Get Ready for the Incorporated Societies Act 2022

The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 is set to come into full effect on Thursday, 5th of October 2023, replacing its long-standing predecessor.

Starting from this date, societies have the opportunity to re-register under the 2022 Act, with a deadline of 5th of April 2026. Societies failing to re-register by this date will face the unfortunate consequence of ceasing to exist.

During the re-registration process, all societies must submit a new or updated constitution that aligns with the provisions of the new legislation.

Here are some of the key changes introduced by the 2022 Act:

  1. Governing Body Requirement: All societies are now mandated to have a governing body in place.
  2. Defined Officer Duties: The Act outlines specific duties for officers within societies, akin to director duties stipulated in the Companies Act 1993.
  3. Membership Consent: Prior consent is now required for an individual to become a member of a society.
  4. Annual General Meetings: Societies are obliged to hold annual general meetings and submit financial statements and annual returns within six months of their balance date.
  5. Dispute Resolution Process: Every society must incorporate a dispute resolution process within its constitution.


Notably, the Incorporated Societies Regulations have been released recently. Consequently, it's imperative for all societies to initiate the process of drafting or revising their constitutions to ensure alignment with the new requirements in preparation for re-registration.

Under s30(A) of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, trust boards that were previously incorporated under that Act are not obligated to re-register under the 2022 Act. However, they have the option to do so should they choose.

What's Next?

But here's the current situation: there's no need to rush into action just yet! Given the vast number of incorporated societies and the significant changes being made to long-standing laws, there's a generous transition period in place.

The Regulations for Incorporated Societies 2023 have been finalised and come into force on the same date as the Incorporated Societies Act 2022, the 5th of October 2023; 

It may be wise to start aligning your practices with the upcoming changes in the new Act. Here are a few steps to consider:

  • Ensure your organisation has individuals who meet the new criteria for officers.
  • Develop or revise your dispute resolution processes to comply with the new Act.
  • Begin the process of updating your constitution to reflect the new legal requirements.

In conclusion, the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 marks a significant milestone in New Zealand's legal landscape. While change is on the horizon, a thoughtful and gradual approach to adaptation will ensure your society's smooth transition into this new era.

If your society requires assistance with this transition, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are committed to providing the support and guidance you need during this important transition period.




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