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

A draft Bill to replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 was introduced to Parliament on 17 March 2021. It had its first reading on 6 April 2021 and completed its second reading on 17 November 2021. It should be enacted in early 2022, although many of its provisions will not take effect immediately. This is to allow societies time to become familiar with the new regime.

You can follow the progress of the Bill on the Parliament website:

Check the progress of 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

Last updated: 20 January 2022