General Aims and Duties of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) and methods for achieving these.

Version 8.2 - With Appendices

Mission Statement

To encourage and bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand.

Philosophy of SFFANZ

SFFANZ should be run to benefit all fans in New Zealand as much as practicable. Where possible, SFFANZ will provide information to anyone who wishes to know about science fiction or fantasy clubs and events in New Zealand.

SFFANZ will attempt to be accountable to ALL fans. Legally, only members of SFFANZ have the power to influence policy, but the effort must be made to listen to all fans.

SFFANZ of course will try to find benefits for members, to encourage joining. Without members we don’t have resources, either monetary or people to help out.

Goals, Duties and Mandate

Note: The below goals are not exclusive. It is hoped that once the basic goals are achieved, SFFANZ will be able to extend its duties a bit further. It is understood that we should take small steps, and make sure that each foundational goal is in place before attempting new goals.  Foundational goals have been marked as such.

1)       [Foundational] SFFANZ will be created as an incorporated, non-profit society, and receive an IRD number as such.

a)      SFFANZ will exist with the mandate of New Zealand fans.

b)      SFFANZ will be run for the benefit of as many fans as possible, not just members of SFFANZ.

2)      [Foundational] In general terms, SFFANZ will be responsible for overseeing the annual New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention  (NatCon). This will involve:

a)      Administration of the process of awarding the NatCon to an organisation committee (ConCom).

i)        This will take place at each natcon, where the attendees of the natcon and the members of SFFANZ will vote for a natcon two years hence.

ii)       If for some reason, a Natcon was not voted on the previous year, a Natcon may be voted for that is one year in the future.

iii)     If for some reason a natcon is not held in a year, voting for future natcons will take place at the SFFANZ AGM.

iv)     See Appendix A for requirements for a Natcon

b)      Providing an umbrella organisation under which ANY SF or F convention may apply to operate so that their tax free status is assured. For that to happen legally, the following points are necessary.

i)        The convention needs to agree to be affiliated to SFFANZ. It will thereby receive the same tax benefits as SFFANZ, in the eyes of the IRD.

ii)       The concom will be required to sign a document stating that they will abide by the rules of SFFANZ.

iii)     There are financial assurances to guarantee that a convention that fails financially cannot drag SFFANZ down with it.

iv)     See Appendix B for these requirements.

c)      Holding funds from previous conventions, which can be used as a loan or as a grant to an upcoming convention.

i)        There will be specific requirements for receiving money from SFFANZ. This is to ensure that the money is being given responsibly by SFFANZ.

ii)       SFFANZ will have the right to refuse further funding to a convention IF it can be established that the concom is badly managing the convention finances. In extreme circumstances, previously advanced money may be required to be paid back.

iii)     SFFANZ must ensure that funds for ongoing expense requirements related to the running of SFFANZ are available.

iv)     Appendix C sets out the requirements for the use of this money.

d)      Holding the national Fan database in trust for future conventions and fan contacts.

i)        The use of this database will be governed by the Privacy Act of New Zealand.

ii)       The purpose of this database is to enable SFFANZ to provide fans with information of interest to the SF and F community in New Zealand.

iii)     Individual statistical information has been, and will be gathered. This will only be accessible to the database administrator/s. However, aggregate statistics containing no information from which individuals maybe identified will be available as requested by interested parties.

iv)     See Appendix D for the requirements of use for this database.

e)      [Foundational] Providing advice and practical help where possible to the committees of natcons, other conventions, clubs and people wishing to start clubs within New Zealand.

3)      [Foundational] SFFANZ must also ensure that New Zealand national SF and F awards are made each year. This would normally occur at the Natcon. Provision should be made, however, in case a Natcon is not held in a particular year.

a)      National SF awards (The Sir Julius Vogel Awards) are to be made in conjunction with each NatCon.  Works may be nominated that were published or released in the calendar year previous to the Natcon. Only the members of the current Natcon and members of SFFANZ may vote for these awards.

b)      The awards and the rules for the awards are detailed in appendix E.

4)      SFFANZ will contribute to the promotion of Science Fiction, Fantasy and fandom in New Zealand. This will be achieved by any or all of the following:

i)        Encouraging communication and relationships between fan groups around the country.

ii)       Encouraging the creation of new fan groups throughout New Zealand.

iii)     Being a Media contact for news media, publishers, film distributors, et al.

iv)     Advertising in order to increase public awareness of local fan groups and activities.

v)      It is hoped that with the “bulk power” of SFFANZ, numerous stores which have some relation to SF & F can be persuaded to give a discount to members of SFFANZ. This allows the store/s to only deal with one organisation, rather than many scattered around the country.

5)      [Foundational] The board of SFFANZ are the people responsible for the running of SFFANZ, and the carrying out of the wishes of the fans.

a)      The administration of SFFANZ is to be carried out by a board consisting of President, Secretary, Treasurer and between 4 and 6 other board members. The President, Secretary and Treasurer are known collectively as the executive.

b)      Nomination of the Board

i)        Postal nominations for the board will be called for at least 2 months before the natcon / AGM for that year.

ii)       Postal nominations will close 1 month before the natcon / AGM.

iii)     After that time, proxy voting forms will be sent to all current members, along with membership renewal forms.

iv)     Nominations will also be allowed from the floor at the AGM.

c)      The board will be elected at the AGM of SFFANZ, by the members of SFFANZ.

d)      The President will be directly elected by the members.

e)      The remaining members of the board will be elected generally, then the positions of Secretary and Treasurer will be chosen from among the elected members. Any other specific board positions will be chosen from among those board members. That is, between 6 and 8 board members will be elected from whom the board will choose Secretary, Treasurer and any other specific positions.

f)        As a general rule, no person may hold multiple executive positions at the same time.

g)      The cheque accounts will be required to be dual signatory cheque accounts. All members of the executive will be signatories, plus as many other general committee members as are necessary to allow cheques to be signed in a timely manner.

h)      No person can hold the same Executive position for more than 3 years consecutively. No person can be on the Executive for more than 5 years consecutively. They can rotate out to the general board if they wish. This is to avoid burn out.

i)        The members of the Executive must be residing in New Zealand for the majority of their term. Other committee members can be living outside New Zealand.

6)      Membership of SFFANZ. Because SFFANZ is a new organisation, ways of obtaining membership will be rolled out over the next few conventions. Section (b) Designates the way membership will work initially. Section (c) designates the way that membership will work when it’s appropriate to switch.

a)      A single membership term will encompass exactly one AGM.

b)      At a natcon, membership in SFFANZ can be obtained by ticking a box on the registration form. At the first convention, the only money asked for will be in the form of donations.

i)        Fans can also join by writing to SFFANZ, and asking to join. Fans not on email are asked for a donation to cover postage expenses. Suggested amount will be $5.

c)      Membership can be obtained by:

i)        Registering through a Natcon and paying a membership fee. The natcon acts as an agent for SFFANZ in this case, and passes the money and membership details to SFFANZ when appropriate.

ii)       Membership can be obtained by joining individually directly to SFFANZ and paying the membership fee.

d)      All memberships will continue until the start of the NEXT natcon (or AGM) but one. In any case, 1 term of membership in SFFANZ will encompass 1 SFFANZ AGM (either at a natcon or an AGM).

i)        Example 1: Anyone joining at the natcon will be a member until the start of the following year's natcon; anyone joining at other times will be a member for the subsequent natcon and for the period up until the start of the natcon after that. If a natcon is not held during either of these years, membership will run until the beginning of the equivalent AGM.

ii)       Example 2. A fan joins 3 months before a Natcon in Year X. Membership continues until the start of the Natcon in Year X+1. This method potentially allows membership periods of about 2 years if the fan takes out membership early enough. But one term of membership will only encompass one Natcon / AGM.

iii)     In the event a natcon is not held in one year, an AGM will be arranged for that year. SFFANZ will have to take steps to make sure that all previous members are given the opportunity to renew their memberships BEFORE or AT the AGM since the memberships will have lapsed just before the AGM.

iv)     A membership renewal simply adds another term of membership.

v)      Memberships can be taken out in multiple terms. That is, if membership was $5 per term, a person could pay $20 and be a member for 4 terms.

vi)     Should a member wish to cancel their membership, refunds will only be available for any uncompleted terms.

vii)   In the unlikely event of SFFANZ winding up, membership refunds will be refunded as and when there is money available.

e)      Lifetime Memberships may be conferred, by vote of the members. These memberships have full voting rights in perpetuity.

f)        Honorary memberships may also be conferred. This class of membership has no voting rights.

g)      Membership benefits are:

i)        The right to attend the AGM, any SGMs, and committee meetings, and to speak at these meetings.

ii)       The right to vote for matters concerning SFFANZ including the next natcon.

iii)     The right to vote on the fan awards, SO LONG AS the membership will not lapse prior to the AGM / Natcon at which the votes are declared.

iv)     Any discounts or similar arranged by SFFANZ on behalf of its members.

Appendix A

Requirements to be the Natcon

In order to be allowed to be a natcon, the convention that wants to be a natcon MUST do these four things:

1)      Allow the display of the nominees for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, and the voting and presentation of the Sir Julius Vogel Fan Awards at the Natcon. This includes proxy votes sent by mail.

2)      Allow SFFANZ to hold its AGM at the Natcon, and the AGM to be a programmed event in a suitable room.

3)      Allow voting to take place for the next natcon

4)      Allow memberships for SFFANZ to be paid before the convention. We believe that it is possible to make the transfer of membership information to and from SFFANZ, easy.

Note: None of these requirements are new except 4. 1 - 3 have always been implicit and expected of natcons (in the case of 2, with respect to the now defunct NASF).

A natcon is not specifically required to be affiliated to SFFANZ. If the natcon wants any of the benefits outlined in Appendix B, then they must accept the requirements that go along with the benefits. These are required for legal reasons.

Appendix B

Requirements for a convention that wishes to be affiliated to SFFANZ

Non-Profit Status

1)      The convention must run as a non-profit event.

2)      The convention is responsible for all debts and legal issues encountered while running the convention. In the event of financial or legal trouble, SFFANZ will support and help the convention in whatever ways it can. (See Appendix C for details of financial aid available.) However, SFFANZ has a responsibility to its members to act in the best interests of all fans.

3)      For this reason, the convention committee agree that all financial and legal issues are the sole responsibility of the organizing committee. The committee may of course apply to SFFANZ for help in this event.

4)      Once the convention is finished and all outstanding debts are paid, the profits must be distributed. We suggest that the convention have a designated charity that they wish to support. Profits must be given to an appropriate charity or non-profit organisation. We would request that a portion of the profits be given to SFFANZ, to support future conventions. If you wish to give money to SFFANZ, we suggest a 50:50 split between the charity and SFFANZ.

What will this money be used for?

This money will be placed in the Convention Account for use by future conventions. Possibly some may be used for the Sir Julius Vogel Fan Awards. It will NOT be used for administration of SFFANZ.

Appendix C

Financial Help

In order to receive any sort of financial help, the convention must be affiliated to SFFANZ. This means that the convention will be required to be non-profit, with a charity or NPO specified to receive any profits at the end of the convention.

The convention must also adhere to good accounting practices. The convention must keep an account of income and expenditure. The convention must also keep all relevant receipts especially when money is paid to individuals for expenses. Any convention must, of course, adhere to tax requirements as set out by the IRD. This includes keeping the receipts and records of the convention for 7 years.

The convention must present an initial budget, showing estimated income and expenditure for the convention. SFFANZ reserves the right to refuse funding if the budget presented is unreasonable. Financial support will not be unreasonably with-held.


The convention may apply to receive a grant from SFFANZ for a special reason. This money would not be expected to be paid back. This would be rare. In order to receive a grant, the convention must demonstrate that the money would be used in such a way as to benefit fans beyond the usual perquisites of a convention.


The convention may apply to receive a loan from SFFANZ.

Examples of loans

·         An initial seed fund to get the convention rolling

·         If money is required for a deposit for a hotel or airfares

All loans are just that. They are expected to be paid back before or immediately after the convention. These will be treated exactly the same as any other loan. They must be paid back before any profit or loss of the convention is calculated.

Loans will be interest free.

Bail out funds.

In a worst case scenario, a convention may lose money due to unexpected circumstances. eg. Currency fluctuations may result in a $5000 airfare rising to $6500 (It’s happened!)

1)      The convention will have to present it’s accounts to SFFANZ along with all corroborating information.

2)      The committee of the convention will be expected to pay for the first $400 of any deficit.

3)      After that, SFFANZ will pay the remainder from the Convention account, up to a limit This limit is either half of the funds in the account, or up to where there is $400 left in the account, whichever is the lesser amount.

4)      The remainder must be paid by the convention committee.

These exact amounts may be changed at the discretion of the SFFANZ committee.


Appendix D

Access to the Fan Database.

The Fan Database

The Fan Database is a collection of fan’s addresses (email and postal) that have been gathered and kept up to date from 1995.

These have been gathered and kept according to the Privacy Laws of New Zealand.

Conditions of Use

They are being granted a non-exclusive license to use this data. Once the convention has finished and they no longer need the data, they will be expected to delete all copies of the database from their computers.

They may not copy this database.

They may NOT give this database to ANY other organisation, commercial or otherwise. Not even to another convention. Legally, we are required to make sure that this database is being used for the purpose for which it was intended.

This also ensures that the latest information is available to conventions.

Personal data in this database will be governed by the Privacy Laws of New Zealand. In short, anyone who is on this database may request to be removed, and may have access to all the data that is held about them.

They may use this database to send information to the people in the database about their convention, and events directly related to their convention. They may not use it for any other form of advertising without express written permission from SFFANZ.

They may not use this list to send ONLY advertising for commercial organisations. However, please feel free to include such advertising with a convention update. It is accepted that a commercial organisation may pay them to send advertising out with their convention updates. This is perfectly acceptable.

We hope to be able to provide this database as a centrally stored repository so that it can be updated easily and quickly over an internet connection. As such, it is expected that they will be willing to synchronise your copy of the database with the central version at regular intervals. This allows all the users of the database to have the most recent data. This is important, because there could be a number of different conventions using the database and they MUST be kept synchronised. Otherwise someone who has asked to be removed, or has had their details changed, will have incorrect details in some databases.

Currently, the Fan Database is in Access 2000 format. It can be supplied in a format that you can use.

Convention Management Database

Over the course of three conventions, Norman Cates has created code and modules in Access 2000 to allow management of a convention. This includes keeping track of the attendees, events they want to attend, banquet bookings and hotel room bookings. It allows the convention to post or email the individual information to attendees to keep them up to date on their booking.

The convention will receive all possible help in customising and altering this database to work for your requirements. Norman asks that, if possible, he make changes to structure of the database, forms etc himself. Otherwise there could be incompatible versions floating around. The database is currently in Access 2000 format, and has been designed so as to allow the replacement of the User Interface separately from the data.

Norman Cates retains copyright to all code and designs used in this database.


Appendix E

Sir Julius Vogel Awards

1)      Preamble

a)       The Sir Julius Vogel Awards recognise excellence in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by New Zealanders.

2)      Responsibility of SFFANZ

a)      SFFANZ is responsible for overseeing and running the awards.

b)      SFFANZ reserves the right to temporarily modify the awards rules for any given natcon or AGM should circumstances require it. These modifications and reasons for them will be explained fully as soon as possible. Permanent modifications to the rules will only be carried out by a vote of SFFANZ members.

3)      Categories of awards (Note: Not all of these have to be used right now. If it becomes appropriate, then they could be used. SFFANZ will also accept suggestions for nomination categories if voters believe there would be enough nominees for the position. The categories below are not meant to stifle options. If a category can be usefully split, it will be considered. Initially, we expect the categories to be compressed.)

a)      Professional Categories

            Best Novel

            Best Novella or Novelette

            Best Short Story

            Best Collected Work

            Best Artwork

            Dramatic Presentation

               -Long Form

               -Short Form

b)      Fan Categories

            Best Fan Writing

            Best Fan Artwork

            Best Fanzine

            Best Fan Publication

            Best Fan Production

c)      Special Award for works not eligible in existing categories

            Best New Talent

            Services to Fandom

            Services to Science Fiction

4)      Eligibility Criteria

a)      Timeliness

            Works are eligible if they were first published or released anywhere in the world in an edition dated in the calendar year immediately preceding the year the award is held.

b)      New Zealand-ness

             Nominees are eligible if they were New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in the year their nominated work was released.

            In the case of projects undertaken by a group of people, the majority of the technical work and creativity must have been accomplished by New Zealanders.

c)      Novel

            A Novel is any single work of sf/f/h of more than 40,000 words.

d)      Novella or Novelette

            A Novella or Novelette is any single work of sf/f/h of 7,500 to 40,000 words.

e)      Short Story

            A Short Story is any single work of sf/f/h less than 7,500 words.

f)        Collected Work

            A collected work is a sf/f/h collection or anthology, magazine or journal, ezine or webzine which must pay contributors in other than contributor copies and incidentals, or is sponsored by an institution other than a fan club, or whose editors declare themselves to be professional. At least one edition of a collected work must have been issued in the eligible calendar year.

g)      Best Artwork

            An artwork is a single work or series of related works of art in any medium other than text. Text may be included, but should not be the primary medium.

h)      Dramatic Presentation - Long Form and Short Form

            A dramatic presentation in a visual and / or audio form.

            The Long Form is a presentation that is 30 mins or longer. This could typically be a film or an episode of a TV series.

            The Short Form is a presentation that is shorter than 30 mins. This could typically be a short film.

i)        Fan Writing and Fan Artwork

            These awards are made for a work or body of work first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer or artist must have received no payment other than contributor copies and other incidentals (coffee mug, t-shirt, poster, etc.).

j)        Fanzine

            This award is made to the fanzine for issues in the eligible calendar year. A fanzine is defined as any fan produced magazine, for a club or otherwise, which defined itself as a fanzine AND has the intention to produce multiple issues in the eligible year or beyond. Contributors to the fanzine must have received no payment other than contributor copies and other incidentals (coffee mug, t-shirt, poster, etc.).

k)      Fan Publication

            This award is made to writers or artists for a publication (other than a fanzine) first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer must have received no payment other than contributor copies and other incidentals (coffee mug, t-shirt, poster, etc.).

l)        Fan Production

            This award is for work in any medium other than those eligible for other categories. The work must be first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer or artist must have received no payment other than incidentals. Eligible works include but are not limited to: art, video, film, periodical, theatrical, journal, ezine, webzine, computer application, or website.

m)   Services to Fandom

            This award recognises an achievement by an individual or group that has benefited New Zealand fandom. This award can be presented in conjunction with other awards if appropriate.

n)      Services to SF, Fantasy or Horror

            The award recognises an achievement by an individual or group that has encouraged science fiction, fantasy or horror within New Zealand, or worldwide. The nominee must be a New Zealand citizen, or the group must be composed of a majority of New Zealand citizens. This award can be presented in conjunction with other awards if appropriate.

o)      Best New Talent

            The Best New Talent award recognises excellence of professional achievement in any field of the genre by an individual who has not been nominated for a professional award three or more years before the year the award is held.
An individual is only eligible for two consecutive years.

5)      Nomination Process

a)      Eligibility for nomination

            Anyone may be nominated, subject to eligibility, but nominees may not be involved with counting the votes.

b)      Eligible nominators

            The nominator must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; or a full or supporting member of the national convention of the year of the award.

c)      Nominations

            Nominations may be submitted from January 1st in the year of voting for the awards or up to 4 months before the national convention or voting deadline, whichever is the earlier.

            The nominator may nominate any number of works in any category. However, the nominator may nominate any given work only once in a category. All nominations must include the name and contact details of the nominator. Where a nominated work does not meet the criteria for its nominated category, the committee may move the nomination to the appropriate category; or where a work does not meet any criteria, refuse the nomination.

            The nominator must include contact details for any nominees.

            The nominees will be contacted and invited to accept the nomination. If they decline their nomination, the nomination will be withdrawn from contention.

d)      Display of work

            The nominees will be asked for examples of their work. This work will be displayed as widely as reasonable before voting takes place. Display areas will include a website and display of items at the national convention. Display of the nominations will be carried out where practical. Duplicates of the nominated items will be requested so as to be able to have more than one display of the items.

6)      Final Ballot

a)      Number of finalists (From those nominees who accept their nomination)

            The five nominees with the most nominations shall appear on the final ballot. In the event of a tie for fifth place, up to seven finalists may appear on the final ballot. In the event of a four-way tie (or more) for fifth place, only the top four finalists shall appear on the ballot.

            In the event of an extreme number of ties, the SFFANZ board will determine a method to bring the number of nominations down to seven or less.

b)      Minimum finalists for categories

            If any category has one or fewer eligible finalists, the category shall not appear on the final ballot, excepting the Special Awards and the Best New Talent Award.

c)      Merging of Short Fiction categories

            If there are fewer than two eligible finalists in either the “Novella or Novelette” and “Short Story” categories, they may be merged into a single category called Short Fiction.

d)      Order of finalists

            Finalists shall appear in randomised order.

e)      No Award

            "No Award" shall appear last on the ballot for all categories.

7)      Voting

a)      Eligibility of Voters

            Any members of SFFANZ and any members of the National Science Fiction convention for the voting year, are eligible to vote.

b)      Allowance shall be made for people who cannot physically attend the convention or AGM by supplying voting papers to them by mail, or other means deemed suitable.

c)      Preferential Voting

            Voting in each category shall take place according to a preferential system.

            This requires the voters to rank the nominees in order of preference. 1 indicates a first preference, 2 a second preference, and so on. “No Award” is treated as a nominee for the purposes of this voting.

            During the counting of ballots, SFFANZ has discretion to mediate deadlocks in the count of votes, should they occur. This means that if in intermediate stages of the counting process there is a tie, the counters and SFFANZ may decide an appropriate way to break the deadlock. This does NOT apply to the final result.

d)      Tied Winners

            In the event of a tie for winner in any category, all tied works will be deemed to have won the award.

e)      Anonymous Voting

            If possible, final votes shall be anonymous. However, it may be necessary initially to require a signature on ballots.

            Hopefully in the future all ballots shall be coded and provided to each eligible member. Any committee members responsible for coding the ballots shall not be involved in counting the votes.

8)      The Physical Nature of the Trophy

a)      Finalist Certificates

            All finalists shall receive a certificate honouring their achievement.

b)      The Trophy

            Sir Julius Vogel Award winners shall receive a standard trophy that is consistent from year to year.