Incorporated Societies Act review

We are currently reviewing the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. As part of this review, exposure draft bills were released in 2015 and 2016.

Latest developments

As at August 2020, a draft Bill to replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 has not yet been signed off by Cabinet for introduction to Parliament. This is due to competing legislative priorities, especially those relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent milestone was in May 2019, when 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]

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] 

Next steps

We received 114 submissions on the exposure draft. Submissions closed on 30 June 2016. A number of important points were made, and as such, changes to the Bill are needed. We do not yet have a timeframe for when Cabinet will consider these changes.

View the submissions received(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: 13 August 2020