Stella Nova

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SFMC - Stella Nova

1997 March Special General Meeting

A special general meeting was held in place of the March 1997 regular monthly meeting to decide on several key issues concerning the future of the club.

  1. Change the financial year
  2. A new name for the club
  3. Change of Venue


Because of the substantial changes to the club structure voting was opened to everyone at the meeting, on the same conditions as apply to an inauguration meeting.


Financial Year

The financial year was changed from the calendar year to the standard financial year (April-March). This has many advantages, not least that it defers the cost of subscriptions away from the Christmas period when many people have a restricted cash-flow.

This does not affect the AGM, which will continue to be held in conjunction with the normal December monthly meeting.

New Name

A long list of alternatives for names was presented to the meeting;

This was a long and involved motion, and many comments were made. A common theme was a desire to mix something "special" with something descriptive. From this it seemed likely that Stella Nova would be incorporated into the name somehow. There was also debate about identifying as Auckland or New Zealand.

  1. Two methods for voting were considered:
  2. Segrating the list by category, choosing a category, then choosing a name within that category; and
  3. Dutch auction-style elimination of the least favored contenders.

As categories could not be decided on, the second method was adopted without dissent.

Voting was by show of hands for the initial round: any name not getting at least 10 votes (out of the 37 present) was discarded. Science Fiction Modellers Club got 8 votes, and was therefore discarded.

From the six options remaining after the first round, 3 were selected by a preference vote in the second round.

On the third round the name Stella(r) Nova won by a clear majority, so no elimination round was required.

An extra round of voting occurred to select which variant of the spelling would be adopted, either Stellar Nova as two English words, or Stella Nova as the scientific phrase drawn directly from Latin. The Latin Stella Nova won by 19 to 8, with 3 abstentions.

Change of Venue

There has been some discontent with the current venue for some time; it has odd shaped rooms for a start, and is generally slightly grotty. Consideration therefore is being given to moving to another venue.

This was to be a straightforward consideration of options from the community halls run by the Auckland City Council, but unfortunately the department at city council that manages them was in the middle of being completely revamped, and no bookings were possible before the meeting.

It had been suggested that the Western Districts Fast-draw Clubrooms would be suitable, but being further west than any of the current club members this was not a popular option. In the the words of Maree Sole: You lot can all go and meet out there, but the crew isn't going with you.

Therefore the only viable options available to consider were:

No firm commitment was made, but dissatisfaction with the city council lead to a motion being passed directing Martin Kealey to negotiate with the Auckland Horticulture Council for a suitable time-slot and room allocation.

As it was likely to result in a change of day (to the third Wednesday of the month, being a time when a better choice of room was available) a hand vote was put and approved for this.


These were originally notified for the meeting but as they are not constitutional amendments, no motion was actually necessary or requested.

Satellite Groups

Although the club has for some time had a model-making workshop, this formalizes arrangements for all kinds of satellite groups. Quite a number are now in operation.

Christmas / Summer events

The entertainments subcommittee has proposed splitting the traditional "Christmas camp" into two events:

A major reason for this change is the change to 7-day shopping, which means that members who work in the retail trade are now unable to attend.

Charging for events

All club events carry a surcharge for non-members; a figure of between 33% and 50% (rounded up to the next dollar) is currently under consideration.

Last updated by Martin on 17 Apr 1997