New Zealand Al-Anon General Service Board Newsletter
2021-2022 NZ Al-Anon Conference Goal:
“Clear Communication Throughout the Fellowship”
Please enjoy and share these highlights from our September 2021 Board meeting. It is important for the
democracy of Al-Anon that our fellow members know what we are working on and we rely on our service
structure for this to happen. The Board met by Zoom on 5-6 September 2021, six Board members and a minute
taker were present.
We write this note as we head into our fourth week in lockdown, with some of us at Level 4 and others in
Level 2. We hope all is well in your household. Wherever you are, we know this is an unusual, and potentially
unsettling, time – but hope that having contact with other members by phone, email, text or with electronic
meetings available, together we can make it. Thank you to all the tech savvy members out there helping our
members and groups to stay connected during the COVID lockdowns.
The NZ Al-Anon General Service Office (GSO) is physically closed in COVID levels 3 and 4. No literature orders
can be processed. The Office Manager will work from home with communication by email and phone being
answered during normal GSO opening.
We got a sneak peek at the 2021 NZ Al-Anon Service Conference Summary (NZASC). This is almost ready for
release to the fellowship, keep an eye out for it on the website before the end of September and it will be
available in printed form from the GSO.
We have started planning for 2022 NZASC which will be held 16-19 June 2022 at the St Francis Retreat,
Auckland with the theme “Dreaming Big”. The Board has confirmed that the Areas equalised conference
contribution for the 2022 NZASC is set at $650.00 per Area. This is expected to be paid to the GSO by 31
The National Public Outreach Coordinator confirmed that The Cutting Edge Conference on 18-21 September
2021 in Dunedin has been cancelled and the Phantom Campaign is postponed until all of NZ is at Level 2.
The Board completed the annual board inventory to ensure the healthy functioning of the board. As a result we
are planning a Board Development session for Board members in the New year. We spent time on succession
planning in preparation of members completing their service roles plus discussion on encouraging new board
members to come forward. We have also completed our annual review of the Board Strategic Plan which will
be looked at again in the Board Development session.
Current Board Vacancies
NRBM, CRBM, SRBM, General Secretary, Editorial Chair, Web Oversight, Archivist and Alternate Board Chair. We need more Board members and would like to see the positions of RBMS filled, the appointees to these positions are elected by the Areas and help the Board have the ‘big picture’ of what is happening nationwide in the fellowship and are important for NZ Al-Anon as a whole. Profile forms for these positions can be obtained from the General Service Office.
The NZ AA Convention with Al-Anon/Alateen participation will be held on 21-23 January 2022 at Rotorua Boys College. The Al-Anon/Alateen theme will be “Keep it Simple”. The Al-Anon/Alateen program will be uploaded to the website as soon as it becomes available. Registrations are open, please register early at www.aaconvention.org.nz.
At the World Service Conference (WSC) in April 2021, two motions were approved:
- The WSO Service handbook’s definition of Area to include non-geographically based groupings, such as Groups who meet electronically with members that represent no single geographic location such as an Area or Service Structure. (They will initially be part of a non-panel Area which will hold an Assembly and elect a Delegate. They then can petition the WSC to join the Conference).
- Eliminate the specific Policy on Electronic Meetings in accordance with Tradition Three: “The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group” – these meetings are now recognised as Al-Anon Family Groups (previously they were Electronic Meetings). (Electronic Meetings on pages 88-89 of WSO Service Manual V2, has been removed from the Service Manual. These groups, like face-to-face groups, will have all the service positions identified in the Service Manual, including an elected GR).
- The WSO requires all permanent Electronic Al-Anon Meetings to register directly with the WSO.
- EXAMPLE – If (say) an Area 8 group meets electronically on a temporary basis during the pandemic then that group remains a group within Area 8. If that meeting decides to change to meet electronically on a permanent basis, then the meeting must register with WSO and the “group” in Area 8 ceases to exist.
- The WSO does not list temporary International Electronic Al-Anon Meetings.
- Electronic Al-Anon Meetings registered with the WSO will automatically become part of the non-panel Area of the WSC structure approved at the 2021 WSC.
- Electronic Al-Anon Meetings cannot register directly to the non-panel Area.
- The non-panel Area has not yet been put into place with guidelines still be issued from the WSO.
- The NZ website will list NZ temporary and WSO permanent Electronic Al-Anon Meetings following their group conscience approval to do so.
- Send details of NZ temporary and WSO permanent Electronic Al-Anon Meetings to the GSO to be uploaded on the NZ website. They will be put on the appropriate list.
- The GSO will require Name of group, name of contact, day and time (time zone NZST/PDT) plus phone/email for instructions to join.
- Refer to pages 32- 33 of the WSO Service manual 2018-2021 V2 for procedures to start an Electronic Al-Anon Meeting. Documents mentioned are attached to this Board Newsletter.
- Breaches of copyright are taken seriously by WSO – see below for reading suggestions.
Note: all readings to be screen shared must be from Conference Approved Literature (CAL), must not be more than a single paragraph and must include the written copyright acknowledgement required by WSO:
“From [Identify the publication], Page Number [Identify the page number]. Copyright [Identify the year the publication was copyrighted], by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.”
- Have an electronic storage area that all members can access. This may include: an updated contact list, Group Electronic Meeting Guidelines, a protocol to be able to remove unwanted guests, a COVID level response chart, a calendar with meeting topics.
- Create Hosting Guidelines/Runsheet for your Chairperson and Host to follow for each meeting.
- Have a Chairperson, Host, Co-Host for each meeting (preferably one is able to assist with technology issues)
- Use a schedule/calendar to keep topics and format flowing and the opportunity for members to serve.
- Turn on Your Waiting Room – view and admit participants as they arrive.
- Reach out for help to your Area Delegate or the NZ GSO.
- eK-10 Newcomers Welcome pamphlet – purchase through WSO
Ask participants to:
✓ Be courteous and respectful as they would be in a face-to-face meeting.
✓ Rename themselves on screen to remove surnames (this may be done on entry).
✓ Mute unless asked to speak by the Chairperson.
✓ Participate with video on – feels as if you are really there, avoids the temptation to do other things, ensures participants are real and not impostors to a meeting.
✓ Use headphones if necessary to avoid other people being able to hear.
✓ Read Welcome, Closing etc (from WSO Manual Groups at Work section) or topics from CAL in their own books that they have with them or read from their private screens but do not screen share their screen electronically with others.
✓ Do not screen share outside publications or CAL without permission.
✓ Refrain from private Chats during the meeting.
✓ Check their room location and background is simple with no possible interruptions and no bright light behind them.
✓ Put cell phones on silent with notifications turned off as you would in a face-to-face meeting.
Progress, Not Perfection – We’re Still Learning
INTERNATIONAL AL-ANON EVENTS
2022 – World Service Conference in New York, USA – 26-30 April 2022
2022 – IAGSM in London, England – 13-15 October 2022
2023 – Al-Anon Family Group International Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico – 29 June-2 July 2023
Thank you for taking the time to be informed.
Yours in Service