Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity Act 1994


Tasmanian Crest
Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity Act 1994

An Act to establish the Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity, to enable the Council to investigate obstetric and paediatric mortality and morbidity and to give, receive and retain information in respect of such matters and for related purposes

[Royal Assent 10 May 1994]

Be it enacted by His Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, in Parliament assembled, as follows:

PART 1 - Preliminary

1.   Short title

[Section 1 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 5, Applied:04 Nov 2010] This Act may be cited as the Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity Act 1994 .

2.   Commencement

This Act commences on a day to be proclaimed.

3.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears –
born alive means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a viable foetus in which, after that expulsion or extraction, the heart was beating;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 6, Applied:04 Nov 2010] child death means the death of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 6, Applied:04 Nov 2010] committee means a committee established under section 9 ;
Council means the Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity established by section 4 ;
employee means a person whose services are made available to the Council under section 10 (a) or (b) ;
function includes duty;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 6, Applied:04 Nov 2010] information means any information –
(a) in, or derived from, a document; or
(b) provided orally;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 40 of 2005, s. 4, Applied:15 Sep 2005]
[Section 3 Amended by No. 40 of 2005, s. 4, Applied:15 Sep 2005] late maternal death means the death of a woman more than 42 days but less than one year after the cessation of pregnancy –
(a) resulting from an obstetric cause or another cause aggravated by an obstetric cause; and
(b) irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy and the location of the foetus within the woman's body;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 40 of 2005, s. 4, Applied:15 Sep 2005] maternal death means the death of a woman while pregnant, or within 42 days after the cessation of pregnancy –
(a) from any cause related to, or aggravated by, the pregnancy or its management; and
(b) irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy and the location of the foetus within the woman's body;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] midwife means a person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Tasmania) in the midwifery profession;
perinatal death means –
(a) the death of a viable foetus at any time up to the moment of its complete expulsion or extraction from its mother; and
(b) the death of a child born alive where the death occurs before the twenty-ninth day after the date of the birth;
register means the perinatal register or other register maintained by the Council under section 14 ;
regulations means regulations made and in force under section 20 ;
[Section 3 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 6, Applied:04 Nov 2010] [Section 3 Amended by No. 27 of 2011, s. 61, Applied:01 Jan 2012] relevant Minister means the Minister administering the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997 or the Minister administering the Disability Services Act 2011 , as the case may require;
Secretary means Secretary of the Department;
viable foetus means a product of conception –
(a) of at least 20 weeks' gestation or such lesser number of weeks gestation as may be prescribed by the regulations; or
(b) of a weight of not less than 400 grams or such lesser weight as may be prescribed by the regulations.
PART 2 - Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity

4.   The Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity

The Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity is established.

5.   Membership of Council

(1)  [Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by No. 100 of 1995, s. 97 and Sched. 7 ]The Council consists of not less than 8 and not more than 10 members of whom –
(a) two are to be persons nominated by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania; and
(b) one is to be a person who is –
(i) employed in the delivery of neonatal services at the Royal Hobart Hospital; and
(ii) nominated by the Secretary; and
(c) one is to be a person who is –
(i) employed in the Department; and
(ii) nominated by the Secretary; and
(d) [Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by S.R. 2011, No. 47, Applied:08 Jun 2011] one is to be a member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists nominated by the Tasmanian Branch of that College; and
(e) [Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by S.R. 2011, No. 47, Applied:08 Jun 2011] one is to be a member of the Paediatrics and Child Health Division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians nominated by the Tasmanian State Committee of that Division; and
(f) one is to be a member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners nominated by the Tasmanian Branch of that College; and
(g) [Section 5 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] one is to be a midwife who is nominated by the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian College of Midwives Incorporated.
(2)  The members of the Council specified in subsection (1) (a) to (g) (inclusive) are appointed by the Minister.
(3)  In addition to the members of the Council specified in subsection (1) (a) to (g) (inclusive), the Minister may appoint not more than 2 other members of the Council nominated by a majority of those members.
(4)  The Minister may appoint a member as chairperson of the Council.
(5)  The Minister may require a body or a person holding an office referred to in subsection (1) to nominate one or more persons within a specified period (being a period of not less than 2 months).
(6)  If a body or person fails to comply with a requirement made under subsection (4) , the Minister may appoint a person with the qualifications required by subsection (1) as a member of the Council.
(7)  If a body or an office referred to in subsection (1) has a change of name, the Governor may, by order, amend that subsection by substituting the new name of the body or office.
(8)  If a body or an office referred to in subsection (1) ceases to exist, the Governor may, on the recommendation of the Council, by order, amend that subsection by substituting an office or body which the Governor is satisfied –
(a) is similar to the office that has ceased to exist; or
(b) substantially represents the interests represented by the body that has ceased to exist.
(9)  Schedule 1 has effect with respect to the membership of the Council.
(10)  Schedule 2 has effect with respect to the meetings of the Council.

6.   Functions of Council

The Council has the following functions:
(a) to investigate the circumstances surrounding, and the conditions that have or may have caused –
(i) [Section 6 Amended by No. 40 of 2005, s. 5, Applied:15 Sep 2005] maternal, late maternal and perinatal deaths in Tasmania; and
(ii) [Section 6 Amended by No. 40 of 2005, s. 5, Applied:15 Sep 2005] deaths of children in Tasmania in the age group from 29 days to 17 years (inclusive); and
(iii) congenital abnormalities in children born in Tasmania; and
(iv) injuries, illness or defects suffered by pregnant women or viable foetuses in Tasmania at any time before or during childbirth;
(b) to maintain a perinatal data collection for the purpose of –
(i) collecting, studying, researching and interpreting information relating to deaths referred to in paragraph (a) ; and
(ii) collecting, studying, researching and interpreting information relating to births in Tasmania; and
(iii) identifying and monitoring trends in respect of perinatal health (including congenital abnormalities); and
(iv) providing information to the Secretary on the requirements for, and the planning of, obstetric and neonatal care; and
(v) providing information to persons employed in health care and to researchers; and
(vi) maintaining a register of congenital abnormalities;
(c) [Section 6 Amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] to provide information for the education and instruction in medical theory and practice in obstetrics and paediatrics for medical practitioners, registered nurses, enrolled nurses and midwives;
(d) to investigate and report on any other matters relating to obstetric and paediatric mortality and morbidity referred to the Council by the Minister or the Secretary;
(da) [Section 6 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 7, Applied:04 Nov 2010] to investigate and report to the Minister, a relevant Minister or the Secretary of its own motion on any matter relating to obstetric and paediatric mortality and morbidity that it considers necessary;
(db) [Section 6 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 7, Applied:04 Nov 2010] to communicate to the Minister, or a relevant Minister, the Secretary or a prescribed body, information relating to –
(i) a child death, maternal death or late maternal death; or
(ii) the morbidity of a child or a woman who is or has been pregnant;
(e) to perform any other function imposed by this Act or any other Act or the regulations.

6A.   Information to coroner

[Section 6A Inserted by No. 32 of 2010, s. 8, Applied:04 Nov 2010]
(1)  The Council may, of its own motion or at the request of a coroner, make recommendations and provide information to a coroner that it considers relevant to a child death, a maternal death or a late maternal death.
(2)  Neither section 15 nor section 15A precludes a coroner from admitting as evidence information provided to the coroner under subsection (1) .

7.   Powers of Council

The Council has the following powers:
(a) [Section 7 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 9, Applied:04 Nov 2010] to require any person to provide any information in that person's control that is relevant to the performance by the Council of its functions;
(b) to do all things necessary or convenient in connection with the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers under this or any other Act.

8.   Delegation

[Section 8 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 10, Applied:04 Nov 2010] The Council may, in writing, delegate to a member of the Council or a committee any of its functions or powers other than this power of delegation.

9.   Committees

(1)  The Council may establish committees to assist it in performing its functions.
(2)  A committee consists of –
(a) such members of the Council as the Council determines; and
(b) such other persons as the Council determines and are approved by the Minister.
(3)  A committee –
(a) must provide the Council with information and advice on any matter referred to it by the Council; and
(b) must perform any functions delegated to it by the Council.
(4)  A committee has the same powers as the Council.
(5)  Meetings of a committee are to be held in accordance with any directions given by the Council.
(6)  Schedule 1 , other than clauses 1 and 7 , applies in relation to members of a committee who are persons referred to in subsection (2) (b) as if –
(a) a reference in that Schedule to a member were a reference to a member of the committee; and
(b) a reference in that Schedule to the Council were a reference to the committee.
(7)  Subject to this section, Schedule 2 applies in relation to the meetings of a committee as if –
(a) a reference in that Schedule to a member were a reference to a member of the committee; and
(b) a reference in that Schedule to the Council were a reference to the committee.

10.   Staff

For the purposes of enabling the Council to perform its functions –
(a) the Secretary must make available to the Council the services of such persons employed in the Department as are necessary; and
(b) the Council, with the approval of the Secretary, may arrange with the Council of the University of Tasmania for the services of persons employed by the University to be made available to the Council.

11.   Arrangements with other persons

With the approval of the Secretary, the Council may make arrangements and enter into contracts and joint ventures with other persons to facilitate the performance of its functions.

12.   Reports of Council

[Section 12 Subsection (1) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] [Section 12 Substituted by No. 32 of 2010, s. 11, Applied:04 Nov 2010]
(1)  On or before 31 October in each year, the Council must give the Minister a report on the operations of the Council for the financial year ending on the preceding 30 June.
(2)  The report referred to in subsection (1) may be appended to the annual report of the Department.
(3)  If the report referred to in subsection (1) is not appended to the annual report of the Department, the Minister must cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament within 10 sitting-days of receiving the report.
(4)  In addition to the report referred to in subsection (1) , the Council may prepare each year a report which contains information and recommendations arising from the performance of the functions and the exercise of the powers of the Council and any committee, including the perinatal data collection maintained by the Council.
(5)  The report referred to in subsection (4) is to be for a 12-month period specified in the report.
(6)  If the Council prepares a report under subsection (4) , it must give a copy to the Minister and the Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of Parliament within 10 sitting-days of receiving the report.
(7)  The reports referred to in subsection (1) or (4) must not contain any information which enables the identification of any person in respect of whom information is kept in a register.

13.   Protection of members of Council and staff

(1)  A member of the Council or a committee does not incur any personal liability in respect of any act done, or omitted, in good faith in the performance or exercise, or the purported performance or exercise, of any function or power under this or any other Act.
(2)  An employee does not incur any personal liability in respect of any act done, or omitted, in the course of his or her employment undertaken for the purposes of this Act.
PART 3 - Registers

14.   Registers

The Council must maintain such perinatal and other registers as it considers appropriate.

15.   Confidentiality and use of information

[Section 15 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] [Section 15 Subsection (3) amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] [Section 15 Subsection (6) amended by No. 54 of 2009, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] [Section 15 Substituted by No. 32 of 2010, s. 12, Applied:04 Nov 2010]
(1)  A person who is or has been a member of the Council, a member of a committee or an employee must not directly or indirectly –
(a) make a record of, or disclose, publish or communicate to any other person, any information gained by or conveyed to the person as such a member or employee; or
(b) make use of any such information –
except to the extent necessary for the performance of the Council's functions or in the exercise of the Council's powers.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

(2)  Information referred to in subsection (1) is not admissible in any proceeding before any court, tribunal, board, Agency (within the meaning of the State Service Act 2000 ) or person.
(3)  The Council, a committee, a member of the Council or a committee or an employee may not be required to disclose or produce the information before any court, tribunal, board, Agency (within the meaning of the State Service Act 2000 ) or person if –
(a) the information was provided to the Council, a committee, a member of the Council or a committee or an employee under this Act; or
(b) the information, not being a report referred to in section 12 , was produced by the Council, a committee, a member of the Council or a committee or an employee for the purposes of the performance by the Council of its functions or of facilitating that performance or exercise of the Council's powers.
(4)  Notwithstanding subsection (1) , a person who is a member of the Council, a member of a committee or an employee may disclose information with the approval of the Council –
(a) to a medical practitioner, or a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or midwife, concerned in –
(i) the care of the pregnant woman and her unborn child; or
(ii) the birth of the child; or
(iii) the care of the child under the age of 6 months; or
(iv) the care of the child born with a congenital abnormality, injury, illness or defect; or
(b) to a person concerned in research.
(5)  Any information disclosed under subsection (4)(b) must not contain information which enables the identification of any person in respect of whom information is kept in a register, except where the person or the person's parent or guardian has consented in writing to that identification.
(6)  A person to whom information is disclosed under subsection (4) and any person or employee under the control of that person is subject in respect of that information to the same rights, privileges, obligations and liabilities under this section as those to which a member of the Council is subject.
(7)  The Right to Information Act 2009 does not apply in relation to –
(a) any information that was provided to the Council, a committee, a member of the Council or a committee, an employee or a person under this Act; or
(b) any information that was produced by the Council, a committee, a member of the Council or a committee, an employee or a person.
(8)  This section does not preclude or otherwise prevent a prescribed person, within the meaning of section 14 of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997 , who is a member of the Council or a committee from complying with his or her obligations under section 14 of that Act.
(9)  If the Council believes, or suspects, on reasonable grounds that an indictable offence has been committed in relation to a child or woman, this section does not preclude or otherwise prevent the Council from reporting that belief or suspicion to the Commissioner of Police.

15A.   Restriction on dealing with information

[Section 15A Inserted by No. 32 of 2010, s. 12, Applied:04 Nov 2010]
(1)  The Council may, by notice in writing, declare that disclosed information specified in the notice is confidential information.
(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1)  –
disclosed information means information that is disclosed by the Council, a committee, a member of the Council or a committee or employee in the performance or exercise of the Council's, committee's or that person's functions or powers.
(3)  A person who receives or is in possession of information that has been declared by the Council to be confidential information and any person or employee under the control of the first-mentioned person must not, directly or indirectly –
(a) make a record of, or disclose, publish or communicate to any person, that information; or
(b) make use of that information –
except to the extent that it is necessary to perform the obligations of, or carry out the duties of, the office of the person.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

(4)  A person who receives or is in possession of information that has been declared by the Council to be confidential information is not required to produce before any court, tribunal, board, Agency (within the meaning of the State Service Act 2000 ) or person that information or an extract of that information.

16.   Duty of attendant at birth or death, &c., to provide required information

(1)  In this section –
attendant means –
(a) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] if the birth or death occurs in an establishment, the licensee of the establishment; or
(b) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 13 of 1997, Applied:01 Jul 1997] if the birth or death occurs in a public hospital, the Secretary or, where the Secretary has delegated his or her functions as attendant under this section to another person, that other person; or
(c) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] if the birth occurs elsewhere than in an establishment or a public hospital–
(i) the midwife or person performing the duties of midwife in attendance on the mother at the time of the birth; or
(ii) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] where there is no midwife or person performing the duties of midwife in attendance on the mother at the time of the birth, the medical practitioner in attendance; or
(iii) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] where there is no midwife, person performing the duties of midwife or medical practitioner in attendance on the mother at the time of the birth–
(A) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] if the mother or child is admitted to an establishment or a public hospital because of the birth, the person specified in paragraph (a) or (b) ; or
(B) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] in any other case, the medical practitioner who undertakes the care and treatment of the mother and child because of the birth; or
(d) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] if the death occurs elsewhere than in an establishment or a public hospital–
(i) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] where a medical practitioner was in attendance at the death or examined the body of the deceased, that medical practitioner; or
(ii) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 58 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Nov 2000] [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] where a medical practitioner is required to give a certificate in respect of the death under section 35 of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1999 , that medical practitioner; or
(iii) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 3 of 2010, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Jul 2010] where no medical practitioner is required to give the certificate referred to in subparagraph (ii) , a person in attendance at the death; or
(iv) [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 58 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Nov 2000] in any other case, a person required to give information relating to the death to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1999 ;
[Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] establishment has the same meaning as in the Health Service Establishments Act 2006 ;
[Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] [Section 16 Subsection (1) amended by No. 58 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Nov 2000]
required information means the information required by the Council as specified in a form provided or approved by the Council.
(2)  An attendant must provide the required information in relation to a birth, maternal death or perinatal death to the Council within 7 days after that birth or death.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

(3)  An attendant must not disclose or publish required information to any person except to the extent necessary for the performance of his, her or its functions as attendant and, as the case may be, as –
(a) [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 17 of 2006, Sched. 3, Applied:01 Oct 2011] licensee of an establishment; or
(b) [Section 16 Subsection (3) amended by No. 13 of 1997, Applied:01 Jul 1997] .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
(c) a midwife or person performing the duties of midwife; or
(d) a legally-qualified medical practitioner.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

(4)  [Section 16 Subsection (4) substituted by No. 58 of 1999, Sched. 1, Applied:01 Nov 2000] The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages must provide the required information in relation to a maternal death or perinatal death to the Council within 30 days after receiving notification of the event under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1999 .

17.   Duty to provide information requested by Council

[Section 17 Amended by No. 32 of 2010, s. 13, Applied:04 Nov 2010] On receipt of the written request of the Council, a person must provide any information in that person's control that the Council–
(a) considers may be relevant to the performance of its functions; and
(b) has specified in the request.

Penalty:  Fine not exceeding 5 penalty units.

PART 4 - Miscellaneous

18.   Presumptions

In any proceedings, unless evidence is given to the contrary, proof is not required of –
(a) the constitution of the Council or a committee; or
(b) any resolution of the Council or a committee; or
(c) the appointment of a member of the Council or a committee; or
(d) the presence of a quorum at any meeting of the Council or a committee; or
(e) the provision of the services of a person to the Council under section 10 (a) or (b) .

19.   Service of documents

A document may be served on the Council or a committee –
(a) by leaving it at, or sending it by post to, the address of the Department; or
(b) as specified in any form required to be provided under this Act; or
(c) as otherwise approved by the Council in writing.

20.   Regulations

(1)  The Governor may make regulations for the purposes of this Act.
(2)  Regulations may be made so as to apply differently according to matters, limitations or restrictions, whether as to time, circumstance or otherwise, specified in the regulations.
(3)  The regulations may –
(a) provide that a contravention of, or a failure to comply with, any of the regulations is an offence; and
(b) in respect of such an offence, provide for the imposition of a fine not exceeding 5 penalty units and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding 0·5 penalty units for each day during which the offence continues.
(4)  The regulations may authorize any matter to be from time to time determined, applied or regulated by the Council.

21.   

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

22.   Administration of Act

Until provision is made in relation to this Act by order under section 4 of the Administrative Arrangements Act 1990
(a) the administration of this Act is assigned to the Minister for Community and Health Services; and
(b) the Department responsible to the Minister for Community and Health Services in relation to the administration of this Act is the Department ofCommunity and Health Services.
SCHEDULE 1 - Members of Council

Section 5 (9)

1.   Interpretation
In this Schedule, member means member of the Council.
2.   Term of office
A member holds office for such term, not exceeding 3 years, as is specified in the instrument of appointment.
3.   Holding other office
The holder of an office who is required under any Act to devote the whole of his or her time to the duties of that office is not disqualified from –
(a) holding that office and also the office of member; or
(b) accepting any remuneration payable to a member.
4.   Remuneration
A member is entitled to be paid such remuneration (including travelling and subsistence allowances) as the Minister determines.
5.   Conditions of appointment
A member holds office on such conditions relating to matters not provided for by this Act as are specified in the instrument of appointment.
6.    State Service Act 2000 inapplicable
[Schedule 1 Amended by No. 86 of 2000, Sched. 1, Applied:01 May 2001] The State Service Act 2000 does not apply in relation to a member.
7.   Vacation of office
(1) A member vacates office if he or she –
(a) dies; or
(b) resigns; or
(c) ceases to hold the qualification specified in section 5 (1) in respect of which he or she was appointed; or
(d) is removed from office under subclause (2) .
(2) The Minister may remove a member from office if –
(a) the Minister is satisfied that the member is unable to perform adequately or competently the functions of office; or
(b) the member has been convicted, in Tasmania or elsewhere, of an offence punishable by imprisonment for 12 months or longer; or
(c) the member becomes bankrupt, applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors, compounds with creditors or makes an assignment of his or her remuneration or estate for their benefit; or
(d) the member is absent from 3 consecutive meetings of the Council without the permission of the Council.
8.   Filling of vacancy
If the office of a member becomes vacant, the Minister may appoint a person with the relevant qualifications specified in section 5 (1) to the vacant office for the remainder of that member's term of office.
SCHEDULE 2 - Meetings of Council

Section 5 (10)

1.   Interpretation
In this Schedule –
meeting means meeting of the Council;
member means member of the Council.
2.   Convening of meetings
(1) Subject to subclause (2) , meetings are to be held at the times and places determined by the Council.
(2) A meeting may be convened by the chairperson or by any 3 other members.
3.   Presiding at meetings
(1) The chairperson of the Council is to preside at all meetings at which he or she is present.
(2) If the chairperson of the Council is not present at a meeting, a member elected by the members present at the meeting must preside.
4.   Quorum and voting at meetings
At a meeting –
(a) the quorum is half the total number of members of the Council; and
(b) a question is decided by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting; and
(c) the person presiding has a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, also has a casting vote.
5.   Conduct of meetings
(1) Subject to this Act, the Council may regulate the calling of, and the conduct of business at, its meetings as it determines.
(2) Without limiting subclause (1) , the Council may permit members to participate in a particular meeting or all meetings by –
(a) telephone; or
(b) closed-circuit television; or
(c) any other means of communication.
(3) A member who participates in a meeting under permission granted under subclause (2) is taken to be present at the meeting.
(4) Without limiting subclause (1) , the Council may allow a person to attend the meeting for the purpose of advising or informing it on any matter.
6.   Resolution without meetings
(1) If at least half the total number of members of the Council sign a document containing a statement that they are in favour of a resolution in terms set out in the document, a resolution in those terms is taken to have been passed at a meeting held on the day on which the last of those members signs the document.
(2) If a resolution is taken to have been passed under subclause (1) , each member is to be, as soon as practicable –
(a) advised of the matter; and
(b) given a copy of the terms of the resolution.
(3) For the purposes of subclause (1) , 2 or more separate documents containing a statement in identical terms, each of which is signed by one or more members, is taken to constitute one document.
7.   Minutes
The Council is to keep minutes of its proceedings.
8.   Validity of proceedings, &c.
(1) Any act or proceeding of the Council or of any person acting under any direction of the Council is not invalidated by reason only that at the time when the act or proceeding was done, taken or commenced there was a vacancy in the office of a member.
(2) All acts and proceedings of the Council or of any personacting under any direction of the Council are, notwithstanding the subsequent discovery of any defect in the appointment of any member or that any person was disqualified from acting as, or incapable of being, a member, as valid as if the member had been duly appointed and was qualified to act as, or capable of being, a member, and as if the Council had been fully constituted.