Who we are
The Teachers' Professional Association of New Zealand (TPANZ) is a professional association whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment or professional engagement.
The constitution provides the basis for a new type of organisation that focuses exclusively on the professional development, representation and protection of its members. We provide our members with experienced legal support, collective agreement bargaining, professional indemnity insurance and much more!
This Association is built around each Branch. It's a "ground-up" organisation rather than a "top-down" one. The Branch Executive, who you elect, will deal with all matters in your region. The Branch also sends delegates to the National Convention who elect the National Executive.
Eventually, each branch will have its own guaranteed sub-account and finances controlled by the branch members themselves. Members have a real say in how their money is spent, including on educational and professional development needs.
The TPANZ Constitution
The Teachers' Professional Association of New Zealand. (TPANZ) is an incorporated “Not for profit” member-based society registered by the New Zealand Companies Office. The constitution sets out the rules under which TPANZ runs.
Our constitution may be read here.
1. Member's Interests are our First and Only Interests
TPANZ does not have a party political wing, or any other body set up which could take priority over our members' interests. Teachers' interests are our only interests.
We only support public education policy issues which benefit teachers first and foremost.
2. Party Political Contributions
Our constitution not only prohibits party-political financial contributions, but any future executive who attempts it will find themselves personally liable for any members monies contributed to a political party or a party political cause.
This means that members’ money or resources can in practice never be used for any party political purposes.
3. Executive Refreshment
Other than for the inaugural period (whilst we are developing systems and training) the Executive, meaning the President, Vice President and Treasurer must change every two years. There will always be fresh blood at the top. Unlike many unions, there are no jobs for life in the TPANZ.
4. Separation of Policy Determination and Service Provision
The elected teacher’s executive makes policy. The contracted Service Providers who are the business people and the legal and industrial relations specialists, conduct service delivery. We keep both arms separate. Support for member issues needs to be tightly managed to keep the association financially viable.
5. Devolved Branch Structure
Members can form branches to better represent regional, sectional or facilitative interests. TPANZ runs from the members up not from the top down.
Branches automatically get a share of the membership fees and with the support of their branch members. They can also raise voluntary levies of the branch members involved to help fund their specific branch interests. TPANZ remains New Zealand's most affordable union so there is room for modest levies if branch members vote for them.
The branch finances are not controlled by the executive, but by the branch executive, so all monies will be wisely spent on what branch members want.
6. Policy Developments and Focus on Member Benefits
The constitution sets out a policy development process.
Policy will continue to be developed by working and practising teacher members and will, as a result, promote what teachers see as important not what union officials would want.
The Teachers' Professional Association of New Zealand (TPANZ) is a union whose principal purpose is to protect and promote the interests of members in matters concerning their employment or professional engagement. No membership fees are used to support any political party, so we are able to source and/or provide representation for all members, on all issues.