GMG new Zealand chapter formally launched , Thanks to Prachee Gokhale, Prashant Belwalkar, Shirish Paranjape and Sudhir Joshi
GMG New Zealand chapter has been formally launched after completing the formalities on 24th August 2020.
The journey of chapter formation has been quite interesting.
Anand Ganu was in touch with several individuals across New Zealand and was keen on getting the local chapters started. New Zealand is famous for a saying that generally there is only 2 degrees of separation between any 2 people. And it turned out to be true as the people Anand had contacted knew each other very well. This led to a mutual trust and exchange of notes on how to get this done.
Given the geography of NZ the founding trustees quickly agreed on a few points while forming the chapters
• A single pan NZ entity to be formed to cater to entire NZ
• Individual cities will work as a local branch of the national chapter.
• Auckland (Prashant Belwalkar), Wellington (Prachee Gokhale) and Christchurch (Sudhir Joshi,
Shirish Paranjape) were decided to be the foundation cities with named Trustees.
• Prashant raised his hand with the support of the team to look at forming the constitution and register the entity
• This work was completed in a month’s time and despite the setback of Covid 19 formally completed the constitution documentation in March 2020.
• It was decided that given the nature of work being carried out by GMG NZ the best option would be to set it up as a Charitable Trust to give it more credibility and sustainability.
• We applied for the registration of the entity with the Charities Commission in April after ensuring that the purpose and intent is clearly confirming to the requirements for a Charitable status.
• Normally a 12 week period is required to complete the formalities. However the Commission was also under pressure due to Covid restrictions and came back with questions on intent and purpose and their relationship with commercial outcomes.
• Extreme care was taken to refer to the founding organisations principles and 4 guiding principles and their relation to Charitable purpose. This was accepted by the Commission as we were explicit of ending the involvement at the commercialization state of help.
• GMG NZ was there to help mentor Maharashtrians and give them wings to expand beyond NZ shores.
The journey took 8 weeks more than our anticipated timeline but the lessons we learnt were valuable.
Some of them are:
• Working under a single entity where possible reduces conflict and gives a nationwide cohesive identity.
• Where possible and able to gain a Charitable trust status as it brings more credibility and easier for receiving grants and funding if required.
• Working with local Marathi cultural institutions as well as student bodies will be of great help.
Prachee Gokhale, Prashant Belwalkar, Shirish Paranjape and Sudhir Joshi