Incorporated societies

The aim of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 is to give guidance to the many New Zealanders who run societies. The Act is now more than 100 years old and needs updating to help volunteers govern and administer a society in today’s conditions.

The Government has agreed to implement modern legislation that will help guide the sector into the future. The Incorporated Societies Bill, which was exposed for public comment from October 2015 to June 2016, aims to make societies more robust, help them govern themselves, and provide more constructive options when things go wrong.

View the Incorporated Societies Bill - Exposure draft 

Next steps

The Ministry is currently analysing the more than 100 submissions on the exposure draft. A number of important points have been made and changes to the Bill will be needed. The Ministry will report to Ministers by mid-2017 seeking decisions for changes to be made.

View the submissions received

At this stage we are working towards the Bill being introduced into the House in 2018, with a view to enactment in 2019. The new legislation will then likely come into force in two steps – in 2021 and 2023.

The Registrar of Incorporated Societies will place guidance on the Societies and Trusts website well before the new legislation comes into force.

If you have any questions please email

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