if you are registered on the speaking list, the time allotted for debate may run out, or if all speakers are in favour of a particular resolution or all against it, then the National President may close the debate and move on. This helps to ensure that all the business set down for the meeting can be completed.

14 Writing a recommendation or an amendment to policy during Annual Meeting

Forms for recommendations or amendments are available from the NZEI Te Riu Roa Area Council Liaison Staff located around the hall.

The forms are in triplicate:

  • one copy for you
  • one copy for the President
  • one copy for the AV TEAM to display on the monitors during the

You should provide your Area Council Liaison Staff member with the copies for the President and AV Team. He/She will ensure they are delivered to the appropriate people.

Seconder: Any recommendation will lapse without a seconder. The mover’s and seconder’s names must appear on the form.

15 Timekeeping for the Annual Meeting segment

Speaking times are agreed by the full meeting and are detailed in the Formal Resolutions.

A bell will ring once as a warning before time is up. A second bell rings twice to warn that time is up. The microphone will be switched off at the end of the allotted time unless someone moves, seconds and Annual Meeting agrees to “an extension of time”.

16 Annual Meeting procedural definitions

The following procedural definitions have been adopted for use at Annual Meeting:

Received This means that a document is presented to the meeting. The meeting may  then agree to it being worked through but no decision has been made to do anything with it yet.
Endorsed This means that a document or action has been officially agreed to as being acceptable.
Endorsed as This means that a document or action as amended by the meeting has been officially agreed as being acceptable.
Agreed This means that any matter put to a vote has the support of all representatives present.
Carried This means that any matter put to a vote has the support of the majority of representatives  present.
Lost This means that a matter put to a vote was not supported by the majority of representatives present.

17 Annual Meeting procedural motions

Procedural motions can be bewildering to members attending Annual Meeting for the first time. Sections 52.6-9 of the Rules deal with such motions, and that section of the Rules is reprinted in the agenda booklet for the information of Representatives. This needs to be read carefully.

Move the question be put: If a member wishes to bring debate to a close they may move (provided they have not spoken previously on this matter) at any time during a debate “That the question be put”. This is provided no speaker is interrupted and the person moving it is granted   the call. The chairperson/ president does not have to accept this call but has the right to accept       it without a seconder, although it is usual to call for a seconder.

The seconder also must not have spoken previously in the debate.

If carried it means that the debate which has been interrupted must close. No further debate is allowed, with the exception of the original mover who can exercise right of reply. A vote is then taken on any amendments and the original motion.

If the motion “move that the question be put” is defeated then debate continues as before.

If a representative moves that ‘the Institute proceed to the next business’ and a vote is carried, then the particular resolution under discussion at the time will not be put and will not    be voted on at all.

Point of Order: if you want to call one of these, you need to call clearly. You will be asked to state the standing order number, reference to the point of order and the President will rule if it     is indeed able to be used to make a point in the debate.

Challenging a Ruling of the Chairperson: should any decision of the chairperson be considered by a representative to be in breach of Standing Orders, that representative shall be entitled to raise a point of order by stating “I challenge that ruling”. Procedures defined in the Rules then apply.

18 Annual Meeting resolutions to amend or repeal rules and policy

These are placed in the agenda throughout the meeting. These resolutions from Branches / Aronui Tomua / Komiti Pasifika / Area Council have been sent in to National Secretary before Annual Meeting. The National Executive can also recommend changes to the Rules and policy. These resolutions are all noted in the formal.

The Rules and Policy are important. They shape the way the Institute is organised and the work programme for the following year. Members should work with their representative team to ensure any changes being suggested are acceptable to members in their home area before the team attends Annual Meeting.

Representatives need to know the parameters within which they can work at Annual Meeting and in the wider Institute.

No amendments can be made to Rules resolutions at Annual Meeting. Amendments can be made however, to Policy resolutions.

The current NZEI Te Riu Roa Policy Document can be accessed by representatives and observers  on the website and app.

19 Hot Issues session

Time is set aside at Annual Conference for members to discuss issues not on the formal agenda. Each member has one chance to speak for up to 3 minutes on their issue of choice.

The Hot Issues Sessions will be held in the Bay Trust Forum during lunch time on both Monday and Tuesday:

Members who wish to speak during these sessions, need to select a time slot and state the topic  for discussion. There will be a chart of allocated timeslots displayed in the Grand Hall area. This will operate on a first in first served basis, once all timeslots are allocated no further hot issue requests will be taken.

The close off will be 10.30am on the Monday.

20 The hui session within Annual Conference

This session gives members an opportunity to participate in an interactive session with Te Reo Areare about their work completed and the priorities being covered as ongoing work.

21 Applying for leave from Annual Conference

It is expected that representatives attend the whole of Annual Conference and that travel and accommodation are arranged to permit this.

There are, however, acceptable reasons why leave may be granted to representatives from Annual Conference.

There are formal procedures to be followed when you apply for leave from the Annual Conference. All requests must go before the National President.

Any leave must have the approval of the National President. You must complete an Application for Leave form, available from, and to be returned to, your Area Council Liaison Staff member. Representatives will be contacted individually about their leave applications.

Leave is generally granted for serious family reasons, illness or when travel arrangements genuinely cannot be matched to the Annual Conference timings.

Leave is not granted lightly because changes in representative numbers may impede the roll count for elections, force further ballots and change representative numbers if divisions are necessary during debates. As well, members of NZEI Te Riu Roa have paid for representatives’ attendance and expect them to present a complete report on return to Branch / Aronui Tomua / Komiti Pasifika / Area Council meetings.

If you need to take leave please ensure you use the proper procedures.

22 Morning and afternoon tea breaks

These breaks are scheduled each day. Tea and coffee will be served.

Members are asked to move quickly and quietly and to rejoin the meeting as promptly as possible.

23 NZEI Te Riu Roa staff

For Annual Conference, one or more NZEI Te Riu Roa Lead Organisers will be assigned to work with representatives and observers from the Area Councils in which they are based. Together they’ll make up the Area Council Liaison Team at Annual Conference. Their role is to assist representatives and observers in any way necessary.
Annual Conference is your conference. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or help if you need it. ENJOY

Annex 1: Pōwhiri

Pōwhiri is a ceremony of welcome by the tāngata whenua (the people of the land) to the manuhiri (the visitors to that land) and is an opportunity for sacred (tapu) visitors to move from that state to one of being a commoner (state of being noa). This is also an opportunity for representatives to Annual Conference to meet and greet old and new friends. The kawa (protocol) for pōwhiri determines the roles and responsibilities of each group and while the protocol will be explained on the day, the following is a guide.

Tāngata Whenua Manuhiri
Tāngata whenua meet inside the Rotorua Energy Events Centre half an hour before the pōwhiri and select kaikaranga (caller/s), kaikōrero (speaker/s) and decide on waiata to be sung. Use this time to practice if necessary. Manuhiri assemble outside the venue half an hour before the pōwhiri and through the kaumatua (elders); select the kaikaranga (caller/s) and kaikōrero (speaker/s). Choose waiata according to the number of your kaikōrero. Kaikōrero remember te reo Māori.
The number of speakers can change when others decide to speak at the last minute but an extra waiata or two will cover this scenario. Consider waiata that are known by the majority to ensure full participation. The number of speakers can change when others decide to speak at the last minute but an extra waiata or two will cover this scenario. Consider waiata that are known by the majority to ensure full participation.
As their kaikaranga begins to karanga (call), tāngata whenua stand and remain standing until all manuhiri are in the room and waiting to be seated. When the tāngata whenua sit that is the signal for the manuhiri to sit. When the call is heard, manuhiri move behind their kaikaranga and follow her directions.

Move quickly to fill seats on both sides, leave first two rows for the paepae manuhiri (speakers’ list for the visitors) and wait for tāngata whenua to sit which is the signal for manuhiri to sit.

Tāngata whenua begin the kōrero and continue until their paepae (speakers’ list) have spoken and accompanying waiata sung. Manuhiri will then reply with their kōrero until all their paepae have spoken and the accompanying waiata have been sung.
When the manuhiri whaikōrero are concluded, tāngata whenua stand and invite the manuhiri to move across to greet them in the appropriate manner. Manuhiri will respond to the invitation from the tāngata whenua by moving across to greet them in the appropriate manner.
The hongi is a formal greeting and is an opportunity for people to mingle their breath, hence the pressing of noses. Some people are less formal and prefer to kiss. Tāngata whenua you will need to give some direction. The hongi is a formal greeting and is an opportunity for people to mingle their breath, hence the pressing of noses. Some people are less formal and prefer to kiss but when in doubt, take direction from the tāngata whenua
Tāngata whenua invite manuhiri to share the blessed food in the Grand Hall. Manuhiri accept the invitation to share blessed food in the venue.
Sharing food completes the pōwhiri. Manuhiri have moved from tapu to noa and can now interact with the tāngata whenua. Sharing food completes the pōwhiri. Manuhiri have moved from tapu to noa and can now interact with the tāngata whenua.

Annex 2: Emergency Procedures

  1. In the unlikely event of an emergency, a siren and voice recording will sound continuously. Please leave the venue immediately by the nearest EXIT and assemble at the front of the building in the car park area.
  2. If you are the first person to discover a fire please hit the nearest Call Point, then contact reception
  3. In case of Earthquake, Civil Defence NZ recommends that you “Duck, Cover, Hold”. Please remain where you are till the shaking stops then follow the evacuation
  4. In the event of a power failure, emergency lighting will activate and we request that you remain where you are or in your seat. In most cases the power will return after a few minutes. If this is not the case you will be notified and kept informed via a portable loud hailer that is located at the front
  5. This is a non-smoking venue. If you wish to smoke please move to the outside area to the right of the front  forecourt.
  6. Should you have any requirements for telephone, fax or photocopying, or assistance, please see our reception staff within the main foyer that can help.