The New Zealand Cavy Council

Constitution & Rules


The New Zealand Cavy Council's constitution and rules that governs its activity.

1. Purpose and Scope of the New Zealand Cavy Council (‘the Council’)

1.1. The objectives of the Council are to:

(a) To promote the cavy fancy within New Zealand.

(b) To act as the co-ordinating body for Members and affiliated clubs.

(c) To train new judges and maintain a high standard of judging within New Zealand.

(d) To set standards for the judging of Cavies throughout New Zealand by registered NZCC judges.

(e) To be guided by Australian and British Cavy Council standards where possible.

(f) To ensure that Breed Standards are phrased to be as clear as possible to judges, breeders and exhibitors; offer a difficult but achievable challenge to the breeder and exhibitor; and provide a logical basis for comparisons to be made regarding the relative merits of exhibits of different breeds.  

(g) To provide information and advice on all matters pertaining to Cavies.  

(h) To promote the quality of purebred Cavies in New Zealand and support importation where necessary.

1.2 Standards in existence on 03 April 2015 will continue to be recognised by the Council unless and until superseded by changes that it has authorised. Standards are to be freely available on the council website.

1.3 Standards for any breed of cavy may only be defined, altered or deleted with the approval of the Council Standards Review Panel. All changes will be proposed to the council committee by the standards review panel for comment before a final vote by the standards review panel.

1.4 No Affiliated Club may attempt to cater for any additional breed without the prior approval of the Council.  

1.5 The Council does not intend to define club Show Regulations or deal with matters arising there from. Any complaints arising in regard to an alleged breach of these Regulations, other than those that are covered by explicit Council Rules, must be dealt with by the Affiliated Club whose Regulations govern the show.

1.6 The Council shall operate a national registration scheme for studs. The Council shall maintain a register of studs.

1.7 The Council shall draw up a set of National Show Rules, which may be updated and amended through the committee.

1.8 The Council shall publish the Constitution and Rules on the NZCC website. Members will be notified upon alteration.

2. Composition of the Council

2.1 The Council Committee will consist of Representatives from Affiliated Clubs in New Zealand.

2.2 All council members will be responsible for the election of the representative Committee members. However, as such representative Committee members will frequently need to take decisions with implications both for the Affiliated Clubs and for the cavy fancy as a whole, representatives must be on the committee of an Affiliated Club as defined in Rule 5.1

2.3 Representative committee members appointed by the council membership must consist of a President, Vice president, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster and 1 representative from each affiliated club as Executive members of the Council.

Also to be appointed a minimum of 3 and maximum of four Standard review panel Representatives, and 3 Judges training panel representatives.

2.4 The responsibility of the Secretary is to ensure the proper and orderly running of the Council. This will include calling meetings; producing an Agenda for each meeting; agreeing all minutes and communications to the cavy fancy at large; ensuring that meetings are conducted in a clear and orderly fashion and that agreed procedures are followed with regard to any decisions to be made by the Council.

2.5 In cases where Council Rules are ambiguous or do not adequately cover a particular issue; the president shall have the right to determine the appropriate action, in the best interests of the Council and the Cavy Fancy; but in doing so he will consult and attempt to reconcile the views of Council representatives.

2.6 The responsibility of the Treasurer is to produce draft financial reports for agreement by the committee, and to control the financial arrangements of the Council.

2.7 The responsibility of the Standards review panel Representatives is to ensure that Breed Standards are phrased to be as clear as possible to judges, breeders and exhibitors; offer a difficult but achievable challenge to the breeder and exhibitor; and provide a logical basis for comparisons to be made regarding the relative merits of exhibits of different breeds, and are aligned with current British Cavy Council and Australian standards where applicable.

 2.8 The Secretary, Treasurer will serve for a period of two years but are eligible for re-election. However, the Secretary and/or Treasurer may be removed by means of a Vote of Confidence carried by a simple majority of all potential votes (i.e. the votes allocated under 2.1 &2.2) of those attending a meeting of the Council for which the Agenda specifically refers to the matter.

2.9 Standards review panel representatives will serve for a two year period on a rotating basis . Every year one person steps down and a new person is elected.

2.10 Judges training panel representatives will serve for a two year period on a rotating basis . Every year one person steps down and a new person is elected.

2.11 The Council committee may create Subcommittees as it thinks fit and shall make rules regulating their appointment, functions and management. Any such sub-committee shall at all times be subject to the control and direction of the Council.


3. Meeting and Voting Procedures

3.1 Meetings will be held when deemed necessary by the Secretary, ideally with the agreement of the Council committee, or at the request of at least half of the representatives on the Council committee, at a location or by a means considered likely to maximise attendanceAny business between AGMs can be conducted by email correspondence or other approved methods. If a method other than correspondence is used, such business is to be confirmed in writing to all Council members.

3.2 Items for the Agenda must be submitted to the Secretary in sufficient time for the Secretary to agree the Agenda and for copies of the Agenda and relevant papers to be sent to representatives at least 14 days prior to the date a committee meeting and 28 day prior to the date of an AGM.

3.3 More than half of all representatives on the Council Committee must be present in order to constitute a quorum.

3.4 Decisions taken will be binding on all Affiliated Clubs, so long as the item under discussion has been published in the Agenda and a voting majority has been obtained.

3.5 All matters shall be decided by a simple majority of votes cast, as determined in 2.1 &2.2, except in the following cases:

3.6 Delegates are not permitted to vote as individuals, all voting as intended by the affiliated club the delegate is representing. Each affiliated club has one vote.

3.7 The acceptance of an application for affiliation by a new Club, the agreement is required of two thirds

of the votes, as determined by 2.1 &2.2, of those attending a meeting of the Council Committee for which the Agenda specifically refers to the matter, and so long as this total in favour represents at least half of the potential votes of the entire Council Committee (i.e. including the potential votes of non-attendees)


3.8 To allow creation, modification (other than in the case of minor modifications designed to improve clarity or remove ambiguity) or removal of a standard, the agreement is required of two thirds of the votes, as determined by 2.1 & 2.2, of those attending a meeting of the Council Committee for which the Agenda specifically refers to the matter, and so long as the total in favour represents at least half of the potential votes of the entire Council Committee (i.e. including the potential votes of non-attendees)

3.9 To enforce the removal of, or a transfer of a breed from one breed group to another, the agreement is required of two thirds of the votes, as determined by 2.1 &2.2, of those attending a meeting of the Council Committee for which the Agenda specifically refers to the matter, and so long as the total in favour represents at least half of the potential votes of the entire Council committee (i.e. including the potential votes of non-attendees)

3.10 To expel an Affiliated Club from the Council, which situation may only be expected to arise following a serious transgression by the Affiliated Club of Council Rules or rulings, the agreement is required of two thirds of the votes, as determined by 2.1 &2.2, of those attending a meeting of the Council Committee for which the Agenda specifically refers to the matter, and so long as the total in favour represents at least  2/3rds of the potential votes of the entire Council (i.e. including the potential votes of non-attendees).

3.11 The council may be wound up by two (3) affiliated clubs submitting a joint motion The notice for winding up must  be submitted to the secretary with no less than ninety (90) days’ notice.  

A full Extra-ordinary meeting must be called with a minimum of the representatives from three quarters of fully affiliated clubs present.  For a vote of fully affiliated clubs to be successful in winding up the council the vote must achieve a minimum of three quarters potential majority vote. If the vote should prove successful assets of the Council, net of any outstanding expenses, will be allocated as determined by a simple majority of the votes of those attending such a meeting.

3.12 In the event of a tie the president may exercise an additional casting vote.

3.13 Changes to the Rules of the Council will take effect from the date specified in the Minutes. No Rule can be applied to deal with an issue that may have arisen prior to the enactment of the Rule, unless that issue is deemed to have an ongoing impact on the effectiveness of the Council and the New Zealand Fancy.

3.14 Decisions made by the Council committee will take effect from the date specified in the Minutes.

3.15 Authorised proxies will be permitted to vote when a club is unable to send representatives in person. The names of the proxy voters to be in the hands of the Secretary, in writing before the AGM. All proxy votes are to be in writing, and are to specify the precise intention of the club allocating such authority on particular items on the agenda. A copy of such proxy votes is to be in the hands of the Secretary before the AGM.

Any business between AGMs shall be conducted by email correspondence or other approved methods. If a method other than correspondence is used, such business is to be confirmed in writing to all Council members.

3.16 An AGM shall be held during the weekend of the National Show.

3.17 Minutes of the AGM including full agenda item voting results, are to be forwarded in writing to all affiliated clubs not later than sixty (60) days after the meeting.

4. Use of Breed Standards

4.1 The Council will maintain an up-to-date register of all breed standards; will publish new standards or modifications to existing ones. These standards will be freely available via the council website.

4.2 Full Standards are defined for all breeds of cavy that in the Council committees opinion represent varieties that are distinct from all other existing breeds, provide a desirable addition to the Cavy Fancy, and for which a standard of excellence has been established and agreed after a sustained process of breeding and exhibition. Such standards will describe the most important characteristics of the ideal exhibit of each breed and indicate, via an allocation of points adding up to 100, the relative weighting to be given to each of these characteristics in assessing different exhibits. However, the importance of ‘balance’ in an exhibit must always be considered: an exhibit that is a ‘near miss’ on all characteristics may be regarded as more desirable than one that is perfect in several but very poor in a particular one, and the points allocated are therefore not intended to be used as the basis of a scoring system.

4.3 Guide Standards are defined for breeds of cavy that are in a process of development but that, in the Council’s opinion, represent varieties that are distinct from all other existing breeds, are likely to provide a desirable addition to the Cavy Fancy, and for which a provisional standard of excellence can be stated after an initial period of breeding and exhibition Such standards will describe the most important characteristics of the ideal exhibit of the breed but are likely to be stated in more general terms than for a Full Standard; and no points allocations will be given to indicate the relative importance of different characteristics.

4.4 In Open cavy shows the only cavies that may be exhibited are those having a Full Standard agreed by the Council, with the following exceptions:

(a) Cavies of breeds for which a Guide Standard has been agreed by the Council.

(b) Cavies of non-standardised colours of standardised breeds, which shall be viewed as having a de facto Guide Standard, the guidance points being as for the standardised breed but with colour definition(s) remaining to be specified. Cavies in these categories (a) and (b) may only be shown in a class or classes specifically defined for Guide Standard cavies and are not eligible for awards in competition with fully standardised cavies.

(c) Cavies not satisfying the above conditions, i.e. new or emerging varieties, will only be permitted to enter classes specifically defined to allow the assessment of such varieties under conditions laid down by the Council. These conditions will be framed to encourage serious breeding activities aimed at developing valid new varieties, but duplication outside these specific ‘assessment’ classes will not be allowed.

(d) Pet cavies, for which judging criteria are subject to individual opinion but include cleanliness and health. These cavies cannot be shown in competition with Pedigree Cavies or Cavies under a guide standard of cavies in other categories.

4.5 At any Open show there shall be at least one breed class available for entry by any breed of cavy that has a Full Standard. There should also be at least one class available for any breed of cavy that has a Guide Standard, as defined in Rule 4.4(a) and 4.4(b) above.

4.6 All Breed Judges and Probationary Judges shall at all times when judging in New Zealand apply the New Zealand Breed Standards currently defined by the Council.

4.9 The Council shall operate a national registration scheme for studs. The Council shall maintain a register of studs.

4.10 The Council shall draw up a set of National Show Rules, which may be updated and amended through the committee.

4.11 The Council shall publish the Constitution and Rules on the NZCC website. Members will be notified upon alteration.

5. Code of Practice for Clubs Affiliated to the Council

5.1 Clubs affiliated to the Council must be run in a fair, open and competent manner conducive to the best interests of the members they serve, and the Cavy Fancy as a whole. In particular all such Clubs are expected to:

(a) Elect a Committee  consisting, at a minimum, of a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer (which role may be combined with that of Secretary) and at least 2 other members, which should meet as necessary to ensure the proper running and governance of the Club to meet the above objectives and the responsibilities described below.

(b) Hold an Annual General Meeting on a date not exceeding 15 months from the date of the previous meeting, at least 14 days’ notice should be given prior to an AGM to be published in publications as determined by the Affiliated Club

(c) Ensure that a yearly financial report is prepared annually, and presented to the Annual General Meeting.

(d) Ensure that Club Rules, dealing with the organisation and activities of the Club, are maintained in a clear and comprehensible form; and that such rules are followed wherever possible in ordering the Club’s organisation and activities.

(e) Hold each year not less than two championship shows. A probationary year may apply while a new club becomes established, while they may be assisted, and less shows would be acceptable.

(f) Lodge with the Council within 3 months of an AGM’s taking place, or such later date as may be agreed by the Secretary of the Council, Minutes of the AGM including contact details of the office holders and elected council representative.

(g) Inform members that the club is affiliated with the New Zealand Cavy Council, who they can turn to for advice or unresolved club issues.

6. Disciplinary Action by the Council and Affiliated Clubs against Members

6.1 In the event that the Council or an Affiliated Club takes disciplinary action against one of its members

a) The Club or Council must advise the Member specifically and in writing of his/her rights of appeal, both within the Club and to the Council.

b) The Member may appeal to the Council against the Council's or the Affiliated Club’s findings and decision. Such appeals can be made only after the exhaustion of any Appeals Procedure that may exist within the Club in question; must be made within 28 days of notification to the Member of the Club’s decision as regards the Appeal (or of the original decision if there is no Appeals Procedure); and must be made in writing accompanied by a payment of $25, which will be forfeited to the Council should the Council determine, entirely at its discretion, that the Appeal had no reasonable basis.

c) In cases of such Appeals, a meeting of the full Council committee will be convened as soon as is reasonably convenient, at which the relevant Club and Member will be invited to make written and/or verbal submissions of the issues involved. These should, on behalf of the Affiliated Club, include details of the alleged offence and the reasons for the disciplinary action determined; and, on behalf of the Member, any rebuttal of the alleged offence or arguments as to why the disciplinary action is considered unreasonable. Appeals will be heard by as many of the full Council committee as can attend.

d) After hearing the Appeal, the Council committee will determine whether disciplinary action against the Appellant is justified and what action is appropriate. The original disciplinary action may be upheld, expunged or varied in any manner that the Council believes is fair and appropriate to the offence committed. The disciplinary action determined by the Council may extend to cover all Clubs affiliated to the Council as well as the one initiating the original complaint.

e) In addition to the circumstances described above, Council action may also be initiated by an Affiliated Club itself in situations where it believes that an offence committed by a member is so significant that action by other Clubs is warranted. In such cases the same procedures as those described above will be undertaken, with the Affiliated Club presenting its case and the Member’s being allowed to present a defence.

f) Only in the situations above, where the Council has, as a body, considered and upheld disciplinary action against a Member of an Affiliated Club, may an Affiliated Club take action against one of its Members as a result of an offence committed against another Affiliated Club. (All Club Rules relating to such ‘reciprocal action’ are therefore rendered redundant by this Rule.)

g) Given that the Council has, via this Rule, established an independent Appeals Procedure for a Member of an Affiliated Club who is dissatisfied with any action taken against him/her, and since the Cavy Fancy represents a ‘hobby’ activity run with a relatively low level of financial resources, should a Member of an Affiliated Club attempt to invoke any form of legal action for any issue that is covered by Council rules, then this shall be considered a strong prima facie reason whereby an Affiliated Club may refuse to renew the membership of the Member in question when such membership becomes due for renewal.

7. Enforcement of Council Rulings and Disciplinary Procedures

7.1 The Council may take action to rectify any problem situation that may occur in its sphere of influence as defined by any of the above rules. In particular it will be concerned in cases of:

- Significant non-compliance by Affiliated Clubs of the standards of behaviour expected by the Council as defined under Rule 5;

- Evident disregard by All Breed and Probationary Judges of the Breed Standards of the Council or its rulings as regards Breed Standards, as detailed in Rule 4;

- Evident disregard by the officials of clubs holding an Open show of Council rulings as regards Breed Standards, as detailed in Rule 4.

7.2 Any significant alleged transgression of Council rules may be brought to the attention of the Council by any Member club or by any individual member of an Affiliated Club, save that in the latter case the individual member must first have sought to resolve the alleged situation by a direct approach to the Club or individual concerned, or offer some good reason as to why this was not possible.

7.3 In the case of such an allegations being made to the Council, the individual or Affiliated Club allegedly in offence will be notified of the complaint and may, if in the opinion of the Secretary there is a case to answer, be asked to attend a meeting of the Council at which the complaint will be considered. In this case similar procedures to those detailed in 6.1 (b) will be invoked. The Secretary will report all such allegations to the next meeting of the Council, including those cases that he/she regards as not worthy of further action, so that if it deems it to be appropriate the Council may amend the actions that the Secretary has determined.

7.4 A complaint as regards such a transgression of Council Rules and Procedures can only be upheld by the agreement of two thirds of the votes, as determined by 2.1 & 2.2, of those attending a meeting of the Council for which the Agenda specifically refers to the matter, and so long as the total in favour represents at least half of the potential votes of the entire Council (i.e. including the potential votes of non-attendees)

7.5 If the Council finds the complaint to be upheld, it may determine any action that it deems appropriate to resolve the matter and to ensure future compliance with Council rules and procedures, always bearing in mind the best interests of the Cavy Fancy. Amongst the actions that may be taken by the Council in cases of proven transgression are:

- Formal warning not to repeat the offence and the seeking of undertakings to this effect;

- Instruction to reverse any effects of the transgression of Council rules, where this is possible;

- For individuals in transgression of Council rules, expulsion from all Affiliated Clubs and the Council or the refusal to renew membership when it becomes due for renewal;

- For judges refusing to recognise Council Breed Standards, suspension from the Judging of all Affiliated Club shows;

- For Affiliated Clubs that are, in the Council’s opinion not being properly run in accordance with the requirements of Rule 5, expulsion from the Council and the withdrawal of all benefits.

- For Affiliated Clubs holding Open Shows that refuse to operate in accordance with the requirements of Council Rule 4 regarding Breed Standards, the withdrawal of the Council’s permission to use its Breed Standards at such shows and of the recognition of the results of such shows for the purposes of Championship claims and other awards.

7.6 The Council may withdraw any penalty once it has been satisfied that the offence causing sanction will not be repeated.


8. Running of Council Activities

8.1 It is intended that the running and clerical expenses of the Council will be met from the proceeds of New Stud Registrations, Club registrations, Individual Memberships. Championship certificates, fundraising and Donations.

8.2 Each affiliated club is to pay a registration fee per year to the council.  Each Individual Member is to pay a yearly membership fee To be reviewed annually at the AGM ..

8.3 New Stud registration fee to be reviewed annually at the AGM.

8.4 The Treasurer will maintain accounts of Income and Expenditure, to be presented to the Council annually or when additional income is required.

8.5 The Committee will control all expenditure.

8.6 The financial year shall run from 1st of March to 1st of March the following year.

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