All you ever wanted to know about the CAN Committee, but were afraid to ask
What does the Committee do?
The CAN Committee has a governance role as well as it co-ordinates the activities of CAN. That means ensuring compliance with the requirements of being a registered charity and an incorporated society, overseeing and setting the direction of CAN's advocacy activities, as well as (more recently) managing our staff. Much of the specific activity of CAN (e.g. newsletters, submissions, policy, events, communications,Chainlinks) is handled separately by volunteers, who liaise regularly with the Committee.
In addition, Committee members can take the responsibility for specific activities such as:
- Seeing through one or more of the issues identified on the current Strategic Plan.
- Coordinating CAN policy development and updating current policies.
- Being part of the Staffing sub-committee.
- Any of the other roles identified on the Situations Vacant page.
How does the Committee operate?
The Committee generally meets once a month, usually via teleconference as its members are in different parts of the country. There is also an annual Committee get-together at which Committee members can catch up in person, and plan CAN's activities for the coming year. The Committee also meets at the annual CAN Do, a gathering open to all CAN members.
Much of the Committee's communication between meetings is carried out via the CAN website, which is also used as a centralised and secure repository for all CAN documents. E-mail is also used (as well as phone calls when needed) for one-on-one communication between Committee members.
Do Committee members need any special skills or experience?
For most Committee positions, no special skills or experience are required, apart from keenness and some ability to work positively with others. Obviously, some experience in cycle advocacy is helpful. If need be, CAN will fund training for Committee members into specific skills, e.g. governance, finances, media.
How much time does being on the Committee take?
This varies with the circumstances of each Committee member, and on what is happening. At the most basic level, a Committee member might spend on average around 1-2 hours a week. Some Committee members take on extra roles within the Committee, but not everyone does this and (in any case) does not usually happen until some experience is gained.
If other commitments (e.g. work, travel) mean that you can't focus on CAN business for a short period of time, generally the other Committee members are able to cover this - just let us know in advance.
Why would I want to go on the Committee?
The CAN Committee is an active one, so it's a good opportunity for people wanting to make a real difference and help make NZ a cycle-friendly place- as well as meeting and working with a positive bunch of other people who want to do the same. However, the Committee is very much behind the scenes so is an excellent counterpoint to being a local cycling advocate. Being on the Committee helps connect local groups to the national scene, so your membership of the Committee will help your local group know what is going on nationally.
CAN certainly doesn't expect you to go out of pocket helping us, so all reasonable expenses of travel, stationery, tolls, internet, etc while on CAN business can be claimed back. Funded training can also be provided where necessary, and the office-bearer positions (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) can also claim a small honorarium if necessary.
OK, that sounds like me. How do I get on the Committee?
Committee members are elected annually at the CAN Annual General Meeting (AGM). Our constitution requires that the Committee has a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and between 3 and 5 other members. Other people can also be co-opted onto the Committee as required. Committee members are elected for a one year term (but can of course stand for re-election at the end of each term if they wish).
The Committee generally has room for more keen people. Contact the secretary if you're interested or want any more information.
Remember too that, even if you feel that you can't commit at present to being involved with the Committee, there are plenty of opportunities for you to also help with our various tasks to keep CAN effective. Thanks for your interest!