A council meeting of the New Zealand Computer Society on Friday will decide whether to reduce the number of councillors and allocate voting power according to the size of a region.
The council currently has two representatives for each of the six regions. Haydn Easte, the chairman of the Auckland branch, wants to reduce that to one member from each branch and give two votes to the larger regions.
Easte says his proposal would give two votes to any region with at least 30% of the national membership.
“It’s one of those hot topics,” he says. “I’m quietly confident that I’ve got the support of the majority of the national council.”
At current membership levels the plan would give two votes each to Wellington and Auckland representatives and one to councillors from Northland, Waikato/BOP, Canterbury and Otago/Southland, which Easte says would prevent Auckland and Wellington from calling the shots alone. “That still keeps a degree of fairness about it,” he says.
“I think it’s a fair and reasonable way of overcoming that problem we have of a council that’s just fundamentally too big.”
National president Bruce McLean, also of Auckland, could hold the casting vote on Easte’s proposals. He’s keen to see the size of the council reduced but won’t be drawn on whether he favours proportional voting.
“There is absolutely a fiscal advantage to reducing the numbers,” McLean says. “I would support the motion. I feel that societies such as ours are overgoverned.”
As to whether larger branches should get two votes, McLean says there are arguments for and against both. “I think I’ll just go with the flow on the day.”
Asked whether regions are likely to have different views on NZCS issues, McLean says no.
“That’s one of the arguments. The thing is the councils should be able to see all views of every member of the society.”
McLean says the council will also discuss ways of increasing membership numbers and attendance and NZCS events.