What happens to societies that don’t reregister

Understanding the implications

The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (2022 Act) came fully into force on 5 October 2023. To remain on the register, existing 1908 Act societies need to reregister under the 2022 Act no later than 5 April 2026.

Your society must decide what to do

It is very important that your society actively decides whether to reregister. If your society decides not to reregister you should apply for it to be dissolved, or appoint a liquidator, before 5 April 2026.

If you do nothing the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 determines what will happen. That could have serious implications — especially if your society has any debts (or obligations such as leases) or it owns any assets.

If your society decides to reregister

It must prepare for operating under and complying with the new Act.

  • You can apply for reregistration between 5 October 2023 and 5 April 2026.
  • There are things you need to do before you apply that will take some time, so you shouldn’t leave it too late to start planning.

If your society decides not to reregister

It may decide to appoint a liquidator, or it can apply to be dissolved. In either case, you should check and follow your society’s rules. These may set out the steps you must take to deal with your society’s assets and debts, and what meetings you must hold.

If your society does nothing

The 2022 Act determines what will happen to your society.

If your society doesn’t reregister between 5 October 2023 and 5 April 2026 it will cease to exist — it would no longer be an incorporated society which has the following implications:

  • This removes your right to make decisions on behalf of your society, such as, deciding what happens to any assets it owns. The Registrar could direct how to distribute them instead.
  • This takes away the separate legal identity your society previously had. This means members could be held personally liable for debts or obligations (such as leases) owed by the society. Similarly, your society could not sign any new contracts in its name.
  • The name your society used will no longer have any protection – another group could incorporate using the same name.

Published 5 October 2023

All help topics

Getting started on the register 7 guides

Searching the Incorporated Societies Register 2 guides

Find out how to search our registers for information about incorporated societies, and other entities

Starting an incorporated society 5 guides

To incorporate a society in New Zealand you must submit an application, along with the required documents, and pay a registration fee.

Reregistering under the 2022 Act 6 guides

Running your incorporated society 7 guides

Once you’ve registered, you’ll need to keep your details on the register up to date, and follow the rules that apply to incorporated societies and how they are run.

Meeting your annual filing requirements 3 guides

Once you've registered your incorporated society, you'll need to file annual financial statements. Societies registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 must also complete an annual return.

Ending an incorporated society 2 guides

When an incorporated society reaches the end of its 'life', it must be wound up and removed from the register. Here we outline the ways this can be done – by dissolving the society (1908 Act), removing the society from the register (2022 Act) or placing it in liquidation.

Restoring an incorporated society to the register 2 guides

An application can be made to us to have an incorporated society restored to the register, by the society itself, or by a creditor. You'll need to provide evidence to support your application.

Forms and fees 3 guides

The forms you might need to update a society's details, along with the fees that apply and ways you can pay.

Managing your online account 7 guides