Incorporated Societies Act review
This page provides information about the review of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
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Regulations are in the works
The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (the 2022 Act) was passed in April 2022 and will enter fully into force in October 2023. However, in order to function as intended, it must first be supplemented by regulations.
A discussion document seeking public feedback on the proposed regulations opened for consultation on 11 October 2022 and closed on 22 November 2022.
Consultation on regulations for the Incorporated Societies Act 2022
Feedback from the consultation is now being used to help shape the regulations. The final regulations will be published in September 2023.
Stay up to date
The Companies Office has developed a law changes hub where incorporated societies can go to read the latest updates, watch videos and webinar recordings, download templates and other resources, sign up for email updates, and follow the Companies Office on Facebook.
Law changes for incorporated societies(external link) — New Zealand Companies Office
Enactment of the 2022 Act
The Bill to replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 (the 1908 Act) was signed into law on 5 April 2022. This follows a first reading on 6 April 2021, a second reading on 17 November 2021, and a third reading on 31 March 2022. However, many provisions in the 2022 Act do not take effect until 5 October 2023.
Incorporated Societies Act 1908(external link) — New Zealand Legislation
Incorporated Societies Act 2022(external link) — New Zealand Legislation
For groups considering incorporating as new societies:
- until 5 October 2023, they will need to register under the 1908 Act;
- after that time, they will need to register under the 2022 Act.
For societies registered under the 1908 Act (including those that register before 5 October 2023):
- until they re-register under the 2022 Act, they remain subject to the rules in the 1908 Act;
- at some point in the period from 5 October 2023 to 5 April 2026 (a period of 2½ years), they must re-register with the Companies Office or they will cease to exist;
- as soon they re-register, they become subject to the rules in the 2022 Act. This means each society will become subject to the new rules at the time of its own choosing.
Review of the 1908 Act
In August 2013, the Law Commission published a report on reforming the 1908 Act. In February 2014, the Government agreed to implement modern legislation that will help guide the sector into the future.
The Law Commission’s report: A new act for incorporated societies(external link) — Law Commission
The Draft Bill
The Incorporated Societies Bill was released for public comment between October 2015 and June 2016.
In May 2019, the Government agreed to make a number of changes to the draft Bill before it was introduced.
- Reform of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908: Minute of Decision [PDF 173KB]
- Reform of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 [PDF 956KB]
- Reform of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908: Annex 1 (Government response to the Law Commission’s report) [PDF 79KB]
- Reform of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908: Annex 2 (Impact assessment) [PDF 793KB]
Introduction to Parliament
In March 2021, the Government agreed to introduce the draft Bill to Parliament.
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