NBA Special Resolution Passed | February 2016

You will likely be aware that on Friday 19 February, the Returning Officer advised us that the NBA membership voted to pass the special resolution to adopt Apiculture NZ’s constitution. Please click here to view the special resolution final result notice.

This means that as of April 1, the National Beekeepers Association will become Apiculture New Zealand Incorporated. This is an important milestone for beekeepers and for the wider apiculture industry.

Obviously not everyone voted in favour of this resolution, and we need to think about how we can reassure these members that this is a positive step for the future of their industry organisation.

In shifting the NBA into a more modern, active and powerful organisation, we hope we can help those who have reservations about this transition see the benefits this change will have – for you, your bees, and your industry.

The NBA Executive Council and Federated Farmers Bees Executive will meet on March 1 to discuss next steps.

There is still plenty of work to do to prepare Apiculture NZ to ‘open its doors’ in April.  A priority is to run a process to elect the organisation’s board and appoint its management team. We will be sure to keep you updated every step of the way.

Again, thank you for your support. This is a watershed moment for the apiculture industry – we look forward to shaping the industry’s future with you.

 Daniel Paul

National Beekeepers Association CEO

Update from IAIGB Chair, Neil Walker | December 2015

Industry consultation produces positive results

Five key changes have been made to the draft Constitution and Rules following feedback from industry through the consultation process. Working through that feedback, which for the most part was positive, occupied most of the AIGB’s time at its latest meeting in Hamilton on November 26.

The key changes are:

  • The size of the Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) board has been reduced from 12 to 10 members.  This has been achieved by dropping the requirement for appointed members.  The board will now comprise nine elected members and the Independent chair.  However, it will retain the option to co-opt people for special projects.
  • Changes have been made to the way members’ votes are counted to ensure the investment by commercial beekeepers in their industry is protected. 
  • Instead of referring to ‘hobbyists’, the Constitution now recognises ‘Non-commercial Beekeepers’ (beekeepers with up to 25 hives). 
  • Costs have been reduced for Non-commercial beekeepers.  They have dropped from $100 + GST to $75 + GST. In addition, subscriptions to the market sector members have also been reduced to $150 + GST.  The domestic sales levy for packers and processors has also been reduced to three cents per kilo. 
  • The rules regarding Regional hubs now provide more clarity and confirm their ability to control their own affairs. Input from the ApiNZ management will be in a supporting capacity only, or as when requested by a hub.

There were also a number of minor changes which were included according to suggestions made by submitters. These were very helpful in correcting errors and in highlighting smaller points overlooked in the first draft; we now have a much more robust document to submit to the members for consideration.

The now final Constitution and Rules have been given to the Executives of the NBA and Federated Farmers Bees, and you can click here to view.  Please take the time to have a look at the finished documents.
The name Apiculture NZ has been gifted to the organisation by John Hartnell who purchased it for that specific purpose. The company which held the name never traded.  John Hartnell kept the name ‘on the shelf’ so that it had no other connotations attached to it.
The next step is the special vote of NBA members that will determine whether the Constitution and Rules will be adopted.  This vote is timed to occur in February and we are all keenly awaiting the outcome of that process.
If the outcome of the vote mirrors the tremendous support for the concept that was expressed at the 2015 conference – and that has been a hallmark of other recent conferences - we can expect a very positive response that will see Apiculture New Zealand open for business on April 1.
And that’s why the AIGB is continuing to implement its work plan.  There is still a lot to do for an April 1 opening date, so we are pressing on with the key activities. And with that in mind, I do want to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that my colleagues on the AIGB have undertaken in recent months.
The AIGB members knew the role was voluntary and unpaid when they took it on and each member has given a significant amount of their time and energy to getting us to this point.  The board has worked professionally and collaboratively and their commitment to developing a Constitution and Rules that will support a unified industry organisation must be publicly recognised.
To those of you who provided feedback on the consultation – thank you.  You can be assured the AIGB considered every word very carefully and we recognised that many of you made some very good points – hence the changes we have made.

Neil Walker
Chair, Interim AIGB

Apiculture NZ consultation now open | November 2015

The Interim Apiculture Industry Governance Board (IAIGB) is now calling for feedback on the Draft Constitution, Strategic Intent and Membership Structure for Apiculture NZ. 

Click here to go to the Apiculture NZ Consultation page, and place your feedback by 5pm, Friday November 20, 2015.

Update from IAIGB Chair, Neil Walker | October 2015

Draft Constitution and Rules for new entity almost ready for industry consultation

The draft Constitution and Rules for the new apiculture industry association are almost complete and ready for distribution to industry for consultation.

The interim AIGB met for the third time on October 19 and spent much of the meeting working through the Constitution and Rules prior to them going to the NBA Executive Council and to the wider industry for feedback.

That consultation process should start in the next 10 or so days, and you will have the chance to consider:

  • The draft Constitution and Rules.
  • The proposed subscriptions and membership categories.
  • Member voting entitlements.
  • The new entity’s name and strategic plan.

Your comments and feedback on all these proposals will be welcomed by the AIGB.

Once that process is complete, we will aim to hold the special vote of NBA members, probably early in the new year.  The vote was initially timed for mid-December, but we felt it was wiser to push it back to make time for a robust and thorough consultation period with industry.

In addition, we realise that the beekeepers among you are flat out at that time of year and anything we can do to make life easier for busy beekeepers will be appreciated, we are sure.

Among other topics considered at the meeting were:

  • The subscription and membership categories and voting rights (part of the consultation material).
  • Branding for the new entity.
  • Progress with the work plan for the new entity’s establishment.  It’s on schedule.
  • The consultation process itself.
  • Arrangements for the NBA’s special vote.
  • Funding for the AIGB.

Suffice to say, the AIGB is doing a lot of work as quickly as possible to bring this new entity into existence.  It’s a hugely important piece of work and we know we are fulfilling the wishes of by far the majority of attendees at the 2016 conference – and of the wider industry.

Having said that, we don’t want to rush things.  The AIGB’s goal is to develop an industry association that will be fit for purpose for the dynamic and rapidly changing apiculture industry, and that will be appealing and attractive to thousands of industry participants.

We think we are well on the way to completing that task and we will look forward intensely to the consultation process and to hearing your views about what we propose.

In the meantime, for more information about this week’s AIGB meeting, please see the abridged minutes which are available here.


Neil Walker

Chair, IAIGB

Update from IAIGB Chair, Neil Walker | September 2015

The IAIGB held its second meeting in Hamilton yesterday.  Members spent a full day working on the project. They also heard submissions from two visitors in person and received some other written submissions which will be carefully considered during the process.

Key points for industry to note following that meeting:

The IAIGB held its second meeting in Hamilton on September 23.  Members spent a full day working on the project. They also heard submissions from two visitors in person and received some other written submissions which will be carefully considered during the process.

Key points for industry to note following that meeting

1. Industry consultation process being prepared now

Beekeepers and other members of the apiculture industry will soon be consulted on the structure of the new industry representative body that will be created from the NBA.

The consultation will enable industry members to consider a draft Constitution and set of Rules for the new organisation, its proposed structure, membership categories and funding streams.

Industry will be able to feed back and make submissions on the draft proposals and the AIGB will consider this input before producing a final version.

2.  A special vote by NBA members

That final version will then be put to a special vote of NBA members, timed for late December. The Old NBA constitution has been used as a basis for developing a new expanded constitution which will have a wider membership and also updates the language and procedures of the original NBA constitution which has not been comprehensively updated for many years. This revised document will need to get NBA approval in the vote.

A first draft Rules and Constitution for the new entity have been drafted and are now being worked on by AIGB members and sent away to be professionally polished before being put out to industry for the consultation process.

It is planned to bring out a draft giving all interested parties time to express an opinion and then after the AIGB has considered these submissions carefully a final document will be made ready to be voted on in December 2015.

Once the NBA has voted, and assuming the vote approves the Constitutional and Rule changes, we plan to have the new entity ‘open for business’ by April 1, 2016.

3. Moving quickly, but not rushing

The AIG Board notes the short time to progress the proposal and it is their goal to maintain momentum and move quickly, but not so quickly that industry feels rushed and ill-informed.

As such we want to give everyone as much transparency as possible and a chance to comment at every point.

4. Everything to gain and nothing to lose

The Board is mindful that the NBA is the platform for the new entity and we are striving hard to keep what’s best about the NBA, including its ‘local representation’.  We recognise this is an important element of the NBA, and it’s important that beekeepers have the ability to network with their peers.

We know too that many of you know we need something more and we are intent on developing a more modern association that is capable of, and able to, lead and support our increasingly diverse industry in the 21st century. This is especially so with the interrelated interests and stakeholders in the Industry that all have a place to play to make it a success. So our new association will have beekeeping at its heart, but will also be very inclusive of the wider groups, customer and suppliers who now also comprise our industry.

The AIG Board recognises the NBA as a business.  It’s a business that started over 100 years ago based on the needs of the industry then. And it’s been very successful and popular over the years, of that there is no doubt. But our industry has changed hugely in that time and, like any business, we need to adapt with the times – or we go out of business!!

It’s that latter option we will avoid by restructuring the NBA, by adapting it to meet the needs of the current and future market and by making it relevant to the new breed of ‘customers’ who now comprise the New Zealand apiculture industry.

5. What name is best?

According to the NBA remit the AIGB has to look at Industry branding. What should we call the expanded NBA which would advertise it as the go to group in the honey industry of New Zealand?  Various ideas were floated and the most popular choice was Apiculture NZ. What do you think about this? We intend to keep debating this and would welcome any clever alternatives.

6. And finally

We have heard various rumours are circulating that the AIGB has made a whole series of decisions already. However at this stage nothing has been decided on any subject. The Board will come up with proposals at a submission and final draft stage but we are very open minded on any of the points of discussion that members or stakeholders might raise and will consider all points on their merits.

Looking forward to working with you all.

Neil Walker 

Chair, IAIGB

New peak body for apiculture industry one step closer | August 2015

The apiculture industry is one step closer to forming a new industry association following the inaugural meeting of the interim Apiculture Industry Governance Board (AIGB).

The (AIGB), which met for the first time on August 26, has been tasked with establishing the new entity by the target date of April 1, 2016. This follows the recent 2015 Apiculture Industry Conference at which delegates indicated overwhelmingly that they favoured ‘unification’ and the establishment of a new peak body for the industry.

The new AIGB comprises 11 members from the apiculture industry and an independent chair who also has industry experience. Board members were selected by an independent consultant after applying for their roles following the 2015 conference.  Full details of the board are available on

The AIGB is operating to a terms of reference that focusses solely on the creation and establishment of the new industry organisation. They are working to a tight deadline and there is a lot of work to do in coming months to ensure the organisation is ‘open for business’ by the due date.

A key priority is to draft a proposed constitution and rules for the new organisation.

Because the NBA is being used as a ‘platform’ for the new organisation, the new rules and organisational structure will be based on the NBA’s, but they will be modernised and updated to reflect the wider apiculture industry as it is in 2015. This will require NBA members to formally approve the new constitution and rules through a special vote that will be held later this year.

In the meantime, a detailed work plan is being developed to project manage the development of the new organisation over coming months, and support its first year of existence through to March 31, 2017. Once finalised, that work plan will be posted on the website along with regular updates about the AIGB’s progress.

Founding Memberships

You can sign up to join the new body as Founding Members, by completing a Founding Member Commitment Form. Click here to download, and return via email to or post to:

NZ Apiculture Industry Unification Project
C/O PO Box 10792
The Terrace
Wellington 6143

More Information

Click on the links below to download the latest updates and information on industry unification. 

Founding Member Commitment Form

Interim Working Group Final Report

Introduction from IWG Chair and Proposed Structure Information

Questions and Answers