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Bodhinyanarama - AGM
History Residents Committee Forest Tradition
Monastery AGM Minutes

General

The items below contain the minutes of the Annual General meeting for Bodhinyanarama monastery. Ajahn Kusalo took up residence in 2012 and records before that at are not available.

Hopefully the following will give you an idea of the workings of the monastery committee and its members.

2016

Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association—Annual General Meeting Minutes
17th July 2016, at the Monastery Sala at 12.30 pm


Present
Sangha: Ajahn Kusalo, Venerable Kusalachitto
WTBA Members: Simon Fern (Vice President),Su Mon, Sernty Lim, Janet Matehe, Sachini Wijesekera,Aru Vythilingam, Bo Khin, Khin NyoWin, Suan Duncan, Chule Rajapaksa,Viphavadee
Guest: Savitri Homer, Vino Homer, Bruce Chatfield, Lindsay, Carol Chan, Hwa Tan
Apologies: Heidi Ankers, Linda Ung, Nuk Thompson

Minutes of the meeting of the 2015 AGM was accepted.
Moved: Simon
Seconded: Su Mon

Matters Arising
Chan suggested that AGM minutes be published on line,
Simon moved AGM minutes be published on the website
Seconded: Ajahn Kusalo.
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Sangha Report
Presented by, Aj. Kusalo
I began writing this report by reading last year's. It is very gratifying to see that the basic good health of the monastery continues and that most of the future thoughts in that report have come to fruition. One of those that is especially pleasing is the interest from Sangha abroad. We have firm commitment from three monks to come here. One for vassa, although visa complications may see his arrival delayed. There is also a fourth who has expressed interest so we could be six monks in residence after vassa. We were happy to have Ajahn Sucitto with us for the best part of a year and his presence and dhamma was much appreciated. The other highlight of the year was Luang Por Sumedho's visit. This created a dhamma magnet and around the time we also had visits from Ajahn Kalyano and Luang Por Piak and the monks from Wat Patum in Napier. Part of this year's plan has been to look beyond our immediate boundaries to make connections with other monasteries and this has seen travel to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Napier and Thailand. As a result of this, there have been several reciprocal visits; Ajahns Medhino, Khemmavaro, Dhammasiha and venerable Issaro. We were also happy to have another visit from Ajahn Tiradhammo. Venerable Aruno, who was with us for two years, has returned to Europe. We continue with our weekly alms round and the teaching and retreat schedule, including the monthly Palmerston visit. A new addition has been the city meditation group.

The physical state of the monastery is in equally good health with several significant improvements. The most notable being the monks' toilet at the back of the sala. The hermitage kuti has had a major upgrade and the Chao Khun kuti has seen the work of several years result in a very private and more monastic environment. In relation to thoughts of extending our wider monastery connections, and inviting more senior monks to visit, there are accompanying thoughts to further upgrade this kuti; remodel the bathroom and possibly an attendants kuti. The space under the workshop has held potential for a long time and has finally evolved into the dormitory project. Small adjustments like the ramp handrail, the sala book display, the dana-sala cushion bin, electricity to the new kutis, the bhikkhu vihara ceiling... and the list is very long indeed with much work not so immediately visible. We are especially blessed to have strong commitment from our resident lay stewards. Most notably Aunty Suan and Bruce who have made a wonderful contribution both in terms of sharing responsibilities and in enhancing the monastery offering. In this context I should also mention Lindsay and Sebastian both of whom have been here for many months and have similarly added much to the health and well-being of Bodhinyanarama. There seems to be, and I am encouraging, a trend toward longer-term stays at the monastery. Lets see where that goes.

All of this, the entire body that is the monastery, would not be possible without all of you and, as I address this assembly, we must also include those absent, who are by far the majority of our community. This continues to be wonderfully multi-cultural. Our committee represents eight different ethnic groups. If all the monks arrive after vassa we will be six different nationalities. Regular dana offerings continue to arrive, festival events are very well supported, scheduled teachings likewise, schools and local groups visit on occasion and casual day visitors are numerous. It is difficult to quantify a community as diverse as this but all signs indicate health. As the abbot of the monastery - it is four years now - I feel an increasing joy when I reflect on this place and the people that enliven it. I have an enormous amount of gratitude: to the sangha, the lay residents, the committee, all our local supporters and generous overseas donors. While Bodhinyanarama is a monastic residence my hope is that it will continue to expand the range of opportunities it can offer to all sectors of the community.
Motion to accept the Sangha Report: Moved: Aru, Seconded: Simon. Accepted.

Vice President Report
Presented by: Simon Fern
Welcome and greetings to you all who have gathered here today for the AGM. Your attendance is appreciated, your time is a valuable commitment to the functioning of the monastery. From the committee perspective the last year has been steady and successful. There have been no need for further changes to the constitution so we have been able to concentrate on our core duties, supporting the resident and visiting Sangha when required.

The highlight of the year was the visit by Luang Por Sumedho. A lot of planning and hard work went into this event, involving the resident Sangha, all the committee and many lay supporters. The committee would like to personally thank the co-ordinator Sern-Ty Lim and his family for all their efforts, the result of which was a highly successful and happy visit.
There have been a number of work projects throughout the year. Before these proceed the committee has to consider each project in meetings or by group email. We all have the opportunity to comment on aspects such as finances, the value of the project and so on. It is always important to us to reflect the thoughts and wishes of the wider community and where possible we ask others outside the committee for feedback. Therefore it is essential that we are able to express differing viewpoints and to listen to each other with an open mind.
The committee would like to personally thank long term resident Bruce who has been the skilled handyman undertaking many of the building projects. Thanks also to Suan Duncan for her continuing work as kitchen manager. It was remarked on at our last meeting that all the improvements of the monastery buildings and grounds are looking well cared for.

There will be some changes to the makeup of the committee in the year ahead. Theja Wijeweera who has been assistant treasurer for many years is leaving for work in Auckland. Theja has been the longest serving committee member; we will miss his experience and his thoughtful approach to all matters. Ros Evans is also standing aside. Ros has been a valuable representative of MUBA. She has regularly driven from Palmerston nth and back to attend meetings, kept minutes at the AGM, always been committed to maintaining transparency and honesty in all aspects of committee business. Hopefully she will keep in touch and we maintain the link with the Palmerston North community.
Su Mon is relinquishing the Treasurer role. We are enormously grateful to Su for all the hard work she has undertaken, more than words can say. Thankfully she will remain as a committee member to help with the transition. A warm welcome to Sachini who has kindly offered to take on the role of Treasurer and to whom we extend our full support.

On behalf of the committee I would like to express much gratitude to Ajahn Kusalo in his fourth year as Head Abbot. This involves all aspects of management of the monastery, being available for the daily dana blessings, teachings during the week, leading the retreats and many responsibilities that we are not always aware of. Thank you Ajahn, your dedication shows that you truly care about this monastery and its community.
To finish a quote from a recent visitor Ajahn Tiradhammo - who wrote in his blog Tiradhammo's Ramblings: "Fortunately a number of monks from Thailand and Europe have expressed their interest in spending time at Bodhinyanarama, so it appears that Ajahn Kusalo's hard work of maintaining and expanding the amazing facilities and the exceptional generosity of the lay supporters will be suitably used."

Motion to accept the Vice President Report: Moved: Sernty, Seconded: Aj. Kusalo, Accepted.

Treasurers Report - 2015/16 Financial Year:
Prepared and presented by Su Mon.

The Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association (WTBA) maintained another healthy financial year with a net income after depreciation of $30,344 for the year ended 31 March 2016.  In 2015, the net income after depreciation was $21,782.

The positive net income shows that the income received, mainly from generous donations, is able to pay for the expenses incurred during the financial year, with some surplus (net income). The income and expenses for the 2016 period are $124,644 and $60,776 respectively. Total income is approximately $12.5k higher than last year’s result. This is largely driven by one-off generous donations towards the handrail and monks restroom project, and also donations during Ajahn Sumedho’s visit. Total expenses have slightly increased by $4k compared to 2015, mostly for maintenance work around monastery.
Money spent as expenses to maintain the monastery was the biggest component, with about $31,734 (25% of income).  This excludes depreciation costs which are associated with wear and tear on the monastery assets. If depreciation expense is included, it makes up 52% of income.

WTBA’s 2016 Balance Sheet is also healthy with about $2,088,822 of net assets. The fixed assets in total are valued at $1,319,280; with land and buildings being the primary asset, with a book value of $1,301,623.  During the 2016 financial year, one new asset was added – the handrail on the slope to the sala at a cost of $2,416.  
The value of term deposits in 2016 increased by $13,373 compared to the 2015 year, to a total of $589,462. This is primarily earned interest income on the WTBA term deposits. Total Current Assets,31 March 2016, $180,530.

Thank you to all the generous donors, the committee members, the dana counters, and receiptors for their on-going support of the monastery. A special thanks to Ajahn Kusalo, Sern-Ty Lim, Linda Ung, Simon Fern and Ros Evans for the support they provided me over the past year with the office administration tasks, dana counts and general moral support. Also to Jeremy Cole who continues to further develop and fine-tune the new online dana counter and receipting system. I would also like to acknowledge Viphavadee Krech for her dedication on the receipting task.

The WTBA Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2016 have not yet been audited due to timing constraints and as changes to reporting requirements for Charities are still being implemented. The committee intends to engage our previous auditors TFS Chartered Accountants Limited to undertake the audit of the 2016 accounts. The audited statements (reflecting the new reporting layout for Charities) will be made available on the Charities website along with the Annual Return by the end of September 2016.

Committee Election: for President, Treasurer, Secretary and General Officers.

Aj. Kusalo, moved the motion, that as presented on the Agenda, current members listed, be accepted for  re-nomination.
Seconded: Chule Rajapaksa.
Aj. Kusalo nominated, Sachini Wijesekera as Treasurer, Seconded Simon
Simon nominated Nuk Thompson as Secretary, Seconded Janet Matehe.

General Business
No Matters discussed.

Meeting Closed at
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2015

Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association—Annual General Meeting Minutes
Sunday 28 June 2015, at the Monastery Sala at 12.30 pm

Present
Sangha: Ajahn Kusalo (President), Venerable Kusalachitto, Venerable Aruno
WTBA members: Simon Fern (Vice President), Ros Evans (Officer, Acting Secretary), Theja Wijeweera (Assistant Treasurer), Su Mon (Treasurer), Arumugam Vythilingham (Officer), Sankthavisinh Lanthong, Heidi Ankers, Nuk Puttiporn, Viphavadee Krech, Duncan, Mr Som, Orada
Guests: Linda Ung, Nicole Craig, Hannah Lee; Noel Chadwick from 1.30pm.
Apologies: Sern-ty Lim (Treasurer), Janet Matehe (Officer)

Minutes of the meeting of 22 June 2014 were accepted as read. Moved Simon, Seconded Aru; Passed
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Matters Arising
:
Change to the Constitution
1) Item 8.1 Ordinary membership of the Society shall be open to any person over the age of 16 who has taken refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha upon approval by the monastery Abbot, in consultation with Sangha, and subsequent payment of the annual membership fee. Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Management Committee.
Heidi proposed a change to Item 8.1 above, specifically that a comma should be added after ‘Buddha, Dharmma and Sangha’ and before ‘upon approval by the monastery Abbot ....’
There was some discussion regarding the proposed change; Ros and Aru noted that the context or subject of the clause related to membership and asked whether the proposed change was necessary in terms of adding clarity. This led to further discussion after     which there was a motion to change Item 8.1 to include a comma, as proposed, as written below
Item 8.1 Ordinary membership of the Society shall be open to any person over the age of 16 who has taken refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, upon approval by the monastery Abbot, in consultation with Sangha, and subsequent payment of the annual membership fee. Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Management Committee
Moved Heidi, Seconded Su Mon; Passed

2)Item 11.5 The instrument appointing a proxy and the power of attorney or other authority (if any) under which it is signed or a notarially certified or office copy shall be deposited at the office not less than forty eight hours before the time appointed for holding the meeting or adjourned meeting at which the person named in the instrument proposes to vote, or in the case of a poll not less than twenty four hours before the time appointed for the taking of the poll, and in default the instrument of proxy shall not be treated as valid. A proxy shall be valid only for a specific meeting or its adjourned equivalent and not carried forward to subsequent meetings.
Heidi proposed a change to Item 11.5 above, specifically that a comma be added after ‘certified or office copy’ and before ‘shall be deposited at the office ....’
There was some discussion regarding this proposed change, with Simon clarifying that the only change that had been made to this Item at the 2014 AGM was the last sentence. After further discussion it was agreed that no change to Item 11.5 was needed. This therefore did not proceed to a Motion

Sangha Report
It has now been a full three years for me here as abbot of Bodhinyanarama; long enough to have a sense, as I write this, as to who my audience might be. Things feel settled enough that I feel this report is mostly telling those of you present what you already know; that basically, everything is fine.

Since Ajahn Sucitto's arrival in December we have been four monks in residence and all are in good health. Venerable Aruno has been here almost a year and we have applied to extend his visa for another year. We have had visits from Ajahns Tiradhammo, Chandako, Dhammasiha and Jivako. Venerable Kusalacitto spent a month at Vimutti monastery in Auckland. Anagarika Alex was with us for three months. Aj. Kusalo was in Thailand for several weeks around Aj. Chah's death anniversary. Craig, with us for almost a year, has moved on. Relationships with all the local viharas continue well with Bhante Jinalankara a regular visitor along with Aj. Nantawat and, less frequently, Luang Por Poi. We visit Chao Khun Maha Sutep in Island Bay as often as possible and his monks sometimes join us for our ceremonies. Ajahn Narado in UK will be coming for a long-term stay next year. There is tentative interest from other monks but, as always, the perception of distance and the separation from the wider sangha doesn't see that interest bearing much fruit as yet.

There has been a steady variety of work projects with resurfacing of the lower car park and the stonework around the dana sala being the larger and most obvious. Kuti maintenance is ongoing as is maintenance on the stupa. The land swap with Hutt City has been finalised. The Memorial Grove progresses (very) slowly. An insulation upgrade is planned for the main sala and the Bhikkhu Vihara common room. The Constitution has reached a point of rest. The online dana receipting system is working well, although not quite finished. There are thoughts for a toilet at the back of the sala. Ajahn Sucitto's residence in the Chao Khun kuti is seeing several improvements there. Ajahn Kusalo has been gradually adjusting his 'triplex' kuti with a wood stove as the latest addition. The details could go on and on here but, suffice to say, that the monastery body is in good health.

The last two retreats, New Year and Queen's birthday, were extremely well supported and this encourages a repeat of the experimental 10-day retreat in August of last year. No record is kept but attendance at all scheduled events seems to be increasing. It is very heartening to feel that the Dhamma is appreciated. The new Thai Ambassador has visited a couple of times and we are happy to have his interest. The Malaysian High Commisioner is similarly interested and she joined us for Vesak. There has been a steady flow of lay guests and, recently, a hopefully growing trend toward longer visits of a month or more.

The committee continues with nothing but positive and joyful team work and a general agreement to be re-elected. Aj is stepping down and we thank him for his supportive contribution over the last year. Linda is joining us and, this, combined with her efforts in the office, gives cause for delight & gratitude. Su Mon, despite earlier thoughts to resign, has continued to carry the brunt of financial duties. She is assisted by Lim and Theja but it is clear that the buck stops with Su Mon and we sincerely thank her for all her kindness.

The list of people who define what this monastery extends to many hundreds. While some have more of a visible role than others their duties and actions only have relevance relative to this greater whole; the head is no more important than the feet. It is the health of the whole body that really matters. All vital signs are positive and health and long life seems a reasonable expectation. There is an overall contentment and harmony. Thanks to you all.
Motion to accept the Sangha Report: Moved Theja, Seconded Heidi; Passed

Presidents Report: Presented by Simon Fern, Vice President
Firstly I would like to thank my fellow committee members for their support and work over the past year. For most of us with busy lives of employment and family to attend to it is sometimes difficult to fit more duties into our schedule. From my perspective it is always a pleasure to be able to offer time to support the monastery. Many thanks to AJ Lanthong who carried out the secretary role for most of the past year. AJ has been a valuable contributor and the committee has enjoyed working with him.

Secondly I would like to express my gratitude to all those outside the committee who have given their time to support the monastery in various ways: Jeremy Cole for his development of receipting software, Viphavadee for processing dana receipts and much other work around the monastery, Mr Som for leading the Sunday lunchtime chanting, Auntie Suan for managing the kitchen this year, Nuk and Orada for their work throughout the monastery, and Linda for carrying out the new role of office person.

Linda has agreed to be nominated to the committee for this year and it will be great to have her join us. She has already been successfully liaising with the treasurers and at future meetings it will be valuable to have her input and feedback on office matters.

This year has been quieter in terms of administration and the constitution, though the treasurer role has been as busy as usual. We have taken some time to define the secretary role and this requires more work. We are currently looking for a permanent secretary and in the interim Aru has kindly agreed to be nominated and all other committee members will assist with secretary duties where possible.

Various work projects have been undertaken, finishing the new kutis, asphalting the lower carpark, landscaping and stonework in the upper carpark area. The dana sala storeroom has been converted into the new office, now fully fitted out and decorated thanks to John the builder with help from Linda. Apart from our regular meetings the committee also keep in touch and do business by email, and generally to offer feedback to Ajahn Kusalo on issues that crop up. In turn I would like to express gratitude for the support and advice we have received from the resident Sangha; Ajahn Kusalo, Ajahn Sucitto, Tan Aruno and Venerable Kusalacitto. We could not have managed without them.

The committee members are mostly the same group since 2012. In my opinion we are very friendly and understand each other well. If re-elected we look forward to another year of being a part of the development and maintenance of this monastery and its community as an inspirational place where supportive, calm conditions conducive to spiritual practice may be found.
Motion to accept the President’s Report: Moved Aru, Seconded Suan. Passed

Treasurers Report: Prepared and Presented by Su Mon on behalf of Sern-ty Lim.
The Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association (WTBA) maintained another healthy financial year with a net income after depreciation of $38,840 for the year ended 31 March 2015. In 2014, the net income after depreciation was $30,256. The positive net income shows that the income received, mainly from generous donations, is able to pay for the expenses incurred during the financial year, with some surplus (net income). The income and expenses for the 2015 period are $118,491 and $45,940 respectively. Total income is comparable to last year’s result. Total expenses on the other hand have reduced by $10,931 compared to 2014. This is mainly driven by a 25% reduction in our insurance premium relating to the earthquake levy. We have also recognised that there is a 6 month prepaid component of the insurance payment (Apr 2015 – Sept 2015) which has been attributed to the next financial year.

Money spent as expenses to maintain the monastery was the biggest component, with about $45,940 (39% of income).

WTBA’s 2015 Balance Sheet is also healthy with about $2,065,143 of net assets. The fixed assets in total are valued at $1,330,324; with land and buildings being the primary asset, with a book value of $1,308,380. During the 2015 financial year, some new assets were added; most notable the two new kuttis at a cost of $32,784. The value of term deposits in 2015 reduced by $10,505, compared to the 2014 year, to a total of $586,592. This is because the committee had to break term deposit 1027 which was valued at $36k in order to settle accounts related to our capital commitments – primarily the land swap with Hutt City Council and the stonework & landscaping on the monastery grounds. The WTBA also earned interest income of $25,141 on the remaining term deposits 2015. Total Current Assets at 31 March 2015 was $158,732.

Thank you to all the generous donors, the committee members, the dana counters, and receiptors for their on-going support of the monastery. A special thanks to the current Treasurer, Sern-ty Lim who graciously took on the role at short notice when I was taken ill at the end of last year. To Linda Ung for the support she provides to Ajahn Kusalo, Sern-ty and myself with the book-keeping and office administration tasks. Also to Jeremy Cole who continues to further develop and fine-tune the new online dana counter and receipting system. I would also like to acknowledge Viphavadee Krech for her dedication on the receipting task.

The WTBA Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2015 have not yet been audited due to timing constraints. The committee intends to engage our previous auditors TFS Chartered Accountants Limited to undertake the audit of the 2015 accounts. The audited statements will be made available on the Charities website along with the Annual Return by the end of September 2015.
Ajahn Kusalo expressed his gratitude to Su Mon for her work as Treasurer. This sentiment was echoed by Simon
Motion to accept the Treasurers Report: Moved Simon, Seconded Ajahn Kusalo. Passed

Committee Elections - for President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, General Officers.
Ajahn Kusalo called for nominations.
As presented on the Agenda, most current committee members indicated they would accept re nomination. Sankthavisinh Lanthong (Secretary) has stepped down from the Committee. Linda Ung has indicated she would accept nomination for Officer
As presented on the agenda we received the following indications of interest
a) Ajahn Kusalo for President (current)
b) Simon Fern for Vice-President (current)
c) Su Mon for Treasurer (current)
d) Theja Wijeweera for Assistant Treasurer (current)
e) Janet Matehe for Officer (current)
f) Arumugam Vythilingham for Secretary (current)
g) Ros Evans for Officer (current)
h) Sern-Ty Lim for Officer (current)
i) Linda Ung for Officer (new)
Motion: That the current committee be re elected and that Linda Ung be elected to the committee. Moved Heidi, Seconded Nuk  Passed

General Business
Constitution : Aj. Kusalo advised that the Constitution Rule cross referencing has been checked & updated by Aj. Kusalo, Lim & Simon
There was no further General Business
Meeting closed at 2.10
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2014

Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association—Annual General Meeting Minutes
Sunday 22 June 2014, at the Monastery Sala

Present
Sangha:  Ajahn Kusalo (President), Venerable Kusalacitto
WTBA members: Simon Fern (Vice President), Arumugam Vythilingham (Officer), Sern-ty Lim(Officer) ,
 Ros Evans (Officer, Acting Secretary), Janet Matehe (Officer), Heidi Ankers, Jeremy Cole, Bo Khin, Sorung, Krech,  Siphath Krech, Viphavadee Krech, Khin Win Myint
Guests: Craig Russell, Sankthavisinh Lanthong, C Fernando, Will Woods, Phil Caton, Som Sithivang
Apologies: Theja Wijeweera (Assistant Treasurer), Su Mon (Treasurer), Lionel Loo, Sim Loo

Minutes of the meeting of 9 June 2013 were accepted as read
Moved Arumugam, Seconded Simon; Passed
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Matters Arising
Heidi asked for clarification regarding the minutes of the AGM of 2013, under  New Business, item 2,(b) specifically Jeremy’s question; Jeremy questioned “how binding point b is if, for example, the society tried to sell the monastery for a dollar.”
Ajahn Kusalo reported there is nothing in British law that would cover this.  He said legally the committee own the Monastery, but if it went to court there would be wider voices and the Sangha and it is unlikely this would be possible.
Ajahn Kusalo advised that Item 2 is now part of the Constitution.

Sangha Report
My third year at Bodhinyanarama, since arriving in 2012, has begun and this place delights me no less than it did when I first moved here to live as a novice nearly twenty five years ago. In fact the joy has multiplied. Over the intervening years the monastery has become physically better established, with the forest more mature, and all key buildings now complete. The lay community continues to be as strong, if not stronger, than I recall from the early '90s with numbers for our main events the same or higher each year and the ethnic mix more diverse. The support for all regular scheduled events continues well with a sustained interest from outside groups and short-term guests and visitors.

     The Sangha has changed from six monks at the end of last year down to two. We have had stays of up to 12 months by Venerables Rocano, Thitavijjo, Ariyasilo and Hiriko along with shorter stays by travelling monks. The up-and-down pattern of residential Sangha has been rather consistent over the past couple of decades. With the confusions of 2010/11 well settled now and two years of getting to know the full dynamic of this place and its people the primary goal now is to look toward a more committed resident Sangha. Venerable Aruno will arrive in just over a week and Ajahn Sucitto toward year's end. Both are looking to stay for a year. I am sure Ajahn Sucitto's thirty + years experience will bring its benefits and a recent week of meetings with the extended Sangha of over 100 monks in the UK at Amaravati may well do likewise. It is generally agreed among this wider Sangha that Bodhinyanarama has a tremendous amount to offer. The main obstacle seems to be the perception of distance: "it is so far away." We can't change the geography but we can change what is available here at Bodhinyanarama.

    The establishment of well defined residential zones is evolving well and the completion of two new lay kutis keeps respective accommodation well in balance. The hermitage zone didn't progress as far as planned, with the access road only partially complete, but the concept was much approved of in discussion with monks in the UK. The establishment of a public, lay run office will lessen the need for Sangha to be involved in administration and increase the opportunities for practice, study, retreats, tudong and teaching.

    The driveway and car park was sealed. This has been very effective although there is still work to do tidying the entrance and edges generally. Work has started on establishing a memorial grove in the area between the car park and the stupa. The meal dana roster continues to work well and this beautiful dana bhavana is an exemplary model to all visitors and guests. The ongoing encouragement to our regular lay supporters to make use of the kutis is seeing some results with an increasing interest in samadhi bhavana. We will have a 10-day retreat during August, the first longer retreat for quite some time. You are all welcome to come and stay. Any time. The committee has been wonderfully supportive and that they are unanimously available for re-election is seen as a positive sign. Su Mon's personal situation is changing and she will resign later in the year. We are enormously grateful for her extended efforts as treasurer and her inspiring attention to detail. Among other things she has transited our accounting into the cloud bringing us closer in line with current processes. Thank you Su Mon for all your hard work. Jeremy has built an online financial dana count and receipting system and thanks go to him and to all the dana counters who have helped throughout the year. Also to Sern Ty Lim who has taken on the role of overall dana coordinator.

    The monastery, in both its local and wider sense, is very harmonious. The varied levels of access and multiple ways in which this place offers itself as a refuge to our immediate community and New Zealand as a whole is incredibly inspiring. The constant flow of generosity, interest and goodwill that continues to permeate this place will, I feel, ensure its ongoing health and functionality. Change not withstanding, the monastery is built and ready. In the words of the Buddha: "The doors to the Deathless are open to all. Let those who wish to listen, enter in faith. The Dhamma will be revealed."

    Heidi asked Ajahn Kusalo regarding encouraging monastics to come to New Zealand to support Bodhinyanarama.  He reported they are aware of the environment, facilities, dynamic and physical structure, but that NZ is perceived as very far away; this is combined with the relative shortage of monks and the relative closeness of Europe.  He spoke of the meeting at Amaravati and the relevance to Stokes Valley – the sense of community and contact with other monastics.  Related to this, Ajahn Kusalo has made a formal invitation for Ajahn Sumedho to visit next year. Ajahn Succitto is travelling to NZ later this year; he will be primarily on retreat.  He is resigning his role as Abbot of Chithurst. Ajahn Kusalo said he will find his visit valuable as a senior monk and mentor. Ajahn Kusalo said he would like to invite Ajahn Kalyano and others from Australasia.  He is reflecting on how to increase links with Auckland, Australia and Asia    

Motion to accept the Sangha Report: Moved Simon, Seconded Heidi.  Passed

Presidents Report: Presented by Simon Fern, Vice President
Good afternoon to everyone here today. This has been another steady year for the WTBA committee as we continue to strive to work together in harmony and in a supportive manner. Discussions are friendly in tone and we encourage each other to speak freely on all issues. We gained one new committee member Sern-Ty Lim. It has been a pleasure to work with him and get to know him better. Sern-Ty has worked on so many things for the committee, including formally embedding item 2 into the constitution and he has also put the constitution onto online formats. This year he will be taking over the role of Treasurer. There have been unexpected circumstances and setbacks. The elected Secretary Tracy left in December to travel to India. In the interim members of the committee took on the duties of Secretary where possible. We are grateful to Ros for offering to take on this important role for now.

    Ajahn Kusalo has again worked extremely hard this last year and I value his commitment to all aspects; the daily running of the Monastery, amending the constitution, the Dhamma teachings and so on. A small example of this is in regards to the asphalting of the car park. It may at first glance look like an ordinary road surface but I can assure you I have come across many instances of poor asphalting in my years as a landscape stone waller. I know that Ajahn was on the ground every day during this project, overseeing the quality of the work and making sure that details were adhered to. As a result I see we have an exceptionally functional surface on the car parking area. I know that the same level of care and attention was followed during the building of the new lay kutis.

    As you all know Ajahn Kusalo's mother sadly passed away very recently. This must have been a very difficult time for him and his family, through which he continued to carry out his many duties, including co-ordinating and presenting the annual Vesak ceremony. He has also been very supportive of committee members. All of us on the committee this last year have been through difficult times with family and work commitments which has at times affected our ability to fully attend to our committee duties. Ajahn has always been understanding and compassionate towards us and our personal circumstances.  Thank you Ajahn Kusalo. 

    I would like to acknowledge the committee’s gratitude to others of the resident Sangha. In particular Bhante Thitavijjo who resided here for over two years. From a committee perspective he was a crucial support in difficult times, attending and speaking at meetings in 2011 when things were not functioning well. He always made himself available to listen and offer advice when needed. He also worked very hard for this Monastery, as guest monk, organising retreats, leading  pujas, meditation, giving Dhamma talks and carrying out the daily duties when the Abbot was away. He is missed by many lay supporters and we wish him well wherever he may be.

    On a happy note it has been a wonderful delight to welcome Venerable Kusalacitto back to Bodhinyanarama.  He spent many years here as a lay supporter, a year as Anagarika Souphong and now he has returned to stay as an ordained bhikkhu. Venerable Kusalacitto you are an inspiration to me and others for your commitment to the teaching of the Buddha.

    Finally, I have often reflected recently how fortunate we are to live in or near the best city in one of the best countries in the world with a beautiful Theravada monastery practically on our doorstep. Here we can meet together as a supportive community and we have the opportunity to practice generosity, virtue and meditation and to hear the sublime Dhamma .
Thank you to the Sangha and everybody over the years who have helped to make this happen.  Thank you all.
    
Motion to accept the President’s Report: Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Arumugam.  Passed
   
Treasurers Report
: Presented by Sern-ty Lim; prepared by Su Mon.
The Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association (WTBA) maintained another healthy financial year with a net income after depreciation of $30,256 for the year ended 31 March 2014.  In 2013, the net income after depreciation was $36,099. The positive net income shows that the income received, mainly from generous donations, is able to pay for the expenses incurred during the financial year, with some surplus (net income). The income and expenses for the 2014 period are $118,717 and $32,230 respectively. Although the income received in 2014 was about $11,425 less than for the 2013 period, the corresponding 2014 expenses also reduced by about $5,095. This is a great result overall. Money spent as expenses to maintain the monastery was the biggest component, with about $32,230 (56%). WTBA’s 2014 Balance Sheet is also healthy with about $2,026,303 of net assets. The fixed assets in total are valued at $1,328,334; the land and building being the primary asset, with a book value of $1,303,720.80.  In the 2014 financial year, some new assets were added; most notable are the new driveway and rubber wheel stop at a cost of $27,507.   A new shelf unit for the kitchen was purchased at a cost of $2,586.21. The value of term deposits in 2014 increased by $5605, compared to the 2013 year, to a total of $586,592.  Cash in the bank account (Current Asset) at 31 March 2014 was $131,630.

    Special thank you to all the generous donors, the committee members, the dana counters, and receipters for their on-going support of the monastery. A special mention to the current hardworking Treasurer, Su Mon who tirelessly and diligently executed her Treasurer role and to Jeremy Cole who developed the new online dana counter and receipting system. I would also like to acknowledge Viphavadee Krech for her dedication on the receipting task. The WTBA Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2014 was audited by TFS Chartered Accountants Limited on 20th June 2014. Jeremy asked if this was the first time the financial statements had been audited.  Lim confirmed that the accounts have been audited annually for several years.
Motion to accept the Treasurers Report: Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Simon.  Passed

Committee Elections - for President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, General Officers.
As presented on the Agenda, current committee members indicated they would accept re nomination.
a)    Ajahn Kusalo for President
b)    Simon Fern for Vice-President
c)    Su Mon for Officer
d)    Theja Wijeweera for Assistant Treasurer
e)    Janet Matehe for Officer
f)    Arumugam Vythilingham for Officer
g)    Ros Evans for Officer
h)    Sern-Ty Lim for Treasurer
Motion : That the existing committee be re elected : Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Heidi. 
Motion : Nomination of Sern-Ty Lim for Treasurer: Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Janet.
Ajahn Kusalo advised that Sankthavisinh Lanthong has indicated he would be available to join the committee and to take on the role of Secretary.
Motion : That Sankthavisinh Lanthong be invited to the next committee meeting as a  guest with a view to becoming a committee member. Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Sern-Ty.  Passed

New Business
Ajahn Kusalo presented a document to the meeting which related to the discussion regarding the constitution, introduced as New Business at the 2013 AGM, under the heading “Points in Principle.”  Ajahn Kusalo indicated that the intention is to move that this document be added as an addendum.
Ajahn Kusalo advised that Points 1 and 2 have been incorporated into the constitution.
He then presented the following proposed changes to the constitution to the meeting
Item 8.1 Ordinary membership of the Society shall be open to any person over the age of 16 who has taken refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha upon approval by the monastery Abbot, in consultation with Sangha, and subsequent payment of the annual membership fee. Application for membership shall be made in writing to the Management Committee.
    Moved Heidi, Seconded Arumugam.  Passed

Item 8.4 Honorary life membership may be conferred upon any eminent person by decision of the Management Committee or of the general membership, and such members so honoured need pay no fee. The Spiritual Director/Abbot of the monastery is, by default, considered an honorary member.
    Moved Sern-Ty, Seconded Jeremy.  Passed

Item 11.5 The instrument appointing a proxy and the power of attorney or other authority (if any) under which it is signed or a notarially certified or office copy shall be deposited at the office not less than forty eight hours before the time appointed for holding the meeting or adjourned meeting at which the person named in the instrument proposes to vote, or in the case of a poll not less than twenty four hours before the time appointed for the taking of the poll, and in default the instrument of proxy shall not be treated as valid. A proxy shall be valid only for a specific meeting or its adjourned equivalent and not carried forward to subsequent meetings.
    Moved Simon, Seconded Ajahn Kusalo.

 Item 13.4 The committee shall be comprised of a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 10 members of the Society which number shall include the officers of the Society.
    Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Janet.

Item 14.1 The officers of the Society shall be the following:
President, who shall be, by default, the Sangha-elected Spiritual Director/Abbot.
    Moved Janet, Seconded Heidi.

Item 17.1 The committee may meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn and otherwise regulate their meetings as they think fit for the transaction of business. Five members of the Committee shall be a quorum. Questions arising at any meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes. In case of an equality of votes the presiding chairman shall have a second or casting vote.
    Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Simon.

Items 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.4
15.1 Officers may be replaced in or removed from office at any time during their term of office by resolution of the Society in General Meeting
15.2 If two-thirds of the committee agree that the Sangha as a whole, or individual monastic residents are not maintaining a suitable standard of Vinaya or insufficiently supporting the objects of the society they can consult with respected Elders of the Ajahn Chah tradition; notably, but not exclusively, the Abbots of Amaravati and Chithurst (UK), Abhayagiri and Tisarana (USA, CA) and Vimutti (NZ). The Elders' Council is not a legal body and has no constitution or governing powers being a loosely affiliated group of senior monks and Monastery Abbots of the Ajahn Chah tradition who are collectively deemed worthy of consultation. In the event of the committee so agreeing they should seek advice from the Elders' Council.
15.3 If it is felt that committee members are not appropriately fulfilling their role as stewards of the Sangha or not maintaining the objects of the society the Abbot, in consultation with Sangha, can dis-appoint such members.
15.4 If the elected Committee unanimously considers a Committee member to be grossly disruptive or divisive of committee procedures they have the power to remove him or her from the Committee.
    Following discussion, the wording of 15.4 was further changed to read -
15.4 If two thirds of the elected Committee consider a Committee member to be grossly disruptive or divisive of committee procedures they have the power to remove him or her from the Committee.
Motion: That Items 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, and the amended wording above of 15.4 be adopted
Moved Ajahn Kusalo, Seconded Arumugam.

Items 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 13.5
13.1 Bodhinyanarama Buddhist Monastery, as the principal asset of the Society, shall have an Abbot. The Abbot functions as the Spiritual Director and is elected through the agreement of the monks’ resident at the Monastery and in consultation with the Elder's Council. The Spiritual Director shall retain the position until he resigns, he dies or there is agreement among the Sangha to appoint a new Spiritual Director.
13.2 The resident Sangha is defined as monks ordained in the Theravada tradition who have been invited by the Spiritual Director in agreement with existing resident Sangha to reside at Bodhinyanarama.
13.3 Visiting Sangha is defined as monks or nuns of any tradition who may stay up to a maximum of seven nights and after that either be invited by the Spiritual Director to stay on or leave.
13.4 All monks, both resident and visiting, are required to follow the 227 rules of the Bhikkhu Patimokkha. Resident monks are also required to maintain a style of practice compatible with that maintained at Pah Pong Monastery and its Western Branches. A monk who does not maintain this standard of conduct has no right to reside and may be asked to leave.
13.5 A member of the resident Sangha may be temporarily appointed as Spiritual Director by the existing Spiritual Director, or the resident Sangha, for a period of no more than 3 months beyond which a permanent Spiritual Director should be sought.

Following discussion the wording of 13.4 was further changed to read –
All monastics, both resident and visiting, are required to follow the 227 rules of the Bhikkhu Patimokkha.  Resident monastics are also required to maintain a style of practice compatible with that maintained at Pah Pong Monastery and its Western Branches.  Those who do not maintain this standard of conduct have no right to reside and may be asked to leave.
Motion – That Items 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 the amended wording above of 13.4 and 13.5 be adopted
    Moved Jeremy, Seconded Ajahn Kusalo.

General Business
Heidi asked about the process of nominating someone for Honorary Membership and whether the AGM was an appropriate forum.  She then addressed the meeting regarding nominating Mr Som for Honorary membership, speaking of his long association with Bodhinyanarama and how he had guided and supported many people over many years
Motion – That Mr Som be granted honorary membership
    Moved Heidi, Seconded Ajahn Kusalo

Meeting closed at
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2013

Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association—Annual General Meeting Minutes
Sunday June 9 2013, in the Monastery Sala

Present
Sangha: Ajahn Kusalo, Ajahn Hiriko, Venerable Thitavijjo
WTBA Members: Simon Fern (Vice-president), Su Mon (Treasurer), Tracy Williams (Secretary), Theja Wijweera (Assistant Treasurer), Aru Vythilingam (Officer), Ros Evans (Officer), Janet Matehe (Officer). Bo Vythilingam, Savitri Homer, Sern-ty Lim,Viphavadee Krech, Lionel Loo, Sim Loo
Guests: Angie Stanton, Robert Frazer, Cameron Bentley, Stefan Dudley, Jeremy Cole, Romani Jayasinha, Sandy Ng
Apologies: Heidi Ankers, Chula Rajapakse

Welcome and Apologies: Ajahn Kusalo as chairperson welcomed and thanked everyone for attending, and began the meeting with a few minutes silence.

Minutes of July 29th 2012 Meeting were adopted as a true and accurate record. (Theja moved, Aru sec).
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Matter Arising
There were no matters arising and the minutes of the AGM held on July 29 2012 

Sangha Report
I have been at Bodhinyanarama for a year now and have no hesitation sharing the joy experienced during this time. This has been due to many factors, the main one being the continuing and expanding support and commitment of the lay community. That's all of you! and many others not present today. This participation has included a similar interest in Dhamma with the bi-monthly meditation workshops, children's classes, Sunday evening talks and retreats all being very well attended. Danas are well provided with the roster system continuing to work well, frequently supplemented by spontaneous visitors. Several groups from the Wellington region have made visits and all have appreciated the feeling of peace and their exposure to Dhamma. There has been a steady flow of residential guests, both kiwis and travellers from various countries. We counted ten different nationalities for breakfast one morning. The persistent momentum in all these areas creates an overall feeling of community cooperation and goodwill.

    The Sangha has not changed greatly over the year. Venerable Thitavijjo is currently waiting for his visa extension and Venerable Hiriko is now in residence and plans to be here for a year or so. Ajahn Rocano will be joining us for vassa from Dhammagiri Monastery in Brisbane. We were happy to have Ajahn Tiradhammo with us for three weeks and also a two week visit from Ajahn Ariyasilo. There have been Sangha visits to groups in outlying cities and it is hoped that this extended network of Dhamma friends will grow over the years. I plan, roughly, to travel overseas twice a year to visit my mother. Part of these trips will include developing friendships in Thailand and Malaysia. The working relationship between Sangha and the committee has continued extremely well with all decisions being made through unanimous agreement.

    There have been a few projects around the monastery with the sala by-pass as one of the more visible. The sala is no longer a thoroughfare and the Chao Khun's kuti is noticeably more private. The land swap with council will not only resolve the trespass issue but increase the monastery area and further protect our Eastern boundary. The sealing of the driveway and car park will both add aesthetic value and put an end to skidding and cars stuck in the ditch. Recommendations from 'Forest & Bird', D.O.C. and Hutt City make it clear that the pine trees are both a potential hazard and ecological infringement. There is no clear removal plan in place but the general direction is clear. The 'Gratitude Garden' in front of the kitchen has been completed; a another testimony to the generosity of this community.

    One of the interesting challenges in a monastery is maintaining balance between creating a dynamic and spacious environment to accommodate the wide range of opportunities that bring people here, and creating a still and silent environment where the focus is more on spiritual training; and to do this without creating tension between the two. The area around the sala and kitchen is where most people arrive and where most of the (visible) action takes place. We are blessed with enough land so that other distinct areas can be determined with other functions. To talk of a monastic village is going a bit far but to think in terms of inter-related, complementary areas of activity seems reasonable.
    The plan is to more clearly define public, lay, monastic and hermitage areas. The delineation of the monastic area includes the upper house and triplex; occasional lay accommodation. Initially building two more kutis in the lay zone will help balance this. Future considerations will allow for long-term lay residents, stewards and retreatants as well as guests. The monastic area is already fairly clear. The hermitage pivots around the existing retreat kuti and forming an access track and clearing a couple of kuti sites is the first stage. Simple facilities will be developed, as required, to support the relative independence of this area. The sala and kitchen is the logical, public hub. Things seem very stable financially and these plans can be gradually implemented. A budget for the land swap and car park has already been allocated.

I hope that this covers most of the major elements in and around the monastery, both in terms of history and future possibility. There are so many small, and not so small, details missing here that breathe life into this place and the people joined to it. These details consistently intersect through generosity, kindness, patience, compassion and many other wholesome qualities which, among other things, gives rise to tremendous gratitude. I am so grateful to be able to be here and to be a part of this community. Thank you.
(Su moved to accept Sangha report, Tracy sec)

•    Council Land swap. To proceed in the next few months. Monastery gains another 15 acres of land at a cost of $30,000.

President's Report - Given by Vice President, Simon Fern
Welcome and greetings to everybody . Ajahn Kusalo's Sangha report has covered most of the events so I would just like to share with you some of my thoughts about the WTBA committee over this past year.

This was effectively a brand new committee with a new President, Treasurer and Secretary elected at last years AGM. There were also several new members. In my view we are representative of the wider community with an equal balance of female and male and of diverse ethnicities. Obviously we cannot have a representative from every ethnic community that attends the Monastery as there are just so many. However I would like to say that we do our best to stay in contact with all of our communities and I do encourage anyone to please come and talk to us if they have any issue about the monastery they would like to discuss.

    I have to state that all the committee meetings have been particularly happy and harmonious. We have been able to work together in a way that is supportive of each other, discussing issues as they arise with the intention of achieving a clear consensus. The majority of decisions have been unanimous this year after much debate has taken place.

    The President, Ajahn Kusalo, has worked tirelessly on many aspects of the Monastery, from the mundane everyday issues of maintenance of buildings and grounds right through to grappling with the technicalities of the constitution. At all times I have been impressed and inspired by his efforts, his commitment to Bodhinyanarama. His involvement from the November 2011 meeting till now means that he has worked hard for two years for us and I see the results in the stable Monastery we have today.

Our Treasurer, Su Mon has done a superb job in her first year of managing the finances
.As you know the committee members are all volunteers, but Su brings a truly professional approach to everything , always clearly and patiently explaining all aspects of the financial administration.

Tracy also joined a year ago, kindly offering to be Secretary. She has helped enormously in keeping the committee ship steady and organized .Her calm presence and clear thinking in the meetings are valued and mean we always receive excellent minutes as a record .

    Thanks also to our Assistant Treasurer, Theja, for his support and advice to Su Mon throughout the year. We on the committee appreciate his guidance on a wide variety of issues and recognise his many years of dedication as lay supporter and committee member at Bodhinyanarama. There are of course very valuable contributions from all other committee members. Aru, in his second year on committee has been working closely with Ajahn Kusalo on constitutional issues .As a longtime lay supporter and with a sound knowledge of the history of the Monastery he is an ideal person for this. Ros has valiantly driven to our monthly meetings all the way from Palmerston North as a representative for all our supporters there ,many of whom have been involved with Bodhinyanarama since the beginning. During meetings Ros is a quick thinker and consequently makes us consider all aspects of matters that may arise. Janet Matehe is known and respected by many lay supporters. She is a local from the Hutt Valley and is therefore able to keep us in touch with local issues. Janet is a calm and thoughtful person which is an assett for our committee. Bounchanh Vanvilay an esteemed member of the Lao community is stepping down due to work commitments .The committee would like to thank Bounchanh for all his contributions and friendly manner in meetings. I would say that we will maintain contact with him and his community.

    Finally I would like to acknowledge the untimely death of one of our members ,Roger Morton. Roger was a member of the WTBA for several years and a vocal contributor at the last two AGMs. As a former member of different committees he was able to offer our committee advice from time to time. He did a huge amount of work on the tracks and garden areas of the Monastery, and also offered to be the librarian. Roger is sadly missed by many of us but we are grateful for the time that we shared with him.
Anumodana to all.
    (Theja moved to accept Presidents report, Janet sec)

Treasurers Report
The Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association (WTBA) maintained another healthy financial year with a net income of $36,099 for the year ended 31 March 2013.

    The commemoration garden project was completed at a cost of $23,548 and capitalised in the financial records. This project was funded by generous donations received from the Buddhist community.

The total income for the year was $130,142, an increase of $15,494 from that of the previous year mainly due to an increase in Sangha Welfare donations. Significant one-off donations received during the year were $7,362 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society in Malaysia and $9,811 from Paul Snelson in the UK.

    A steady flow of donations was received during the year to meet the on-going expenses of the monastery. The total expenses excluding depreciation for the year was $61,966, an increase of $736 compared with the previous year. Most of the monastery expenses have reduced, but the increase in cost is mainly due to a $5,470 (33%) increase in insurance costs. This is driven by the increase in premiums as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. The monastery is currently insured with Vero, which came out slightly cheaper and more reliable than other insurers based on a renewal report from Allfinanz Risk, our insurance broker. Discussions are still continuing with insurance providers to make sure the WTBA gets the best deal. A major one-off expense that was incurred during the year was the donation of Venerable Tiradhammo's accumulated funds to the Books for Cambodia Trust ($6,551) as requested by Venerable Tiradhammo. The depreciation charge for the year was $32,077, an increase of $451 from the previous year mainly due to the additional charge on the commemoration garden capitalised in 2013 year.

    The value of term deposits increased by $37,660 from the previous year to $580,987 at 31 March 2013. This is due to the addition of a new term deposit for $25,000 and recognition of interest on four term deposits that matured during the year. The total of bank balances including cash on hand was a favorable balance of $67,972 at 31 March 2013.

    The WTBA also agreed to move the financial system to Xero from MYOB effective from the next financial year. Xero is a well-known NZ based on-line accounting system that provides better reporting, ease of use, and 25% cheaper rates.

    The collection of donations, banking, receipting function and cheque payments are still being carried out by other committee members and supporters of the monastery. The segregation of duties with effective controls has streamlined various accounting activities of the Association, and ensure consistency and continuity of finance related processes in order to comply with best accounting practices.

The annual financial statements for 31 March 13 was audited at a cost of $2,600. There were no accounting control deficiencies noted in the management letter.

    I would like to thank the other committee members, the dana counters, receiptors, and all the supporters of the monastery for their on-going support of the monastery, and for helping me transition into my new role during the year. Special thanks to Savi and Theja for their support.

•    Ajahn Kusalo expressed his appreciation and confidence in the treasurer, Su Mon's work.
•    A query was asked about the receipting database by Sim Loo. Su clarified that the current system does not allow extra names to be added. The new accounting software- Xero does not include such a system, though Su is enquiring whether it could be added.
•    Discussion held whether to buy more up to date hardware and software
•    Ajahn Kusalo questioned whether receipts would better be done once a year at the end of the financial year.
•    Su gave thanks to Viphavadee for her ongoing support
(Simon moved treasurer report be accepted, Savi sec)

Election of Committee
1    In the interest of time Ajahn suggested that the existing committee members be nominated as a group for re-election. No objections were forthcoming. (Ajahn Kusalo moved, Savi sec)
2    Sern-ty Lim was nominated as officer by Ajahn Kusalo and seconded by Simon.
3    Ajahn Kusalo expressed his appreciation for the current harmony on the committee.

New Business
    Constitution Review
a. Agreement that Items 1 and 2 in existing constitution are combined to become Item 1. (See below)
b. Acceptance of new Item 2 into the Constitution (See below)
c. Change of name of Charities Commission to Department of Internal Affairs: Charities in Constitution
d. Discussion of Points in Principle. (See below)
The following bolded text was given as handouts to the attendees.
    The following item is proposed as a new item to be added to the constitution.
To simplify document numbering, existing items 1&2 will be combined as item 1. and this new item will be added as item 2. and henceforth referred to as such.
Item 2. is derived from the Memorandum of Intent as agreed at the AGM on Sunday 29th July 2012.  
The memorandum in turn evolved from the results of the public meeting on November 5th 2011. The memorandum points to two under-defined areas in the existing constitution. This shortfall is understandable considering that the constitution was written before the Sangha arrived.
These two areas are:
 1) the pivotal role Sangha has played in the life of the monastery.
 2) the relationship of WTBA, the Committee and the Sangha.
 Item 2. The Society:-
 a) The Society and Bodhinyanarama was established and is maintained by monks of the Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho Theravada Forest lineage that has its origins in Pah Pong Monastery, Thailand,  Amaravati Monastery. England.
 b) Whereas in law the Society's assets are held by, and under the sole control of, the Society, it is acknowledged that generally those assets have been acquired as a result of donations to, or inspired by, the Sangha (the order of monks) and given with the intention of supporting the Sangha.
 c) The role of the Society is thus to steward the Society's assets on behalf of the Sangha. The elected committee members fulfill the role of a steward as outlined in the Vinaya (the Sangha's code of conduct; NP 10,18,19,20). The Sangha is not allowed to handle money, and donations made to the WTBA are thus directed to the committee.
 d) The Society's powers are to be exercised with the consent of the monastery Abbot in discussion with the resident Sangha unless consultation with legal advisers and/or the Department of Internal Affairs: Charities shows that action is necessary in order for the Society to fulfill their legal obligations.
•    Three legal consultants have been consulted re the wording of item 2.
•    Ajahns Vajiro, Munindo, Sucitto, Viradhammo have also reviewed and offered input.
•    After some minor wording changes the current committee has agreed on final draft.
Some discussion ensued regarding Item 2 details-
•    Point B- comes from Harnham Monastery constitution and is offered as a statement of Intent.
•    Jeremy questioned how binding point b is if, for example the society tried to sell the monastery for a dollar.
•    Sim questioned the wording of Society as opposed to Association- referred to the Item 1 of constitution. Simon reminded that WTBA is an incorporated society.
•    Ajahn Kusalo reminded the participants that Item 2 centres round the relationship between the donors, the committee and the monastic Sangha, and is not to be considered in isolation but within the context of the constitution. Other anomalies within constitution also to be discussed.
No objections arose to the adoption of Item 2.
Ajahn Kusalo moved it be accepted, Simon seconded.

Change of Address
To simplify document numbering for the inclusion of new item 2. (see the separate sheet provided), existing items 1&2 will be combined as item 1. The only change being the office address. The new item 1 to read:
1. THE name of the Society (hereinafter called the society) is "THE WELLINGTON THERAVADA BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED" and its registered office is situated at 17 Rakau Grove, Lower Hutt, or such other places as may be decided at a General Meeting.
Registered address change- (Ajahn Kusalo moved, Tracy sec)

POINTS IN PRINCIPLE
Ajahn Kusalo advised that as the constitution is not set in stone and the text can be changed; it is worthwhile to regard it as a work in progress. Discussion of the following points will not affect the constitution directly at this time.
The following bolded text was given as handouts to the attendees. The text in capitals below each item indicates the outcome following the discussion of each point.

A large part of constitution discussion springs from the lack of consideration given to the Sangha. In the existing document there is no reference to Bodhinyanarama Monastery or Ajahn. Chah, etc. and there is only one reference to the Sangha (using the word 'monks') - item 3c). Item 2 addresses this shortfall in general. The points below address details, of both the Sangha and other items. Legal consultants have suggested that the constitution be reviewed on a regular basis; every 2-5 years. The existing constitution has not been changed since it was written in 1983 and there are many items that need to be reviewed. The following points are suggestions to be considered with a view to ratifying at the 2014 AGM.
NB. Constitution item numbering refers to the existing (1983) layout.
TO CONSIDER & DISCUSS:
1.    Confirm: The registered office address be changed to: 17 Rakau Grove, Lower Hutt    AGREED
2.    Confirm: References to Charities Commission to be changed to: Department of Internal Affairs: Charities      AGREED
POINTS IN PRINCIPLE:
    Before establishing specific wording for insertion into the constitution can we first agree on points in principle.
a) Confirm: Membership fee @ $10 per year; April 30th-March 31st. Agreed at AGM 2012.

b) Confirm: The Spiritual Director/Abbot approves new WTBA members. Agreed at AGM 2012.

CHANGE WORDING FROM "ABBOT" TO "ABBOT IN CONSULTATION WITH SANGHA"
c) Committee min. 6 - [item 34. has no actual number stated.] & max. 10.  item 36. has maximum 15
d) Committee quorum: item 47. "c'tee can determine... or 5" means nothing. Make it 5.

e) Committee President & Chairman is, by default, the Sangha elected Spiritual Director/Abbot.  c'tee agreed, meeting of March 20th 2012. Endorsed, but not formally ratified at AGM 2012.  The DOIA: Charities requires that "any person exercising significant influence over operations… should be appointed as a member of the management committee."
CHANGE WORDING- LEAVE OUT "CHAIRMAN" AS ANY COMMITTEE MEMBER CAN ACT AS CHAIRPERSON, CHAIRPERSON A FUNCTION NOT A ROLE.
f) The Abbot is appointed as an honorary committee member - as per 7d)  
CHANGE: OMIT "COMMITTEE" TO READ "THE ABBOT IS APPOINTED AS AN HONORARY WTBA MEMBER"
g) Role-appointed officers (V.P., Sec., etc.) manage financial/contractual transactions on behalf of the President. eg. purchases and contracts.                                                                 AGREED
THE INTENTION IS TO TAKE SANGHA OUT OF CONTRACTUAL ACTIVITIES. AGREED THAT "ROLE APPOINTED OFFICERS"  IS AN ACCURATE DESCRIPTION.
h) Proxy: item 29. Make proxy only valid for one specific meeting, or its adjourned version.
i) Our relationship to the Elders Council; see 45. below - c'tee agreed, meeting of March 20th 2012                      NO CONSENSUS
j) item 7. "...open to any person *over the age of 16*" ... c'tee agreed, meeting of March 20th 2012  *made in writing*, ie. not orally. This provides a more accountable record and clearer process. New item. Insert after 6. WINDING UP... As Item 6a) ?                                            DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINTS THIS POINT WAS NOT DISCUSSED
45. Disqualification or Removal: – NB. title change
    Officers may be replaced in or removed from office at any time during their term of office by resolution of the Society in General Meeting.
    If two-thirds of the committee agree that the Sangha as a whole, or individual monastic residents are not maintaining a suitable standard of Vinaya or insufficiently supporting the objects of the society they can consult with respected Elders of the Ajahn Chah tradition; notably, but not exclusively, the Abbots of Amaravati and Chithurst (UK), Abhayagiri and Tisarana (Nth US) and Vimutti (NZ). The Elders' Council is not a legal body and has no constitution or governing powers being a loosely affiliated group of senior monks and Monastery Abbots of the Ajahn Chah tradition who are collectively deemed worthy of consultation. In the event of the committee so agreeing they should seek advice from the Elders' Council.
    If it is felt that committee members are not appropriately fulfilling their role as stewards of the Sangha or not maintaining the objects of the society the Abbot can disappoint such members.
    If the elected Committee unanimously considers a Committee member to be grossly disruptive or divisive of committee procedures they have the power to remove him or her from the Committee.
 NB: legal counsel has pointed out the difficulty in establishing mental instability

CHANGE TITLE TO "DISQUALIFICATION OR REMOVAL OF OFFICER"
CHANGE WORDING FROM ABBOT TO "ABBOT IN CONSULTATION WITH SANGHA"
AJAHN KUSALO POINTED THE FOLLOWING-
    While it has no "legal teeth" the constitution offers recourse through a consultative process if a problem arises.

The meeting concluded at 5.15pm with a few minutes of
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2012

Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association—Annual General Meeting Minutes
29 July 2012, 3 pm, in the Bodhinyanarama Sala

Present:
Sangha: Ajahn Kusalo, Venerable Thitavijjo, Samanera Nandiya, Anagarika Colin.
Members:     Management Committee: Simon Fern (Vice-President), Savitri Homer (Treasurer), Thejananda Wijeweera (Assistant Treasurer), Heidi Ankers (Secretary), Prashantha Senaratne (Officer), Arumugam Vythilingham (Officer), Bounchanh Vanvilay (Officer), Ros Evans (Officer).
Guests:     Bobbie Johns, Roger Martin, Philip Lim, Viphavadee Krech, Lionel Loo, Sim Loo, Khin Myint, Su Mon, Sorung Krech, Sipath Krech, Bo Khin, Bruce Fergusson, Marcela Schalscha, Nuk Thompson, Jeremy Cole, Charlotte Yong, Tracy Williams, Janet Matehe, Ratha Ang, Heng Ang.
Apologies:    Dr Kalupahana, Christopher Hawley, Jack and Jill Best, Michelle Wanwimolruk,
Guests:    Phil Caton, Romani Jayasinha, Terry Cox, Indranath, Isaacs George and Chamkeel Sachdev.

Chair: Ajahn Kusalo began the meeting with a few minutes of silence, welcomed everyone, and introduced the Sangha.

Minutes of the AGM held on 12 June 2011 were adopted as a correct record.
(moved by Simon Fern, seconded by Philip Lim).
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Matters Arising
Inclusion of the statement: 'The (previous) Abbot Ajahn Thiradhammo recommended that memberships be decided by Sangha, as had been done in the past'
(Moved Sim, Sec Heidi)
Members voted to approve an Audit for the year
(Moved Lionel, Sec Simon).
Savi noted that Accounting Standards are discussing making audits mandatory next year.
Sangha Report

Sangha Report: Ajahn Kusalo
The fact that I have only been in residence for three months means this report will be limited in detail.

Projects and Teaching:
•    We received several very generous donations of books, mostly from Malaysia.
•    The web site has been rebuilt and brought up to date.
•    A comprehensive sprinkler system has been fitted to the sala.
•    The sala roof, including the cloister, has been replaced.
•    The Kitchen memorial garden was built.
•    Some work has been done clearing trees around the kutis and maintenance
around the sala.
•    With vassa beginning not long after my arrival no notable projects were undertaken.
•    The Saturday meditation workshops are being trialled fortnightly.
•    The youth group started by Ven. Vajiravansa has been continued and a similar group started in Palmerston North.
•    The Sunday evening meditation sessions continue to be well supported.
•    Several people have been joining the sangha for the observance night program with some staying until close at midnight.

Sangha:
•    By far the biggest change was the departure of Ajahn Thiradhammo in March. His presence of over 6 years is still very visible and apparent.
•    Ajahn Jotipalo was in residence for nearly 2 months.
•    Ajahn Dhirapanyo departed not long after Ajahn Thiradhammo. Anagarika Souphong went to Thailand for bhikkhu ordination. Venerable Vajiravansa chose to return to Sri Lanka. Venerable Thitavijjo is happy to remain. Anagarika Colin recently ordained and is committed to being here a year. Samanera Nandiya will be with us for the vassa. Venerable Hiriko will join us after the vassa from Chithurst, UK.
•    We were fortunate to have had relatively extended visits from Ajahns Sucitto, Vajiro and Viradhammo. Their time and input was much appreciated in the context of changes at Bodhinyanarama. We had a brief visit from Ajahn Chandako.
•    The change of abbot has been smooth and has been very much supported by the forming of a committed and harmonious committee. The future looks promising with interest from several monks to move here. There is a very active lay community and the support is incredibly generous and inspiring. I am happy to be here. Thank you.

The meeting adopted the Sangha report (moved Heidi Ankers, sec Thejananda Wijeweera).

President's Report - Simon Fern (Vice-President)
Hello and greetings to everybody in the Sala today. It is inspiring to see the ongoing interest in the welfare of the monastery and the WTBA.

I would like to begin by thanking my fellow committee members, some of whom left last year, some stepping down now and all current members standing for re-election today. I thank you for your hard work, co-operation, advice and supportive friendship. I can honestly state that this year the relationship between the committee and the Sangha is especially harmonious. What we have today is a stable group dedicated to working together as a team to conduct the business of the monastery; long may it continue.

Thank you also to all the people outside the committee who helped support the monastery, particularly the reliable receiptors and Dana counters who stepped forward during the year. With special thanks to Viphavadee Krech, Jeremy Cole and Robert Frazer who so generously give their time.

There have been several changes at Bodhinyanarama relating to the committee, notably the change of Abbot. We were sad to farewell Ajahn Thiradhammo after six and a half years and have many memories of his time here. The committee is delighted to welcome Ajahn Kusalo as the new Abbott and have enjoyed developing a harmonious working relationship with him.
During 2010 and 2011, there were a range of questions and suggestions about the future of the monastery being discussed, and following last year's AGM a vision sub-committee was formed to consult with the various communities.

The well attended public meeting on November 5th gave the opportunity for the 'voice of the people' to be heard and this brought into focus what the majority wanted for the monastery. Several committee members resigned not long after the meeting and as a result there was no longer a sub-committee on vision.

Fortunately there was continuity with ongoing committee members so that business was not unduly disrupted. With Ajahn Thiradhammo's advice several former longstanding committee members were invited back onto committee to share their valuable experience. Some new members were invited to join and give wider representation to the various communities.

In consultation with the Sangha we took time to re-define our role as stewards and how to formally involve Sangha in decision making resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding being adopted.

Ajahn Viradhammo and other senior elders had talks with the committee and spoke at length about the history of Bodhinyanarama and their vision for the future.

Much time was devoted to the issue of membership and as a result we formalised the criteria for joining the WTBA; for example, and most importantly, item number one reads:
1 Membership is approved by the WTBA managing committee following the recommendation of the resident Sangha.

We also worked very hard to ensure that we complied with our constitution and all relevant NZ laws, consulting with lawyers, the Charities Commission, our community elders and others who could give appropriate advice.

Accordingly I would like to express enormous gratitude for the support and advice we have received over the past year from the Forest Sangha. Particular mention must go to Ajahn Thiradhammo, Ajahn Kusalo, Ajahn Viradhammo (who also attended two meetings), Ajahn Vajiro, and the resident Sangha, namely Ajahn Dhirapanno and Venerable Thitavijjo. We could not have managed without them.

Finally I thank those who have gone before, those who are here now, and hope that we continue to work positively together to support those who will be here in the future.
ANUMODANA.

The meeting adopted the Vice-President's report (moved Philip Lim, sec Savitri Homer).

Treasurer's Report - Savitri Homer - for the financial year to 31 March 2012.

The Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association maintained yet another healthy financial year with a net income of $21,792 for the year ended 31 March 2012.

The capital projects relating to replacement of the main Sala roof and installing a sprinkler system were completed during the year with costs of $ 101,946 and $31,931 respectively which have been capitalised in the financial records. The commemoration garden project is nearing completion at a cost of $23,548 at end of the year. The generous donations received from the Buddhist community funded these construction projects.

The total income for the year was $114,648, a decrease of $95,000 from that of the previous year mainly due to decrease in general donations of $60,000 and interest income $35,000. This is due to one-off donations received in 2011 year for $40,000 from the estate of late Joan Whelan and a number of significant donations received at the Katina ceremony for approximately $22,000. The decrease in interest on bank deposits is due to one off interest income of $33,000 recorded in 2011 with the commencement of recognizing accrued interest on term deposits in the annual financial statements.

A stable flow of donations was received during the year to meet the on-going expenses of the monastery. The total expenses excluding depreciation for the year was $61,230, a decrease of $33,000 compared with the previous year. This is mainly due to one-off expenses incurred in 2011 year for felling pine trees ($17,000), write off of old kitchen building ($6,500) and the donation made to the Cambodian temple as part of the donations approved in 2010 ($10,000). The depreciation charge for the year was $31,626, a marginal increase of $3,000 from the previous year due to additional charge on the new Sala building capitalised in 2011 year.

The value of term deposits remained the same with $543,327 at 31 March 2012. The total of bank balances including cash on hand was a favorable balance of $63,583 at 31 March 2012.
A GST recovery of $11,498 was made during the year mainly due to project expenditure.
The collection of donations, banking, receipting function and cheque payments are still being carried out by other committee members and supporters of the monastery. The segregation of duties with effective controls has streamlined various accounting activities of the Association. The accounting procedures and accounting process guides have been completed to assist the decision making, to perform various accounting tasks and more importantly to facilitate handover of various duties to other committee members and supporters of the monastery. This will ensure consistency and continuity of finance related processes in order to comply with best accounting practices.

The following accounting procedures and processes were introduced or updated during the year to strengthen the financial processes:

Petty cash accounting procedure was updated to include a physical cash count form. Physical cash–– counts have been carried out at various times including a count at year end 31 March 2012.
•    Introduction of payments procedure to provide guidelines for authorising various types of payments including capital expenditure.
•    Introduction of receipting procedure to provide guidelines for recording donations received via various methods, including subscription receipts. Process notes have been completed to generate receipts using the receipting database.
•    Process notes for preparing monthly accounts using MYOB accounting system.

The annual financial statements for 31 March 12 was audited at a cost of $2,300. There were no accounting control deficiencies noted in the management letter.

I take this opportunity to thank the other committee members and the supporters of the monastery who supported in various financial processes during the year. I would also thank Su Mon who has accepted the nomination for the treasurer role.

The meeting accepted Savi's report (moved Simon, sec Jeremy).

Dana, Sila, Bhavana: Gratitude was expressed for WTBA's donations to five monasteries last year, totaling $200,000 – Vimutti in Auckland, and Wellington Thai, Laos, Cambodian and Sri Lankan monasteries.  

The Management Committee is agreeable to employing someone to undertake general work in the Treasurer's role when appropriate. Membership processing (currently with Secretary) is in the Treasurer's role, and an employee may do it.

Gratitude
Expressions of gratitude were offered to outgoing Officers Savitri Homer and Heidi Ankers for their superb efforts in the two key roles of the committee.

Committee Elections
The following members were elected to the Management Committee:

1.    President. Ajahn Kusalo        (nom Simon Fern; sec Arumugam Vythilingham)
2.    Vice-President. Simon Fern        (nom Arumugam Vythilingham; sec Philip Lim )
3.    Treasurer. Su Mon         (nom Khin Myint; sec Thejananda Wijeweera )
4.    Asst Treasurer. Thejananda Wijeweera        (nom Simon Fern; sec  Savitri Homer)
5.    Secretary. Tracy Williams         (nom Heidi Ankers; sec Viphavadhee Krech)
6.    Officer. Bounchanh Vanvilay         (nom Arumugam Vythilingham; sec Heidi Ankers )
7.    Officer. Arumugam Vythilingham         (nom Khin Myint; sec Janet Matehe )
8.    Officer. Ros Evans         (nom Sim Loo; sec Lionel Loo)
9.    Officer. Janet Matehe         (nom Heidi Ankers; sec Arumugam  Vythilingham)

A committee photograph has been put on the website www.bodhinyanarama.net.nz

New Business
Reducing Subscription Fee
It was agreed that WTBA membership subscription fees would be reduced to $10 per person, per year. (Moved Ajahn Kusalo, sec Jeremy)

Memorandum of Understanding
The MOU 'Acknowledgement and Inclusion' which was made between the Sangha and the lay members of the Management Committee was read aloud, and copies were passed around the room.

'5 Point Memorandum of Understanding between the Management Committee of the Wellington Theravada Buddhist Association, Inc and the Resident Sangha of Bodhinyanarama Monastery on December 20th 2012.
Acknowledgement
1.    The monastery was established and is maintained by monks of the Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho Theravada Forest Lineage.
2.    Monks of other lineages are welcome providing they follow the Forest Lineage style.
3.    The hope is that this lineage continues.
4.    If the WTBA together with the resident Sangha considers that it has failed then alternatives should be sought.
Inclusion
1.    The resident monks are formally included in decision-making regarding the management of the Monastery.
END

Some suggestions to replace the words 'style' and 'hope' were discussed. However, it was agreed that the essential meaning of the Memorandum is clear and currently gives a basic definition to the role of Sangha and the committee.

It was noted that a lawyer had been consulted about the Memorandum, and that they had given a recommendation that the WTBA also keep good practice by regularly reviewing the constitution; at the very least, every ten years.

A distinguished legal figure well-versed in the requirements of Buddhist groups has offered to be part of that process, if invited.

Ajahn Kusalo noted that governance discrepancies have been a long-standing item of consideration at Bodhinyanarama and that he appreciated the members' support of the A&I, in that it clarified the general view and provided a starting point allowing him time to develop a clearer understanding of constitutional needs in association with the committee and members.

The Memorandum of Understanding was adopted by the AGM. (Moved Simon Fern, sec Jeremy Cole)

General Business

Dana Counters are needed
Our lead dana counter Jeremy Cole explained what the role involves; he is going overseas. We are very grateful that Savitri Homer, Charlotte Yong, Romani Jayasinha, Nuk Thompson came forward, one of whom will need to be a lead person.

Yearly Audit
The AGM agreed with the committee's decision to undergo annual audits because it provides security for all local and overseas donors. Motion: 'The WTBA will have the accounts audited annually, unless proposed otherwise'. (Moved Heidi Ankers, sec Savitiri Homer)

The meeting ended at 4.40 pm with a few minutes of very peaceful silence.

Photos of those in attendance and the new committee were taken in front of the
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