Constitution

Constitution of the Alliance

1. Name

The name of the organisation shall be: the Alliance’. The Alliance shall be an unincorporated society and shall operate as a political party for the purposes of the Electoral Act 1993.

2. Principles

The Alliance is a broad and inclusive party of the Left, with policies based on the socialist principles of democracy, equality, social ownership and internationalism.

It combines a concern for the protection of the environment with the need to create a democratic planned economy and a modern welfare state. These principles include:

o That all people are entitled to free, high-quality public health and education services;

o That all workers are entitled to meaningful work without exploitation and to a secure wage for themselves and their families;

o That the natural resources, material infrastructure and all essential utilities must belong to the people collectively and be managed under democratically controlled integrated planning;

o That every person is entitled to the income and resources needed fully to participate in society. The purpose of the social welfare system is to guarantee this;

o That the destruction of our natural environment must be halted and its restoration and protection actively promoted;

o That wealth should be redistributed by such means as a highly progressive income and asset taxation system to achieve a just and equitable society without poverty or discrimination;

o That the socialist democracy we envisage is a society in which all forms of discrimination and prejudice, whether institutional or individually expressed, on grounds of race, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability have no place; where diversity is recognised as a strength for society, each individual’s contribution is valued and all are treated with respect in accordance with their basic human rights;

o That global capitalism and its class system is neither permanent nor invincible; and

o That the Alliance promotes an independent foreign policy, opposing all wars of aggression, urging the peaceful resolution of conflicts and supporting social justice.

3. Objectives

The objectives of the Alliance are:

o To organise and fight for Alliance principles and policies in all areas of political and social life;

o To contest parliamentary and local body elections as a platform for winning support for Alliance principles and policies and with a view to implementing Alliance policies;

o To unite socialists and left social democrats from various traditions, allowing different ideas and perspectives to be debated within the Party in an environment of tolerance and respect; and

o To build links in solidarity with all those resisting inequality and injustice, nationally and internationally.

4. Membership

o A person shall be eligible for membership in the Party who

o is16 or more years of age,

o agrees with founding principles of the Party,

o makes a financial contribution/subscription,

o is not a member of an organisation proscribed as incompatible by the Party Conference or National Council.

o A member shall be entitled

o to attend and vote at any meeting of the Regional Council in his/her assigned area,

o to stand for any Office in the Party.

o The term of membership shall be three years.

o An applicant denied membership shall have the right of appeal to the National Council, and thence to the Party Conference.

5. Regional Councils

o The base organisational units of the Party shall be the Regional Councils, determined as to number, location and boundary by the National Council on an interim basis and endorsed/amended by the Party Conference.

o All members shall be assigned to a Regional Council for organisational purposes (communications, materials, campaigns, etc.)

o “At large” members – those not in the metropolitan area where their Regional Council is based – shall be entitled to raise matters directly with the National Council and to forward remits on policy, constitutional and other matters to the Party Conference.

o Regional Councils shall, at their Annual General Meetings, elect a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Regional Representative(s) to the National Council (one per 500 members) and such other officers as the Regional Council shall determine.

o Regional Councils shall maintain accurate financial records and meet agreed financial and informational responsibilities to the national bodies of the Party.

o Regional Councils shall have the right to submit policy, constitutional and other remits to the Party Conference.

o A Regional Council whose Officers do not meet at least once every four months (either in person, by video link or telephone conference) may be disbanded by the National Council, subject to the right of appeal to the Party Conference.

o National Officers shall have the right to attend and speak at any Regional Council meeting.

6. National Council

o Has the delegated authority of the Party Conference to act in all respects on behalf of the Party between meetings of the Conference.

o Shall meet at least four times per year (either in person, by video link or telephone conference).

o Shall comprise the Party President, General Secretary and Treasurer; two Co-leaders and two Policy Co-ordinators; Communications Co-ordinator; Regional Council Representatives; representatives of affiliated groups as determined by the National Council and such other persons as the Council may co-opt. Members representing the Party in Parliament who hold no other positions on the Council shall be entitled to attend all meetings with voice but no vote.

o Determines the roles and job descriptions of the Party’s Officers.

o Elects by a vote of 75% or more, nominees into the candidate pool for selection into the Party List in General Elections and from which Regional Councils may select constituency candidates.

o Determines the order of the Party’s list candidates.

7. Party Conference

o The Party Conference is the supreme decision-making body of the Alliance, and shall be convened nationally and at least once in each calendar year.

o The Conference shall approve National Council reports and vote on all policy and constitutional remits and other matters coming before it by simple majority of accredited delegates, and shall forward its decisions to the National Council for action.

o The Conference shall elect the Party President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Communications and Policy Co-ordinators, two Co-leaders (all of whom shall be national Officers of the Party) and such spokespeople as it shall determine. Where an election is required for such roles it shall be by the Single Transferable Vote system.

o Regional Councils shall be entitled to elect one Conference delegate for every five members as of six weeks prior to the Conference, and national Officers as in 7.3 above shall, if not otherwise delegates, be entitled to attend with full voting rights.

o The Conference shall approve the Alliance platform for any parliamentary election.

8. Caucus

o The caucus of the Party’s representatives in Parliament shall include all its Members of Parliament, the Party President and General Secretary, and two further representatives appointed by the National Council.

o In all matters the Party’s parliamentary representatives shall abide by the Party’s constitution and policy. Decisions as to the application of policy shall be as determined by the National Council.

9. Dissolution

The National Council, at a meeting called for that purpose, may resolve that the Alliance be dissolved as from the date to be named in the resolution, and may also by such resolution direct the method of disposing of the assets and property of the Alliance after its dissolution. Upon the resolution being confirmed at a subsequent Alliance Conference meeting for that purpose and held not earlier than 30 days after the date on which the National Council passed the resolution to dissolve the Alliance. A notice of the resolution and its confirmation shall be sent to the Electoral Commission and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. The property of the Alliance shall upon dissolution be transferred to such political or other organisations having similar objects to those of the Alliance within New Zealand as the Conference meeting to confirm dissolution shall determine; or in default as may be determined by the High Court of New Zealand on the application of the National Council.