Prior to 2014 the activities of FOA were under-written by FOA member subscription. From 1 January 2014 with the introduction of a commodity levy administered by the Forest Growers Levy Trust (FGLT), this changed. It is the responsibility of the FGLT to ensure that the money collected under the levy is appropriately invested in areas of research, development and promotion that will further advance NZ forestry here and overseas.
Rather than setting up a bureaucracy of its own, the Trust contracts industry organisations – principally the FOA and FFA – to manage the delivery of services on its behalf and to provide secretariat services to the Trust.
Joint FOA/FFA committees oversee the Trust's work. These committees, made up of individuals selected for their expertise and knowledge, report to the FOA Board. The chief executive of the FOA then reports to the Trust. The committees are made up of representatives of FOA and FFA members, who provide their time on an in-kind basis.
The chair of each committee is a member of the Executive Council to facilitate reporting to the Executive and to act as a conduit for policy matters etc. back to the committee. This model is working well.
When serving on a committee (as with being on the Executive Council) a member is not there as a "representative" of their company or any other group, but to act in the interests of members as a whole. Obviously, however, members will bring their own point of view to the discussion.
In order to function effectively and efficiently, in some areas it is desirable to have input from other quarters to the committees' deliberations. For this reason, a number of the committees have "invited members" on them to participate in the discussion and assist in its conclusions. Invited members are "non-voting". The actual "voting membership" of a committee must be actual members of the Association, discharging their stewardship to Association members as a whole in terms of their delegation from the Executive Council.