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Agreements of the Turanga Farm Owners and Residents

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Contents

Agreements of the Turanga Farm Owners and Residents

1. Incorporated Societies Act 1908

Constitution and name

1. The Turanga Farm Owners and Residents Society Incorporated (“the Society”) is constituted by resolution dated [date].
2. The Registered Office of the Society shall be at such a place as the Society from time to time determines.

2. Documents referred to

1. These Agreements refer to certain policies and procedures of the Society specified in separate documents held by the Society, which are subject to revision from time to time by resolution of the Society. Those documents are:
  • The Communication Agreements: policies governing communication and behaviour within Turanga Farm.
  • The Community Hours document, specifying a work scheme in which Members are required to participate.
  • The Conflict Resolution Manual: the Society's procedure for addressing conflict between Members, expanding on section 18 of these Agreements.
  • The Entry Process document, detailing the manner in which a person may become a Member and live at Turanga Farm.
  • The Meeting Agreements document, stipulating behaviour and protocol in meetings of the Society.
  • The Modified Consensus Protocol: the protocol for decision-making within the Society.
  • Policies Regarding Non-Members.
  • The Community-Building Days document, specifying periodic workshops for strengthening Members' interpersonal skills and community participation.
2. Other documents referred to in these Agreements are the Land Covenants (Rules for Separately-owned Property and Rules for Common Property), Resource Consents and the Planting Management Plan.

3. Definitions

  • The “Agreements”, or “Society Agreements”, are this document, and constitute the rules of the Society.
  • An “Associate Member” is a member of the Society appointed in accordance with the Agreements who is not a Full Member but has limited rights and responsibilities.
  • “Buildings” means buildings, building elements, roads, fences, walls, water tanks and wells.
  • “Common Property” means Lots [____] Deposited Plan [____].
  • “Community Hours” is the work scheme for Full Members which work scheme is developed and maintained by the Society and described from time to time in the Community Hours document.
  • “Community-Building Days” are periodic workshops held by the Society for attendance by all Full Members, for strengthening interpersonal skills and community participation, as described in the Community-Building Days document.
  • The “Coordinator” is an officer appointed in accordance with the Agreements.
  • The “Core Principles” are those values and principles by which decisions of the Society are guided. They are, until the Society resolves otherwise, the principles listed in Schedule 1.
  • “Decision-Making Rights” means those rights held by a Member to be involved in the making of decisions by the Society by consensus or by vote, as described in clause 11.1 and the Modified Consensus Protocol.
  • The “Entry Process” is the process by which a person becomes a Member of the Society which process is developed and maintained by the Society and recorded in the Entry Process document.
  • A “Full Member” is a Member who has successfully completed the Entry Process.
  • The “General Fund” is that portion of the Society's finances that is contributed to by all Full Members.
  • “Infrastructure” means pipes, wires, ducts, conduits, gutters, watercourses, cables, channels, flues, conducting, or transmission eqiupment necessary for the provision of water, sewerage, drainage, stormwater removal, gas, electricity, oil, shelter, lighting, protection from fire, security, rubbish collection, air, telephone connection, Internet access, radio reception, telephone reception, or any other services or utilities to or from a Separate Lot or to or from the Common Property.
  • The “Infrastructure Fund” is the separately held portion of the Society's finances contributed to by Owner Members only, to be spent on certain categories of expenditure described in clause 14.4(a).
  • “Land Covenants” means the Land Covenants registered against either the Common Property or separately owned lots.
  • Machinery means any heavy machinery or vehicles intended for use primarily within Turanga Farm and includes all equipment used for generating power.
  • A “Member” is a member of the Society, either an Associate Member or a Full Member.
  • “Modified Consensus” is a protocol for decision-making within the Society which protocol has been developed and maintained by the Society and is recorded in the Modified Consensus Protocol document.
  • An “Owner Member” is any Full Member who is also a registered proprietor of a Separate Lot.
  • “Permaculture Principles” are those principles adopted by the Society for managing the Common Property. They are, until the Society resolves otherwise, the principles listed in Schedule 2.
  • “Permanent Residency” (“Permanent Resident”, to “Permanently Reside”) means that the given person dwells at the given place for the majority of the time and expects to continue doing so for the forseeable future.
  • “Planting Management Plan” means any planting programme and management plan required pursuant to Resource Consents.
  • “Principal Officer” means any one of the Coordinator, Secretary or Treasurer appointed in accordance with the Agreements.
  • A “Prospective Member” is any non-Member (or Associate Member) who has begun the Entry Process with the aim of becoming a Full Member.
  • “Resource Consents” are those issued by Auckland Council dated 9 July 2013 numbers 41439 and 41235 and any other resource consents pertaining to Turanga Farm, together with any variations thereof. “Resource Consent” means any one of them.
  • “Separate Lots” means lots [____] Deposited Plan [____].
  • A “Substitute Officer” is a person empowered to stand in for a Principal Officer in accordance with the Agreements.
  • “Turanga Farm” or “the Farm” means the land comprised and described in certificate of title [____].

4. Objects

1. The objects of the Society are:
(a) to implement the Society's Core Principles;
(b) to develop and sustain Turanga Farm as a community ecohamlet, for the benefit of all Members and in accordance with the Core Principles;
(c) to care for Turanga Farm's land and landscape, fostering the kind of diversity, long-term stability and resilience found in natural ecosystems;
(d) to promote the health, safety, welfare, enjoyment and recreation of the Members;
(e) to manage, maintain and improve Turanga Farm's Common Property, common facilities and amenities for use by the Members, and to provide stewardship for wild areas of the Farm.
(f) to fulfil the requirements of the Resource Consents;
(g) to ensure compliance with the Land Covenants;
(h) to make regulations to advance the attainment of any of the above objects; and
(i) to do any act or thing incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the above objects.
2. It is not an object of the Society to trade or to undertake any activity with the intention of making a profit although activities may be undertaken that are within the objects of the Society and generate income which may in turn be applied to costs incurred by the Society.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision, the Society shall not expend any money:
(a) other than to further the objects of the Society, nor
(b) for the sole personal or individual benefit of any Member.

5. Powers

1. In addition to its statutory powers, the Society may, in pursuit of its objects:
(a) spend funds;
(b) enter into contracts with such persons as may seem expedient;
(c) receive money or property by way of bequest;
(d) exercise all the powers a trustee might exercise (as per the Trustee Act 1956 or replacement legislation);
(e) employ staff (for example, to manage farming operations on Common Property); and
(f) acquire one or more Separate Lots (and the associated share in the Common Property).

6. Membership

1. There are two categories of membership of the Society:
(a) Full Members;
(b) Associate Members.
2. The Society must establish and maintain the Entry Process and must ensure it is regularly reviewed, it is up to date, relevant and workable. Any person wishing to become a Full Member must first go through the Society's Entry Process (for the duration of which they are termed a "Prospective Member"), and have their membership approved by the Society. The precise requirements of the Entry Process, and its attendant fee(s), are specified in the Entry Process document. Once a person is granted Full Membership, this membership shall come under regular review until they have gained proprietorship of a Separate Lot or otherwise obtained Permanent Residency at Turanga Farm (see clause 10.2).
3. Full Membership may only be denied to a Prospective Member on the grounds that
(a) they have not completed the requirements of the Entry Process; or
(b) there is a concern that they might not support the Core Principles of the Society; or
(c) there is a concern that their becoming a Member might directly or indirectly endanger other Members or jeopardise the objects or continued existence of the Society.
4. If any Member sells or leases property within Turanga Farm, they must ensure that the purchaser or lessee has first successfully completed the Entry Process and become a Full Member.
5. Except as provided in clause 6.7, any trust, society, company or other ownership vehicle (other than individual or joint ownership or tenancy in common by natural persons) that proposes to become a registered proprietor or lessee of property at Turanga Farm must have:
(a) irrevocably resolved to abide by the Core Principles for so long as that ownership vehicle continues as proprietor or lessee of property at Turanga Farm; and
(b) nominated certain individual(s) each being an officer, member or beneficiary of that ownership vehicle who must have successfully completed the Entry Process and become a Full Member for and on its behalf.
6. The individuals who are nominated by an ownership vehicle in accordance with clause 6.5 must be:
(a) all of the adult officers, members or beneficiaries of such ownership vehicle who intend to reside at Turanga Farm; and
(b) If none of the officers, members or beneficiaries intend to reside at Turanga Farm, one officer, member or beneficiary who shall be exempt from any requirement to pay per-person levies (see section 8) or to participate in the Community Hours scheme or Community-Building Days.
7. If a mortgagee enters into possession of a Separate Lot by virtue of the exercise of their security, the Society shall allow that mortgagee (or its representative) to attend meetings of the Society and exercise Decision-Making Rights in substitution of the mortgagor as if they were a Full Member and without the requirement of the mortgagee to complete the Entry Process.
8. Under no circumstances other than those provided in clauses 6.5, 6.6 and 6.7 shall any person have the rights of a Full Member of the Society unless they have successfully completed the Entry Process and been granted Full Membership by resolution of the Society.
9. If by any eventuality a person who is not a Full Member enters into possession of the whole or any part of a Separate Lot and/or a share in the Common Property in a manner other than what is described in clause 6.5, the taking of such possession shall be deemed an offer from the registered proprietor of the Separate Lot and the share of the Common Property to sell the whole of such Separate Lot and Share in the Common Property to the Society or to any Full Member(s) nominated by the Society in accordance with the terms of the Land Covenants.
10. All Full Members must participate in the Community Hours scheme unless specifically exempted by the Agreements, and are encouraged to attend Society meetings and Community-Building Days.
11. If any Full Member or Associate Member is a trustee of a trust that owns property within Turanga Farm then, if that person has no right or interest in any assets of the trust except in that person's capacity as trustee of the trust, that person's liability under this Agreement in respect of that part of Turanga Farm Owned by the trust will not be personal and unlimited but will be limited to the exact amount recoverable from the assets of the trust from time to time. If the right of that person to be indemnified from the trust assets has been lost or impaired, that person's liability will become personal but limited to that part of the amount recoverable from the assets of the trust which cannot be recovered from any other person.
12. The Society may from time to time elect Associate Members. Associate Members need not have completed the Entry Process and may be Members for an identified period of time or for a particular purpose and on terms determined by the Society and in accordance with the Agreements. Associate Members will have none of the responsibilities or Decision-Making Rights attributable to a Full Member and are not expected to have the financial obligations of a Full Member.

7. Non-Members

1. Any non-member visiting or residing at the Farm is subject to the Society’s Communication Agreements and other rules. Each Member shall ensure their guests abide by these rules, and provide access to the Farm only in compliance with these rules.
2. Visitors temporarily residing at the Farm may be required to leave at the Society's resolution with one week’s notice period, or immediately in case of extreme behaviour such as violence or illegal activities.
3. If the Society properly resolves that a non-member should be denied access to Turanga Farm, the Society shall provide notice of such resolution to the Owner Member(s) of any relevant Separate Lot requiring them to give all necessary notices and take such action as is required to remove the offending non-member from Turanga Farm. The Owner Member(s) must take such action as is reasonable to comply with the Society's direction.
4. The Society may establish further policies regarding residence by non-members, their use of common facilities and resources and their participation in community events, as detailed in any Policies Regarding Non-Members document.

8. Subscription and Levies

1. All Full Members shall pay per-person levies, which shall be levied in respect of each Full Member. In addition, all Owner Members shall pay per-lot levies, which shall be levied in respect of each Separate Lot.
2. Annual per-person levies and annual per-lot levies shall be determined by the Society at Annual General Meetings. These annual levies shall total the amount required by the Society to meet expected costs during the course of the following year, and may include contributions on account of anticipated capital expenditure and significant maintenance anticipated in succeeding years.
3. In addition to annual levies, the Society may impose special per-person levies and/or special per-lot levies for the purpose of defraying in whole or in part the cost of capital expenses to be incurred by the Society. Any special levy must be approved at a meeting called for that purpose, written notice of which shall be sent to all Members not less than 14 days in advance of the meeting.
4. Levies may only be imposed in order to achieve the objectives of the Society. Per-person levies (annual or special) shall be paid into the General Fund, and may only be imposed in order to meet the anticipated costs of activities associated with that fund. Per-lot levies (annual or special) shall be paid into the Infrastructure Fund, and may only be imposed in order to meet the anticipated costs of activities associated with that fund. (See clause 14.4.)
5. Any per-person levy shall be fixed at a uniform rate per Full Member, with the exception that a person who is a Full Member during only a proportion of a financial year shall not be required to pay that year's full annual per-person levy, but only a corresponding proportion thereof. (In some situations an exiting Member may thus be due a partial refund.)
6. Any per-lot levy shall be fixed at a uniform rate per Separate Lot to the intent that each Owner Member, or group of Owner Members, owning a Separate Lot shall pay a uniform per-lot levy. Any per-lot levy shall be the personal obligation of the registered proprietor of the Separate Lot against whom the levy was made at the time the levy fell due for payment. Joint registered proprietors of Separate Lots shall be jointly and severally liable for all per-lot levies levied against them.
7. Any payments due by Owner Members in accordance with the provisions of the Land Covenants shall be deemed to be levies due pursuant to this clause.
9. Payment of annual levies shall be made 6-monthly in advance. The first instalment of an annual levy shall be due for payment on the 1st day of April of each year and the second instalment of an annual levy shall be due for payment on the 1st day of October of each year or such other dates as the Society may determine. In the first year of a Separate Lot being created, the annual per-lot levy for that lot shall be calculated pro rata according to the duration of the lot's existence.
10. The annual per-lot and per-person levies shall remain fixed for the first three years of the Society’s existence, with no special levies during this time. The Society shall determine these initial annual levies based on anticipated costs during those three years.

9. Enforcement

1. The Members agree that any Owner Member who defaults, for a period of one calendar month from the date of receipt of a notice of demand, in payment of a financial contribution payable pursuant to these Agreements is deemed, at the expiry of the period of one calendar month to have granted in favour of the Society an agreement to mortgage that part of the Land owned by the Owner Member, which agreement may be secured by caveat, and shall protect the debt owing.
2. If any contribution is not paid within one calendar month of the due date for payment the Society may require a monthly late payment fee until the Member's contributions are paid. The fee each month shall be calculated as the unpaid balance (not including previous late payment fees) multiplied by one tenth of the annual overdraft rate on the Society's bank account. (E.g., if the Society's annual overdraft rate is 13%, a Member's monthly late payment fee will be 1.3% of their unpaid balance not including previous late payment fees. This is an example only.) If the Society is put to any additional costs because of the late payment then these costs can be recovered from the Member.
3. The Society may, in accordance with these Agreements, take such action as is reasonably necessary to recover payment of any levy that is due and to enforce the obligation of any Member, including compliance with the Land Covenants. The Society may, in accordance with these Agreements, allow a Member to defer payments that would otherwise have been due, on the basis of hardship, provided a written application has first been made by the relevant Member. Each Member acknowledges the Society has the right to remedy breaches of the terms of the Society Agreements and to recover from any defaulting Member costs associated with remedying such breach.
4. The Members must pay all levies in full and without set off. In particular, no diminution or abatement of a levy shall be allowed for inconvenience arising from the making of repairs or improvements to the Common Property.
5. If a Full Member is in breach of their obligations to the Society for one calendar month following a notice of demand, or if they breach the Agreements, rules or policies of the Society, violate the law, breach good conduct or act violently or abusively towards a Turanga Farm community member or any associate of a community member, then the Society may by resolution apply the Conflict Resolution process (section 18).
6. If a Member at any time fails to perform or serve any obligation implied in the Society Agreements, the Society may, but is not bound to:
(a) pay any money which the Member ought to have paid;
(b) do all or any acts or things which the Member ought to have done;
(c) enter into any Separate Lot, or Common Property or any part of it reasonably necessary for the purpose of this clause.
The Society may exercise any powers contained in this clause through its agents, servants, contractors or workmen.

10. Cessation of Membership

1. Full Members must resign when they are neither a registered proprietor of a Separate Lot nor a Permanent Resident of the Farm. Such resignation shall be deemed to have taken effect from:
(a) the date they no longer own property at the Farm (if they already do not reside at the Farm); or
(b) The date they no longer reside at the Farm (if they do not own property at the Farm); or
(c) the date of the termination of their lease, license or other right to occupy; or
(d) the date of their eviction from Turanga Farm,
whichever date is first. A Member wishing to leave must explain in writing their reasons for leaving, and this letter shall be circulated to the rest of the Members. Clauses 10.1(a) and 10.1(b) are not intended to cover the circumstances where a person has recently become a Full Member and does not yet own property or reside at the Farm. It is recognised that there may be an interim period during which a new Full Member neither owns property at the Farm nor resides at the Farm in which event clause 10.2 shall apply.
2. If a Full Member
(a) has not yet gained proprietorship of a Separate Lot or Permanent Residency at the Farm and
(b) has not attended any meeting of the Society in the last 6 months
then their membership may, at the election of the Society, come under review by the Society, and may be rescinded if the Society so resolves. When considering any motion to rescind a person's Full Membership in this regard, only Owner Members and Full Members who are Permanent Residents of the Farm shall have Decision-Making Rights, though the Member in question shall be invited to attend and be given speaking rights. A person's membership shall not come under review more than once in any calendar year.
3. The Society may by resolution revoke the membership of a Full Member, in accordance with the Conflict Resolution process (section 18).
4. Any lease, license or other right of occupation offered on land or buildings within Turanga Farm must specify that a tenant's expulsion from the Society is a breach of the terms of the lease, license or other right of occupation. Owner Members must evict any resident who has been expelled from the Society and must provide them with no longer than one month’s notice to leave unless prohibited by legislation from doing so. In the event a legislative requirement imposes an obligation to provide a longer period of notice, the Owner Member must evict the resident within the shortest period of time lawfully possible.
5. An Associate Member shall cease to be a Member of the Society if and when they tender their resignation, or if and when the Society resolves to terminate their membership.

11. Governance

1. All Meetings shall use the Society's Modified Consensus Protocol for decision-making, with consensus required to adopt any proposal. Consensus shall be deemed to be achieved when no-one with Decision-Making Rights has a valid objection to the proposal (see clauses 11.2, 11.3 and 11.4 regarding who has Decision-Making Rights, and clause 11.5 regarding validity of objections). In situations where consensus is not forthcoming, and 75% of those with Decision-Making Rights deem that a decision is urgent, the proposal may be put to vote by those with Decision-Making Rights, with a 75% majority required for its adoption.
2. Subject to the exceptions laid out in clause 11.3 and 11.4, the allocation of Decision-Making Rights and method of counting votes are determined according to the nature of a given proposal:
(a) If:
(i) the adoption of the proposal would result in expenditure from the Infrastructure Fund, and
(ii) that expenditure is not required as a matter of emergency in order to protect the health or well-being of people or property,
then only Owner Members shall have Decision-Making Rights, and if the proposal is put to vote then one vote shall be counted per Separate Lot represented, with the proviso that a person (or persons jointly) owning multiple lots shall only receive a single vote for the lot they Permanently Reside on, and none for further lot(s) that they own. Two or more Owner Members who Permanently Reside on the same lot as each other shall receive equal fractions of a vote, totalling a single vote between them. Owner Members representing at least half of all Separate Lots must be present for such a decision to be made.
(b) For all other proposals, all Full Members shall have Decision-Making Rights, with one vote counted per individual if the proposal is put to vote.
3. Members who are in default of their obligations to the Society shall not have Decision-Making Rights. If the Society has decided by resolution that a Member is in breach of these Agreements or any other agreement, policy, protocol or decision of the Society, then the Member shall have no Decision-Making Rights in relation to any proposed corrective, preventative or disciplinary action relating to that breach, though they shall be afforded speaking rights. Members who are not present at a meeting have no Decision-Making Rights. Associate Members have no Decision-Making Rights.
4. If required by an Owner Member's mortgagee, a mortgagee shall have the right to attend meetings of the Society with full speaking rights and the first mortgagee shall have the right to exercise the Owner Member's usual Decision-Making Rights instead of the Owner Member.
5. An objection by any person to a proposal shall only be deemed valid if, following discussion, at least one other person with Decision-Making Rights believes that the motive of the objection is either to uphold the Core Principles or a prior decision of the Society, or to protect the safety of the Members.
6. For any matter under discussion, speaking rights may be restricted to the Principal Officers and those with Decision-Making Rights regarding that matter, if those parties all agree that this is required because of urgency.
7. The Society shall reconsider a decision if and only if a minimum of three Full Members so request, and only if proper notice is given in accordance with the requirements of the Agreements.
8. The Society may appoint committees consisting of at least one Full Member and such other people as they think fit, and delegate power to them with or without power to co-opt. Such committees shall be limited to activities that further the objects of the Society and are in accordance with the Core Principles. They shall have no power to commit the Society to any financial expenditure, except:
(a) by express authorisation by resolution of the Society, and
(b) restricted to such spending limit as the Society shall impose.
9. Other than as prescribed by statute or these Agreements, the Society may regulate its proceedings as it thinks fit.

12. Meetings

1. Society meetings shall be held as and when the Secretary determines, in accordance with these Agreements and with other policies outlined in the Meeting Agreements and Modified Consensus Protocol. Meetings are open to attendance by all Members and Prospective Members, as well as any other people invited to attend by the Society or by a Principal Officer. All eligible attendees are encouraged but not required to attend. Meetings shall be convened by the Coordinator or the Secretary, and facilitated by a facilitator appointed by the Coordinator or Secretary.
2. The quorum for any meeting shall be at least half of all Full Members.
3. The annual general meeting shall be held between 1 April and 31 August each year.
4. Special meetings may be called by resolution of the Society or in accordance with this clause. If either:
(a) Owner Members representing at least 5 Separate Lots, or
(b) at least 33% of all Members
provide a written requisition to the Secretary requiring a meeting, the Secretary must make all necessary arrangements for the meeting to take place.
5. The written agenda and supporting papers for each meeting shall be circulated to all Members at least 7 days before any meeting. In the case of an annual general meeting these shall include copies of the Annual Report, Statement of Accounts, and notice of any motions and the Principal Officers’ recommendations. If for any reason any Member fails to receive these documents, this shall not invalidate the meeting or its proceedings.
6. Any person who is unable to attend a meeting is entitled to nominate (in writing) another Full Member to attend the meeting as their proxy. The proxy may not exercise any Decision-Making Rights on their behalf, but shall be afforded the same speaking rights that the absent person would have had.
7. The Society’s Communication Agreements and Meeting Agreements apply to all participants in meetings. Continued violation of those rules shall result in the offending person being banned from meetings until such time as the Society is satisfied that person is willing and able to adhere to those rules. A banned Member may be represented at meetings by proxy (see clause 12.6 above).
8. Any Member wishing to give notice of any motion for consideration at any Meeting shall forward written notice of the same to the Secretary not less than 14 days before the date of the meeting. The Principal Officers may consider all such notices of motion and provide recommendations to Members in respect thereof.
9. The Secretary shall organise for the minutes of each Meeting to be written up and circulated among the Society within 7 days of the meeting, and all such minutes when confirmed by the next such meeting and signed by the Coordinator shall be prima facie evidence that that meeting was duly called and shall prima facie be a true and correct record of what occurred at that meeting.
10. The business of the annual general meeting shall be:
(a) Minutes of the previous annual general meeting(s);
(b) Annual Report of the Coordinator;
(c) Statement of accounts;
(d) Election of officers;
(e) Fixing of the annual levies for the ensuing year;
(f) Motions of which notice has been given;
(g) Approval of plans for the balance of the current and next calendar years;
(h) General business; and
(i) Place of the next annual general meeting.

13. Officers

1. The annual general meeting shall elect from among the Full Members three Principal Officers: a Coordinator, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Nominations for these positions shall be made at the annual general meeting.
2. The annual general meeting shall also elect from among the Full Members two Substitute Officers ("First and Second Substitute Officers"). During any period that a Principal Officer is unavailable, one of the Substitute Officers shall take over their pressing responsibilities and be deemed to be appointed to that office. If only one Principal Officer is unavailable, the First Substitute Officer shall (if themselves available) have precedence for that office. A Substitute Officer may fill only one Principal Office at a time.
3. Each Principal Officer shall within one calendar month of submitting a resignation or ceasing to hold office deliver to that officer’s successor all books, papers and other property of the Society possessed by such former officer.
4. The Coordinator shall facilitate effective interaction of the various officers and committees of the Society in order to achieve the Society's objects and Core Principles.
5. The Secretary shall hold the Society’s records, documents and books, deal with and answer correspondence, organise meetings and perform such other duties as directed by the Society.

14. Finance

1. The Treasurer shall keep such books of account as may be necessary to provide a true record of the Society’s financial position, report on the Society’s financial position to each Society meeting, and present an annual Statement of Account (Income and Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet) to the annual general meeting.
2. The Principal Officers shall maintain bank accounts in the name of the Society, and all cheques and withdrawal forms shall be signed by any two of the Principal Officers (or Substitute Officers as per clause 13.2).
3. The Society shall establish internet banking arrangements and provide internet login capabilities to two of the Principal Officers. The Society shall from time to time agree a limit on the amount of funds that may be withdrawn from the account by internet banking. The Principal Officers shall be required to comply with any such restriction on their access to the bank account in the name of the Society.
4. The Society shall keep separate finances for two separate categories of activity in pursuit of the objects of the Society:
(a) an Infrastructure Fund, for the purchase, construction, modification, repair and rent of land, Buildings, Infrastructure and Machinery, plus any other activities that the Society shall resolve to include in this category and minus any land, Buildings, Infrastructure or Machinery that the Society shall resolve to exclude; and
(b) a General Fund for all other activities.
5. All money received on account of the Society shall be banked within seven days of receipt.
6. All accounts paid or for payment shall be submitted to the Principal Officers for approval of payment.
7. The Society’s financial year shall commence on 1 April of each year and end on 31 March of the following year.
8. The Society may at its option appoint an auditor (who is a member of the New Zealand Society of Accountants and not a Member of the Society) to audit the annual accounts of the Society and provide a certificate of correctness of the same.
9. Should a Member or Prospective Member request a copy of the most recent financial statements of the Society, or minutes of a given meeting, or copies of contracts entered into by the Society, the Society must provide such copies within 5 working days of both a written request and payment for this service being received. The cost for this service shall be determined by the Secretary according to the reasonable costs of providing such copies.
10. The Society shall ensure that its annual financial statements comply with the Financial Reporting Act 1993 (or any replacement legislation) and are distributed to Members as soon as is reasonably practicable, and in any event no later than 5 months after the Society’s balance date.

15. Execution of Documents

1. The Common Seal of the Society, if any, shall be retained by the Secretary.
2. Any contracts to be entered into by the Society shall be made in accordance with section 15 of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 or any replacement legislation. Any contract that might commit the Society to a total expenditure of $200 or more (or such limit as the Society shall from time to time determine) must be witnessed by a third person who is a Principle Officer. If the Common Seal is to be affixed to a document it must be witnessed by any two of the Principal Officers.

16. Alteration of Rules

1. These Agreements may be amended or replaced by resolution of the Society.
2. Any proposed motion to amend or replace these Agreements shall be signed by at least 5 Members and given in writing to the Secretary at least 14 clear days before the general meeting at which the motion is to be considered, and accompanied by a written explanation of the reasons for the proposal.
3. At least 7 days before the Meeting at which any such proposal is to be considered the Secretary shall post written notice of the proposed motion, of the reasons for the proposal, and of any recommendations from the Principal Officers in respect thereof to all Members.

17. Winding Up

1. The Society may be wound up under the provisions of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 or replacement legislation (“the Act”) provided that a resolution pursuant to section 24 of the Act may not be put to Members without the prior written consent of Auckland Council or its successor.
2. If the Society is wound up, the surplus assets after payment of all debts, costs and liabilities shall be transferred to the then owners of the Common Property as tenants in common.
3. No Member may take any action or refrain from doing anything that might directly or indirectly result in the winding-up or liquidation of the Society.

18. Conflict Resolution

1. Any conflict between Members ("the parties") shall be addressed in accordance with this clause. The parties shall proceed in turn through the steps set out in clause 18.5 until a solution is found or the steps are complete.
2. The steps set out in clause 18.5 are in addition to the Communication Agreements, Meeting Agreements, normal face-to-face interactions, Society meetings and other events the Society may run for the Members to address interpersonal issues, all of which should be the first means and venue for resolving conflicts.
3. At any point during this process, the Society may ban any Member or Members from meetings who are not adhering to Communication Agreements or Meeting Agreements or are considered a threat to the safety of any other Member.
4. At any point during this process the Society may prevent the Member or Members concerned from using or accessing the Common Property or any part(s) thereof.
5. The parties:
(a). Shall attempt to appoint a mutually agreed-upon member to assist them in reaching resolution.
(b). Shall formally request (via the Coordinator) a meeting of the Society to deal with the issue, at which the Society may appoint one or more Members to mediate.
(c). Shall attend a further meeting of the Society with an external facilitator appointed by the Coordinator.
(d). May give written notice to the other parties within two weeks of (c) if they require the disagreement to be referred to formal mediation within the rules of LEADR (Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution) Incorporated or such other rules or conditions as the parties may mutually agree, provided that the formal mediation process is to be completed within four weeks unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
6. If the dispute remains unresolved at the end of the steps described in clause 18.5 or one year from the commencement of the process the Society may by resolution take further measures according to the Conflict Resolution Manual, and after implementing those measures may revoke the membership of any or all of the parties involved. Any decisions made shall be final and binding on the Members.
7. No party shall commence a civil lawsuit until they have attempted in good faith to resolve the dispute by each of the steps in clause 18.5 including formal mediation.
8. Every Member has an obligation to alert the Society (via the Coordinator) to any issue or interpersonal conflict which may threaten the peace and congeniality of the wider community of Members and residents at Turanga Farm.
9. Nothing in clauses 18.1 to 18.8 shall prevent any party seeking urgent legal injunctions or restraints during the dispute resolution process.

19. Land care

1. The Society shall ensure the proper, competent lawful treatment of wastewater in accordance with Permaculture Principles and the Resource Consents.
2. The Society shall, at the Members’ cost, protect and maintain planting done in accordance with the Planting Management Plan on the Common Property. This may include maintaining fences on the common boundary of the Common Property and adjoining residential lots, as required by the Resource Consent.
3. The Society shall grant Auckland Council a right of entry to the Common Property at all reasonable times for inspection purposes as to the performance by the Society of such conditions contained in Resource Consents issued.

20. Notice

1. Any notice required to be given to a Member pursuant to these Agreements may be given by delivery to whichever address the Member shall have notified the Society of in writing, or in absence of such notification, to that part of Turanga Farm owned or resided at by the Member.
2. Each Member must provide the Society with such contact details as the Society may reasonably require for the purposes of implementing the requirements of the Agreements.

Schedule 1: Core Principles of the Society

Our core values are drawn from nature, in recognition that we are an inseparable part of nature:

  • Resilience: anticipating and designing ahead while staying open to new possibilities and understandings. Following permaculture principles.
  • Sustainability and a degree of self-reliance. Passing on a taonga (treasure) to future generations.
  • Deep connection, with respect and enjoyment. Raising awareness, valuing the subtle.
  • Feeling at home, with safety and serenity.
  • A partnership, as opposed to a dominator, model of life.

These aspirational values translate into principles for all aspects of Turanga Farm. We honour the process of working towards these principles, as a creative journey in itself:

Creating intentional community: We are actively developing the skills needed to build a mutually supportive and encouraging community. When community works, everything else follows. We are building a robust culture like an ecosystem: interconnected, with openness, honesty and deep understanding, and freedom to move in and out of public and private space. This can sustain joy and inspiration, and nurture individuality. To strengthen community relationships and value people's skills, we encourage sharing and exchange. To have a full range of ages present, we are finding ways to make living here affordable to young people, and to allow people to have their work here. We treat children as people and include their input.

A sustainable environment: Land management will be modelled on natural ecosystems according to organic, permaculture principles, with substantial areas devoted to wild natural landscapes. We respect and care for all we look after, and treat everything as alive and connected. We intend to rely largely on produce from our farm as well as local exchange, and close the loop of resource use and reuse. Working together will help share the load, and there is room for individual enterprise. We hope to cooperate during building, and will use passive solar design and ecological materials. We're working towards being carbon-neutral and self-sufficient in energy, using simple and economical technologies.

Pioneering a new paradigm: Recognising that our future is uncharted, and that discovering the way to live it will be a creative experiment, we are pioneering a system change based on life-sustaining values. These values are the core of resilience. Navigating our path together as a healthy, intact group is as important in this process as any particular goals we might strive for. By engaging in ongoing learning, we aspire to become a seed-bank of experience and knowledge for ourselves and others; we'll gather and spread these seeds by partnering with wider communities around us through education, sharing and exchange.

Schedule 2: Permaculture Principles

These are summarised from David Holmgren's book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

Ethical Principles

  1. Care for the Earth.
  2. Care for people.
  3. Set limits to consumption and reproduction, and redistribute surplus.

Design Principles

  1. Observe and interact.
  2. Catch and store energy. (“Make hay while the sun shines.”)
  3. Obtain a yield.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services.
  6. Produce no waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate.
  9. Use small and slow solutions.
  10. Use and value diversity. (“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”)
  11. Use edges and value the marginal.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change.



END OF SOCIETY AGREEMENTS

Related documents follow:

Initial resolutions of the Society

At the moment of the inception of the Society, it adopts the following resolutions:

  1. The following individuals shall become Full Members subject to their obtaining ownership of a Separate Lot or otherwise obtaining residency at Turanga Farm (they are exempted from the usual Entry Process, as they have completed an equivalent entry process prior to the Society's formation):
    • Jill Whitmore
    • Amyria Taylor
    • Brian S...
    • Ben Whitmore
    • Dido Dunlop
    • Fiona Kenworthy
    • Andy Kenworthy
    • David Rose
    • Najam-ul Haq
    • Susan Whitmore
  2. The annual per-lot levy shall be $2,500.
  3. The annual per-person levy shall be $0 (nil).
  4. The Principal Officers for the first year of the Society's existence shall be Amyria Taylor (Coordinator), [Name] (Secretary) and Brian S... (Treasurer). The Substitute Officers for the first year of the Society's existence shall be Ben Whitmore (First Substitute Officer) and [Name] (Second Substitute Officer).
  5. The limit on withdrawal from Society accounts via Internet banking shall be [choose some limit].

Communication Agreements

  • Look after each other's safety. Much of our sense of safety resides in feeling able to speak and be heard. Respect others' need to speak, and refrain from dominating, interrupting, shouting or belittling. Conflict should be approached respectfully, honestly, civilly, and without violence or personal attack. All members are responsible for upholding a safe, peaceful and supportive environment.
  • Mutual respect and open honesty is a guiding principle: Treat all opinions respectfully, but honestly. In a community of individuals, others' ideas can sometimes seem surprising; this doesn't mean they're wrong or without value. They may be innovative or unconventional. Take time to entertain another's point of view before passing judgement, and if you disagree, explain why. The search to truly understand another, and have them understand you, is one of the most creative and bonding acts of community.
  • Nurse relationships, not hurts. Express what you feel so the other person knows. Choose the right time for direct and honest communication, focusing on shared understanding and resolving the problem, rather than on blame or shame. Recognise that while they are responsible for their actions, only you can be responsible for your feelings in response to their actions.
  • Speak for yourself, rather than presuming to speak for others. Phrasing your opinions in terms of "I", rather than "you", "we" or "people in general" is more powerful and less likely to offend.
  • Groupwork stays in the group. People may discuss personal issues within the safety of a group process which they would not wish to discuss normally, or which may be confidential. Respect their privacy by not raising these issues outside that group: if they want to talk further they can broach the subject themselves.
  • Refrain from "white-anting", i.e., undermining community resolutions or processes without officially raising your concern. Concerns regarding meetings or any other community matter are best raised and discussed within a Community Meeting.
  • Work and play. Groups communicate better when they don't take themselves too seriously. Remember, hard slog is only a means; enjoyment, inspiration and creative fulfilment are ends in themselves, part of the reason for us being here at Turanga Farm.

Meeting Agreements

We are hoping to create a supportive and nourishing community here at Turanga Farm and we would like our meetings to reflect this. Our aim is to make meetings fun, efficient, inspiring, grounding and connecting, as well as providing opportunities for us all to learn more about ourselves and each other. The following rules, as well as our Communication Agreements, apply to all meetings:

  • Meetings start and end on time regardless of whether all are present. Please be punctual.
  • Attendance is expected at scheduled meetings. Notify the Secretary in advance if you cannot attend.
  • Adhere to the agenda: Keep on topic and focused on the issue. Meeting agendas will be distributed a week in advance. Members can contact the Secretary prior to this with items they wish to add to the agenda. Any deviations from the agenda must be agreed by resolution.
  • Practise active listening. Only one person at a time shall talk. Refrain from sidebars, so that we are all participating in the same meeting.
  • Participate: Every member holds a piece of the truth. Each member also shares responsibility for maintaining a co-operative and constructive atmosphere, keeping discussion on track, and actively progressing the group toward the meeting's goals.
  • Be willing to reach consensus: Approach decision-making with an open mind, ready to learn from others' views and adjust your own. Uphold the community's best interests, constructively seeking solutions and new proposals. Be willing either to agree with others or to support consensus even if you don't agree (see our Modified Consensus Protocol).
  • Quorum: A meeting will be deferred if there is insufficient representation.
  • No interruptions: Endeavour to not be interrupted during meetings (e.g. cellphones off).
  • Conflict needs devoted space: Healthy relationships and a sense of safety are vital to group functioning, so conflicts should be given full attention when they arise, with all other business temporarily set aside. If a conflict cannot easily be resolved by discussion, that conversation may be adjourned until after the meeting, so that business can continue. Only in cases of pressing urgency should a business item be completed before a conflict is addressed, or a disputed issue be decided by vote. See the Conflict Resolution Manual and Modified Consensus Protocol for more information.

Meetings require an appointed minutes-taker and a time-keeper, and are facilitated by a nominated facilitator. Meetings start with an icebreaker opening round, and end with a closing round.

Modified Consensus Protocol

  • Consensus can only operate effectively when all participants are on the same page; i.e., operating within the Core Principles that we are pioneering. Differences of opinion may often reflect differences of paradigm, and the first step to resolving disagreements may be to examine what is supported by the Core Principles.
  • Concerns and information are shared until the sense of the group is clear.
  • The Society's Communication Agreements are upheld, so all voices can be freely expressed and heard.
  • Ideas and decisions belong to the group; no names are recorded in this regard.
  • Differences are resolved by discussion: the facilitator identifies areas of agreement, and those areas that remain in disagreement, so as to push discussion 'deeper'.
  • The facilitator encourages clarification of the grounds for any disagreement: what exactly is the disagreement? What are the principles behind the disagreement?
  • When consensus appears to have been reached the facilitator summarises where the discussion has led to, asks if there are remaining concerns, and if not, proposes that the decision be minuted.
  • Dissenters' perspectives are embraced. All participants actively try to see others' viewpoints, discarding their own presumptions and sense of 'knowing best'. This is especially important, as it is difficult for a person to work collaboratively if they do not feel 'heard'.
  • All participants keep the unity of the group paramount, which may sometimes mean consenting to a proposal one doesn't personally favour. In this case one may express one's reservations and 'stand aside'. Consensus implies unity, not necessarily unanimity.
  • If more than one or two people express reservations it may signal that a better solution needs to be found, and the group may opt for further discussion or research.
  • Blocking consensus is an extreme measure, only to be used when a member feels a proposal endangers the group or its Members, or violates the agreed core principles of the group.
  • If any participant blocks a proposal, they may be asked to justify their reasons for blocking. If, after discussion, no other participant with Decision-Making Rights believes that the motive of the block was to protect the safety of the group or its Members or to uphold the Core Principles or a prior decision of the Society, then the block is considered invalid and does not stand. (Note that the other participants are only to judge the motive they believe to be behind the block, not whether they believe the person's argument is well-conceived, or whether they believe that person has correctly understood the Core Principles.)
  • In case of a block, it is highly desirable that further efforts be made to resolve the disagreement and reach consensus. One valuable approach may be to further examine different parties' interpretations of the Core Principles that lie at the heart of the disagreement, in an attempt to ascertain whether these interpretations are truly consistent with the language and spirit of those Core Principles (and so deepen everyone's understanding thereof). If a decision must be reached urgently, the fallback is to decide by 75% supermajority vote.
  • Unless things are urgent, all meeting participants are encouraged to join in the consensus process. Those who do not have the ultimate right to block or vote on a proposal can still be involved in exactly the same way as other members prior to that point.

Community Hours

All Full Members are required to contribute work (or payment in lieu of work) that the Society deems useful in pursuit of its Core Principles.

  • Members are required to do 8 hours of work for the Community per month, or pay an hourly fee, set by the Society, in lieu of any hours they are unable to complete.
  • The Society shall depute a Member to allocate work roles and times according to people's individual skills and circumstances; individuals may negotiate with this person for types of work and hours that are convenient to them and useful to the Society.
  • Wherever reasonable and appropriate, flexibility shall be allowed in the scheduling of each Member's work hours. For example, 2 hours per week, or 3 consecutive days in a row every 3 months.
  • Work roles may include land- and community-based roles, as the Society deems fit. Such roles could, for example, include:
    • The work of Coordinator, Secretary or Treasurer, or other special roles created by the Society;
    • Childminding, so that other Members can contribute skills to the community;
    • Orchard maintenance, weed management, etc.

Community-Building Days

The Society shall run Community-Building days to train Members and Prospective Members in any group-process skills the Society deems useful for community living, pursuant to the Core Principles. These shall be held three times per year, or as the Society decides. All Full Members and Prospective Members are expected to participate.

Entry Process

1. Entry Process applications are undertaken on an individual basis. Each individual in a couple must complete their own Entry Process and submit their own application. The fact that they are a couple is taken into strong consideration, but does not guarantee that the outcome of both applications will be the same.
2. The Entry Process shall be overseen and administered by a Full Member delegated by the Society (the "Community Coordinator", not to be confused with the Society's Coordinator).
3. Entry Process:
(a). The applicant initiates the Entry Process and becomes a Prospective Member by lodging an Expression of Interest in the form required by the Society, as a formal acknowledgement of their desire to join the Society. After attending at least one prior meeting of the Society, and having read through the relevant documentation outlined in the “Required Reading for New Members” document, the applicant shall submit their Expression of Interest in writing alongside a completed Introductory Questionnaire, to the Community Coordinator, who shall circulate this to the Society Members. The applicant will then be expected to present their Expression of Interest in person at the next available Society meeting. An Expression of Interest must also be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee. This fee shall be set as the Society from time to time resolves, or in absence of any resolution it shall be $100.
(b). In conjunction with their expression of interest, Prospective Members are requested to notify the Society regarding any serious physical or psychological health conditions or addictions they might have, as well as any criminal convictions. This allows the community to better understand and support the person, and if they are approved as a Member, it indicates the community's willingness to work through those issues if they present a problem within the community. The Society will also check whether Prospective Members appear in registries of violent and sexual offenders.
(c). Once an Expression of Interest has been lodged the Prospective Member shall be assigned a Buddy from within the Society. The role of the Buddy is to liaise with the Prospective Member regarding all Society matters. The Buddy will mentor and support the Prospective Member in meeting all the Entry Criteria prior to a Final Application for Membership.
(d). The Entry Criteria, which must be met prior to lodging a Final Application for Membership, are as follows:
(i). The Prospective Member has been guided in detail through the required reading by their Buddy (as outlined in the Required Reading for New Members document), and has given signed agreement that they will adhere to it.
(ii). The Prospective Member has attended at least 50% of the Society meetings (and a minimum of one meeting) held since they lodged their Expression of Interest.
(iii). The Prospective Member has attended at least one community meal.
(iv). The Prospective Member has attended at least one Community-Building Day held after the date they lodged their Expression of Interest. They are encouraged to attend all Community-Building Days.
(v). The Prospective Member has attended at least one community working bee held after the date they lodged their Expression of Interest. They are encouraged to attend all working bees.
( ). The Prospective Member has submitted a Financial Questionnaire.
( ). The Prospective Member has attended a Reciprocal Interview for 1 hour at a Community meeting. This is an opportunity for the Society and Prospective Member to ask questions of one another.
(e) Community members are individually responsible for communicating any potential objections to granting a person membership. Concerns, even if they seem slight need to be raised with the group as early in the process as possible. The Community Coordinator can help to organise a suitable time/forum for group discussion. The only permissible grounds for denying membership are that the Prospective Member has not completed the requirements of the Entry Criteria; or that there is a concern that they might not support the Core Principles of the Society; or that there is a concern that their becoming a member might directly or indirectly endanger the Society or its Members (see the Society Agreements, clause 6.3). The Community Coordinator shall then inform the Prospective Member whether any such concerns have been raised.
(f). A Prospective Member meeting the Entry Criteria may lodge a Final Application for Membership, which should be submitted in writing, along with a letter explaining in detail the Prospective Member’s intentions in becoming a Member of the society. The letter should explain:
(i). The Prospective Member’s intentions about living at Turanga, i.e. why they want to be here.
(ii). Reflections on how you found the Entry Process - what have you learnt, enjoyed, found challenging.
(iii). Looking ahead. Give us a summary of your intentions from here. How soon will you be ready to purchase/build? How you will accommodate yourself whilst building? Are there any roles within Turanga Farm that you wish to take on? How are your time committments going to be?
(iv) How can we support you from here? Any feedback for the group so far?
(g) Discussion of this application will be put on the agenda of the next available Society meeting that both the Prospective Member and their Buddy are available to attend. The application and letter shall be circulated to other members at least one week prior to the meeting. At the meeting any final questions and discussion may be raised. Full Membership shall be granted provisionally, subject to the person obtaining ownership of land or residence at Turanga Farm.
4. The Society may resolve as it sees fit to allow individual exceptions or alternatives to this Entry Process, for example, for people currently living overseas or people who have previously been Full Members.

Conflict Resolution Manual

In case of a dispute between Members, it is the responsibility of all Members, including those in conflict, to seek a resolution that as much as possible restores good relationships, rebuilds trust and prevents further harm to any party, and is in accordance with the Core Principles of the Society.

The healthy functioning of our community relies on open, honest and non-threatening communication. In any conflict, disputing parties should strictly adhere to the Communication Agreements and avoid physical contact.

All parties should make good-faith effort to understand each other and find a peaceful and mutually agreeable resolution through the Conflict Resolution process (section 18 of the Society Agreements).

Penalties or restrictions imposed on any party shall be for correction or prevention, never to punish or humiliate.

If a Member is deemed to be in breach or misconduct as per clause 9.5 of the Society Agreements, then the Society may enact the following series of graduated consequences:

  1. Engage the Member in the steps of the Conflict Resolution process, clause 18.5 of the Society Agreements.
  2. Draw up a contract with the Member which requires them to undertake certain actions or changes and attend regular meetings with the Society or a delegated committee to inform them of progress.
  3. Ask the Member to live elsewhere for a given period.
  4. Revoke the Member’s membership (which would automatically result in an offer of sale of their property to the Society; see the Covenants).

Some of the above steps may not be legally enforceable, but the Member may voluntarily accept these measures to avoid other measures being applied.

Policies Regarding Non-Members

  • A Dependant is the child or charge ('charge' in the sense of legal custody, guardianship or responsibility) of a Member. From the age of 18 they have the option to go through the Entry Process and apply for Full Membership. Failing this (and unless they are legally incompetent), they will from the age of 30 be considered a Community Visitor rather than a Dependant.
  • A Wwoofer (“willing worker on organic farm”) works in exchange for food and accommodation from the Society or from an individual Member. Standard working hours, unless resolved otherwise by the Society, are four hours a day, six days a week. Duration of stay shall be decided on an individual basis, with no maximum limit.
  • A Community Visitor is a visitor to Turanga Farm who is not a Wwoofer, who may by invitation of a Member temporarily reside on-site. It is preferred that the community be given one week's notice of a visitor staying longer than one week, whether they reside on Common Property or a Separate Lot. If a visitor resides longer than a year, they shall be expected to participate in Community-Building Days, working bees and Community Hours. The Society may at its discretion waive these requirements.
  • A Friend of Turanga does not live in or own property at Turanga. They may participate in the community hours scheme and receive a share of farm produce according to their active contribution.
  • A Prospective Member is a person who has submitted a formal Expression of Interest to the Society and is currently working through the Entry Process (see Entry Process document) with their Buddy, with the aim of becoming a Full Member. As a part of the Entry Process they are expected to be involved in Society meetings, social events, Community-Building Days and working bees. They are encouraged to express their ideas and opinions at Society meetings (though as non-Members they have no Decision-Making Rights).

All non-members visiting or residing at the Farm are subject to the Society’s Communication Agreements and other rules, and may be required to leave in case of extreme behaviour such as violence or illegal activities. Each Member shall ensure their guests abide by these rules, and provide access to the Farm only in compliance with these rules. Non-members shall be required to pay a fee set by the Society should they wish to join in community activities, as well as any other fees the Society may choose to impose for use of community facilities and resources.


End of document

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