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Interpersonal Conduct Policy (DRAFT)
This policy is currenty open for comments and feedback Comments should be passed in writing to a General Committee member.
This policy states Tararua Tramping Clubís position on interpersonal conduct and documents the processes the Club will follow should any incidents occur in breach of the policy.
As part of our Club Objects the Tararua Tramping Club encourages and supports the safe participation of our members in outdoor activities. We recognise the position of authority trip leaders and instructors have over participants and the potential power imbalance this creates. In order to keep our members, and other participants in our activities safe the club has zero tolerance for any behaviour which is offensive to, or endangers others.
Tararua Tramping Club takes a Restorative Justice approach to resolving issues.
Such unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:
- Bullying: including verbal or physical behaviour, in person, or by any electronic or other means which is intimidating, aggressive, or threatening.
- Sexual Harassment: any unsolicited behaviour or advances of a sexual nature (including verbal or physical) in person or by any electronic or other means which a person feels is personally offensive and unwelcome, and which distresses, or makes that person feel uncomfortable.
- Abusive or derogatory comments relating to a personís (or group of peopleís) culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexuality, or age.
- Behaviour or leadership which places group members in unnecessary danger through either recklessness or deliberate disregard for othersí personal safety (i.e. significantly taking people outside their comfort zone on trips, particularly instruction courses).
- Behaviour by a course instructor or any club member in a position of trust or authority which contravenes the expectations of trust between a mentor/mentee or leader/participant, noting that in the eyes of a recipient the perception of this relationship can extend beyond the duration of the course.
- Any other behaviour which makes people feel unwelcome, unsafe, harassed, or intimidated.
Some forms of offensive behaviour can consist of a pattern of episodes which when taken in isolation are not offensive, but over time and in their totality are, whether carried out by an individual or group of individuals.
Offensive behaviour must be related to the club, but need not occur solely on club activities, or club premises.
Criminal Conduct or Sexual Abuse
- Any club member who has been the subject of behaviour that constitutes a criminal offence (e.g. sexual violation, assault, abuse of a child) or has witnessed such behaviour on a club activity and has decided to make a complaint, should contact the Police in the first instance, before informing a club officer as per the below.
- All communication between a complainant, the person subject of the complaint, complaints officers, and General Committee members dealing with the complaint shall be kept in strictest confidence.
- The exception to the above is where, in the event of expulsion of or restrictions on Club activities of a member as a result of a complaint, the identity of that person will not be revealed except as is necessary for the enforcement of that expulsion or restriction, and where disclosure is necessary to prevent harm coming to others.
TTC Process for Addressing Offensive Behaviour
As part of the Clubís role in providing a safe outdoor environment for its activities, the Club has a responsibility to investigate behaviour deemed to fall into any of the above categories.
The process we will follow is:
- In the first instance the person experiencing the behaviour is encouraged to make it clear to the person responsible (and to the trip leader) that the behaviour is unacceptable.
- If this is not effective, or if the nature of the behaviour makes this kind of confrontation inappropriate, then the person should present the issue in writing to the Club President, Vice President, or the Adventure Co-ordinator. If the behaviour concerned may amount to a criminal offence or involves sexual abuse the Police should be informed.
- It is important that two people from the club be involved in addressing the complaint. The club officer receiving the complaint will therefore approach a senior club member (as per the membership definitions) to assist in confidence. The senior club member shall be selected based on their personal experience, knowledge of the club, and objectivity (i.e. lack of conflict). The approached senior member is not obliged to assist.
- Reports of inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with in the strictest confidence as far as is possible and reasonable, as per the below.
- The club officer and senior member will address the complaint and the complainant offered advice on how the complaint will be dealt with by the Club and the range of options available for resolving it.
- The person who has been accused of inappropriate behaviour will be given an opportunity to tell their side of the story privately to the responsible investigating club officer.
- All parties will be treated with respect and have the opportunity to have a support person alongside them at any time.
- The General Committee has a range of options available for resolving concerns, including stand-down periods, restriction from certain activities and expulsion from the club, as per Clause 11 of the Tararua Tramping Club Rules.
- The club may involve the police if there are reasonable grounds for believing the safety of members is at risk.
- The club will co-operate fully with any police investigation.