Incorporated Societies Act review

The Government has recently introduced the Incorporated Societies Bill. This page provides information about the review of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

Latest developments

As at May 2021, a draft Bill to replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 has been introduced in Parliament on 17 March 2021. The Bill had its first reading on 6 April 2021. Currently, the Bill is at Select Committee and submissions are being accepted. The closing date for submissions is 28 May 2021.

You can make a submission through the Parliament website:

Make a submission on the Incorporated Societies Bill(external link)

You can read:

The draft Bill(external link)

The minute recording Cabinet’s decision [PDF, 414 KB]

The Cabinet paper on which that decision was based [PDF, 461 KB]

The 1908 Act

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 review process

In February 2014, the Government agreed to implement modern legislation that will help guide the sector into the future.

The Incorporated Societies Bill was released for public comment between October 2015 and June 2016. It aims to:

  • make societies more robust
  • help societies govern themselves
  • provide societies and their members with more constructive options when things go wrong.

View the Incorporated Societies Bill - Exposure draft [PDF, 562 KB] 

View the Request for Submissions document [PDF, 590 KB] 

In May 2019, the Government agreed to make a number of changes to the draft Bill before it was introduced.

You can read:

The minute recording Cabinet’s decision [PDF, 173 KB]

The Cabinet paper on which that decision was based [PDF, 956 KB]

Annex 1 to the Cabinet paper [PDF, 79 KB]

Annex 2 to the Cabinet paper [PDF, 793 KB]

Next steps

The Bill is now undergoing its parliamentary stages. The progress of the Bill can be followed via the Parliament website.

Incorporated Societies Bill on the Parliament website(external link)

Related information

The Law Commission’s report: A New Act for Incorporated Societies(external link)

Cabinet paper and Government’s response to the Law Commission’s report [PDF, 43 KB]

Regulatory impact statement [PDF, 211 KB]

Incorporated Societies Act 1908(external link)

Agricultural and Pastoral Societies Act 1908(external link)

Contact us

If you have any questions email societies@mbie.govt.nz

Last updated: 19 May 2021