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Published June 2011

Body Corporate Elections

What elections are needed?

Your body corporate must hold elections at each Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the following positions:

  • Election of a body corporate chairperson. Because the body corporate chairperson’s term in office ends at the close of each AGM (unless they resign or are removed earlier), the body corporate must elect a chairperson by ordinary resolution at every annual general meeting. Even if your body corporate already has a chairperson, the members must elect a new one or re-elect the current one.
  • Election of body corporate committee members. If your body corporate has a committee, the committee members’ terms of office will also end at the close each AGM. As with the body corporate chairperson, even if your body corporate already has committee members, you must elect new ones or re-elect the current ones.
  • Election of a subsidiary body corporate representative. If your body corporate is a subsidiary body corporate, elections must also be held at the AGM for a subsidiary body corporate representative. The subsidiary body corporate representative’s term in office is the same as the chairperson’s, ending at the close of each AGM. Even if your body corporate already has a subsidiary body corporate representative, you must elect a new one or re-elect the current one.

How is the election process run?

The chairperson will send all principal unit owners a notice of intention to hold an AGM. This notice requests nominations for any elections that will be held at the AGM. The notice will state when nominations need to be received by.

Once nominations have been received, unit owners receive a notice of AGM, which will list the nominees for any elections to be held at the AGM. The notice of AGM will also include any other relevant information relating to the election.

Anyone not attending the meeting can exercise their vote by post or by proxy.

Who is eligible to be a chairperson, committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative?

Only a principal unit owner can be a chairperson, a member of the body corporate committee or a subsidiary body corporate representative. This means your name must be on the title of the unit – being a spouse, de-facto partner or family member of a unit owner is not enough. Where the unit is jointly owned or owned by a company or trust, any of the joint owners or the directors of the company or trustees of the trust are eligible for election.

The term of office for anyone elected as chairperson, a committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative is until the close of the next AGM (unless they resign or are removed earlier). An eligible person can stand for re-election as many times as they like.

If a chairperson or subsidiary body corporate representative has been removed from office or has resigned, they are not eligible to stand in the election that is being held to replace them.

What happens if there is a vacancy because I sell my unit or resign from an elected position?

If a chairperson, committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative has an unconditional agreement for the sale and purchase of their unit and, as result of the sale, they will no longer be an owner of a principal unit in the development, they must give notice of their intention to resign from their position.

A chairperson, committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative could also resign at any time for other reasons by giving notice in writing to the body corporate.

If the chairperson or subsidiary body corporate representative gives notice they intend to resign, a notice of intention to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) must be sent to all unit owners, inviting nominations to fill the vacancy.

A chairperson’s or subsidiary body corporate representative’s resignation takes effect at the end of the meeting at which the new chairperson is elected.

Because a body corporate is required to have a chairperson (and subsidiary body corporate representative in the case of a subsidiary unit title development), when these positions are vacant, elections to fill them must be held as soon as possible.

If a committee member resigns, the body corporate committee only has to call an EGM to elect a new committee member if, as a result of the resignation, the number of committee members is reduced below the number required for quorum at committee meetings.

Can a chairperson, committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative be removed and replaced during the term?

Yes. Unit owners can request an EGM at any time during the year and vote by ordinary resolution to remove a chairperson, committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative.

If a meeting is called to remove a chairperson, committee member or subsidiary body corporate representative, that person has the right to appear and be heard at the EGM.

If the motion to remove the chairperson or subsidiary body corporate representative is passed, the body corporate needs to elect a new person to that role at the same meeting.

If the motion to remove a committee member is passed, the body corporate only needs to elect a new person to that role if the number of committee members is reduced below the number required for quorum at committee meetings.

A chairperson or subsidiary body corporate representative who is removed from office is not eligible for re-election at the meeting held to replace them.

What are the responsibilities of a body corporate chairperson?

The Unit Titles Regulations (Reg11) lists a number of duties that a chairperson has. The body corporate could delegate some or all of these tasks to the body corporate committee, if there is one. The duties include: 

  • maintaining the register of unit owners
  • preparing the agenda for each general meeting
  • chairing each general meeting (unless it is agreed at the start of a general meeting that another person will chair that meeting)
  • preparing minutes of each general meeting
  • recording resolutions voted on and whether they were passed
  • keeping financial accounts and records
  • submitting the body corporate’s financial statements to an independent auditor
  • receiving reports from the body corporate committee and distributing them to unit owners
  • signing documents on behalf of the body corporate
  • preparing and issue notices of resolutions to be passed without a general meeting
  • notifying unit owners of the result of any vote on a resolution to be passed without a general meeting
  • notifying the body corporate committee of any delegation of a duty or power by the body corporate to the body corporate committee
  • undertaking any other duties relating to the administration of the body corporate that the body corporate has decided by ordinary resolution to confer on the chairperson.

The body corporate could delegate to contract a professional body corporate manager to do some or all of these tasks (as well as any other tasks that may need to be done). 

If your body corporate wants to enter inco such an arragement it is important for it to be clear in the contract what exactly the professional body corporate manager is contracted to do. See our information sheet Service contracts.

Where can I find more information?

For Unit Titles advice and information call 0800 UNIT TITLE (0800 86 48 84) or email us at info@dbh.govt.nz