NEZF Guidelines


Northeast Zonal Forum of Narcotics Anonymous

Approved Guidelines

 Includes additions approved in all NEZF minutes through June, 2013

Section 1 – Vision and Mission Statements

Our Vision

            In the discussion of our Fifth Tradition in our Basic Text, on page 65 we read:

            “The message is that an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live. Our message is hope and the promise of freedom… Our primary purpose can only be to carry the message to the addict who still suffers because that is all that we have to give.”

Our primary purpose serves as a catalyst to all our service endeavors in the NEZF through the application of spiritual principles. We work for the joy of selfless service and with the knowledge that our efforts make a difference to the addict who still suffers. We are connected through cooperation fostered by unity, honesty, trust and goodwill.

 Our Mission

            The mission of the NEZF is to provide a regularly scheduled time and place in which representatives of our member regions can come together to help further our primary purpose – “to carry the message of recovery to the still suffering addict.” As a unified body of NA service representatives, we have the potential to accomplish together much more than what we can accomplish individually.

It is our intention to help make recovery available to those in the regions we serve, to strengthen NA in our communities, and to reach out to other NA communities, bringing good will, recovery, conscience and our message of hope and the promise of freedom from active addiction.

Section 2 – Purpose

 We, the NA Regions of the Northeastern states, have joined together to discuss issues of mutual concern, address common needs, exchange ideas, and share experiences, in order to further our primary purpose. As a clearinghouse for the discussion of common problems and their solutions, we complement the existing service structure of NA by addressing our own specific needs through unity, cooperation, and communication

Section 3 – Representation

Participants at the NEZF fall into three categories: member participants, NEFZ trusted servants, and observer participants. For further details on NEZF discussion protocol among these categories, please refer to “Discussions,” Section 7.

Member Participants comprise a group of up to three individuals sent by member Regions to participate in the NEZF. Each region will designate one of its member participants as the primary spokesperson for each topic.

NEZF Trusted Servants are those individuals elected by the member participants of the NEZF to serve the body by fulfilling the duties associated with their positions.

Observer Participants comprise all other individuals attending a NEZF meeting.

Seating at the NEZF: You are a member when you say you are.

Member Regions of the NEZF (listed in alphabetical order) are: ABCD, Connecticut, Eastern New York, Greater New York, Mid-Atlantic, New England, New Jersey, Northern New England, Northern New Jersey, Northern New York, Tri- State, Western New York.


Section 4 – Trusted Servants

The NEZF will elect the following trusted servants, and these individuals will assume responsibility for the tasks associated with their commitments. Except for the secretary, who will serve for two (2) years, each will serve a one (1) year commitment. An individual is permitted to serve two consecutive terms in any one trusted servant position. Election to a trusted servant position requires membership in NA and a nomination by an NEZF member participant.

1.     Chair

  1. During our sessions, the chair will coordinate and facilitate the meeting.
  2. The Chair will work with the others on the administrative committee to plan the agenda.
  3. The Chair will review hosting proposals.
  4. The Chair will serve as liaison to the Hosting Region.
  5. The Chair’s timely and efficient execution of these tasks should ensure that our meetings run smoothly.
  6. The Chair must have at least eight (8) years of continuous clean time.

2.     Vice-Chair

  1. The Vice Chair will assist the Chair.
  2. The Vice Chair will assume the duties of the Chair in his or her absence.
  3. The Vice Chair will work with others on the administrative committee to plan the agenda and to review hosting proposals.
  4. The Vice Chair may assist the Hosting Region to plan service workshops.
  5. While the NEZF has no ability to provide funds, any Region which can help to defray non-funded Member Participants’ and Trusted Servants’ expenses should inform the Vice Chair.
  6. The Vice Chair can then provide any non-funded Member Participants and Trusted Servants a list of those regions willing to help.
  7. The Vice Chair must have at least seven (7) years of continuous clean time.

3.     Secretary

  1. The Secretary will prepare the minutes of the NEZF and distribute them. Each set of minutes will begin with the written Purpose from the current approved NEZF Guidelines (Section 2).
  2. The Secretary will maintain and update the NEFZ contact list.
  3. The Secretary will maintain and update NEZF guidelines and NEZF archives.
  4. The Secretary will record accurate minutes at any NEZF business sharing sessions.
  5. The Secretary will record the exact wording of motions and proposals, including their maker, second and intent.
  6. The Secretary will, if possible, provide a summary of any spoken contribution to any pro/con discussion associated with proposed business.
  7. The Secretary will include in the minutes all participants written submissions.
  8. Distribution of the minutes requires the secretary to:
  9. a.         Send to every person on our contact list an electronic version of the minutes within one (1) month following the NEZF meeting.
  10. b.         If requested, send to NEZF members (as well as to any observer participant who requests one) a hardcopy version of the NEZF minutes within one (1) month following the NEZF meeting.
  11. c.         Send an approved copy of the NEZF minutes to NAWS in either electronic or hard copy form.
  12. d.         Bring to each NEZF meeting ten (10) copies of the previous meeting’s minutes.
  13. The secretary must have at least five (5) years of continuous clean time.
  14. The secretary will compile and bring to each NEZF meeting, 6 orientation packets for new participants. See: Section 5, Article 1, Item 2, letter e.
  15. The Secretary will bring the NEZF’s 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts posters to each NEZF meeting and handle storing them between meetings.

4.     RD/Representative of Host Region

  1. The RD or representative of the Host Region will sit on the administrative committee.
  2. He or she will communicate with other administrative committee members regarding the meeting space needs, timing requirements, and other pertinent details concerning agenda planning for the meeting.
  3. The RD of the Host Region will establish and maintain relationships with the meeting facility.
  4. The RD of the Host Region will, in a timely manner, forward appropriate information to NEZF members concerning site accommodation details, transportation arrangements and travel directions, as well as describe the availability of local meetings, restaurants and food vendors.

Section 5 – Committees

1.     Administrative Committee: Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary, and RD or Representative of the Host Region.

  1. Plans the agenda for the NEZF.

a.         The agenda shall be distributed to all Zonal participants at least 30 days prior to the NEZF.

b.         The agenda shall also be posted on the NEZF website at least 30 days prior to the NEZF and available for review, though not for major modification. Modifications to the agenda occur during the orientation session on Friday evening.

c.         The agenda shall include in its itinerary time for discussion, development, and prioritization of projects and goals of the NEZF.

  1. Has certain NEZF Hosting Responsibilities:

a.         Maintains appropriate contact with the host candidates as identified by the rotation schedule (see Section 6: Hosting).

b.         Reviews the finally submitted proposal for the next NEZF.

c.         Substitutes a replacement bid or proposal from the next available Region from the rotation list, if the original Region is unable or unwilling to assume the scheduled hosting role.

d.         Assists the Host Region in the facilitation of the NEZF.

e.         Orients new participants by providing a Friday night orientation session and a packet of reference materials for first-time NEZF member participants. The packet will be compiled by the NEZF secretary and should include: copies of the NEZF minutes from the previous year, the updated version of the NEZF History, our Mission and Vision Statements, and the current NEZF Guidelines. Information to access all features of the NEZF website should be provided by the current web site volunteer.

f.         The orientation session shall begin at 8:00 pm in a location provided by the hosting region and will be facilitated by the executive committee at which the history, ground rules, policies and procedures of the NEZF are reviewed and questions are answered for any member.

2.     Ad-hoc Committee

  1. Is formed by the NEZF to perform a specific task.
  2. The NEZF will provide, in its minutes, the exact duties to be performed and information to be provided, by an ad-hoc committee.
  3. The NEZF will provide to the ad hoc committee—in specific detail—a timeline for completion of its task, and how its information will be presented to the NEZF.


Section 6 – Hosting


  1. Establishing Hosting Region Schedule

We adopt the following alphabetical rotational hosting schedule:

  1. ABCD
  2. Connecticut
  3. Eastern New York
  4. Greater New York
  5. Mid-Atlantic
  6. New England
  7. New Jersey
  8. Northern New England
  9. Northern New Jersey
  10. Northern New York
  11. Tri-State
  12. Western New York
  13. Procedures for Securing Hosting Arrangements
    1. A proposed Host Region should come to the NEZF prepared to express a willingness to fulfill the role one (1) year in advance of the actual hosting occasion.
    2. The administrative committee will be available to consult and work with the Host Region to plan a successful NEZF meeting.
    3. The initial outcome of this planning effort will be reported to the NEZF by the RD of the Host Region six (6) months in advance of the projected hosted Zonal Forum meeting.
    4. In the event a Region does not fulfill the provisions listed above in 2.1, we will go to the next Region in the Hosting Region Schedule; however, the next Region in line always has the option to decline.
    5. Other Responsibilities of Host Regions

With or without the financial assistance of other Regions, a Host Region will provide the NEZF with the following:

  1. A meeting space for the Friday orientation.
  2. A meeting room for our Saturday and Sunday Zonal Forum meetings. c.   Continental breakfast for Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  3. Some refreshment provisions, for Saturday afternoon. e.  A meeting space for use by regions for workshops.
  4. Reimbursement for secretarial expenses, including:

a.         $200.00 to cover secretarial expenses for its hosted NEZF meeting.

b.         The cost of 10 hard copies of the minutes from the previous NEZF meeting, to be brought to its hosted NEZF meeting.

  1. The hosting regions for the present year shall have financial responsibility for funding the website. The two regions scheduled to host the forums running January to January will split the cost 50/50.


Section 7 – Discussions

Each NEZF weekend meeting will provide for two (2) different types of sessions: Sharing sessions and Business sessions.  Each session shall begin with a reading of the NEZF Purpose (Section 2 of the approved Guidelines) and “A Vision for NA Service” (attached to the approved Guidelines) to remind us who we serve here, why we are here and why we serve here.

1.     Business Sessions (currently conducted during Sunday session)

  1. Discussions focus on specific proposals brought by member participants or committees. Proposals should be submitted using the standard NEZF Proposal Form (see attached) and whenever feasible, submitted to the administrative committee thirty (30) days prior to the Zonal Forum meeting in order to facilitate scheduling, understanding, and coherent presentation.
  2. The proposals considered at an NEZF business session may relate to our internal guidelines (policies). In order to reach a decision or approve a change to our guidelines, a two thirds (2/3) majority of those voting will be required for approval.
  3. During business sessions, we actively listen to and receive:

a.         The report of the Administrative Committee including hosting considerations.

b.         The report on the funding of under-resourced member participants and trusted servants.

c.         We consider, discuss and make decisions on proposals.

d.         We hold elections.

e.         We select topics for future sharing sessions’ discussions.

f.         In elections where a person is running unopposed, a simple majority is required to elect a candidate.

g.         In the occasion of a multiple-candidate election, the candidate with the highest amount of votes is elected. In the case of a tie vote, the chair breaks the tie. Run-off elections may be held in the case of multiple- candidate tie elections.

2.     Sharing Sessions (currently conducted during Saturday session)

  1. Prior to the NEZF, each region may electronically submit a regional report of any length they desire to be shared online with member participants and added to the minutes. It is suggested that the report include some basic information (e.g. geographical boundaries, number of meetings, etc.), as well as current topics of discussion, concerns, and praises. At the Saturday session, following opening and basic housekeeping activities, the floor will be opened for summarized presentations of those regional reports, each not to exceed five minutes. Input/discussion/questions about the regional reports will be reserved for the open forum session in the afternoon on Saturday.
    See Addendum I for a sample template.
  2. Discussions focus on one previously selected topic. We may discuss:

a.         World Services issues.

b.         Issues of special importance to members of the NEZF.

c.         Issues which focus on Regional matters or local concerns.

  1. We will then open the floor for discussions of items sent by Regions as follow-up input to the sharing session from our previous meeting. We will then turn to the topic selected for the present NEZF as listed in the agenda. Participants will share in the following order:

a.         Regional Input: a member participant will speak sharing the input from his/her Region on the following:

  1. Any workshops/learning events that addressed the issue discussion topics (IDTs) over the past conference cycle.
  2. The topic(s) chosen by the NEZF at the preceding forum.
  3. Anything about the type of workshop and your experience with these efforts.

b.         Open Input: observer and member participants will speak, sharing personal or other perspectives. This will ensure that we will hear and include the fellowship voice in our zonal forum meetings.

c.         Open Forum: shall be scheduled at a reasonable time of day, with an unspecified length, as time permits.

  1. Amendments to these Guidelines may occur in the business session of the NEZF.
  2. Member Regions or NEZF committees may propose amendments to these Guidelines. A formal vote of the NEZF member participants is required in order to amend, delete, or insert new sections into, these Guidelines.
  3. Approval of amendments to these Guidelines requires a two-thirds majority of Member Regions present. In keeping with the spirit of consensus, all member participants will have an opportunity to share at least once on any changes to our Guidelines. In addition, if any two Member Participants from different Regions request time for Regional consideration, any decision will be postponed until the next meeting. In matters postponed for regional consideration, each member Region shall have one vote.