Law changes to help incorporated societies comply with their rules

Legislation passed in response to COVID-19 gives incorporated societies relief from certain obligations in their rules and makes it possible for them to use electronic means.

COVID-19 Response (Requirements For Entities — Modifications and Exemptions) Act 2020 passed into law on 15 May 2020.

Allowing modifications to constitutions or rules

Entities, including incorporated societies, are able to make certain modifications to their constitutions or rules if a majority of their governing officers believe, in good faith, that it’s not reasonably practicable to comply with those provisions as a result of COVID-19. This includes provisions for calling or holding meetings, rules relating to dispute resolution or waiving, suspending, deferring or reducing fees payable by members.

If you decide to make use of this provision, there are certain things you need to do, including giving notice to the Registrar.

Enabling use of electronic means

Entities, including incorporated societies, are able to make use of electronic means (including electronic voting and the use of electronic signatures) when their constitution or rules wouldn't normally permit this.

If you decide to make use of this provision, there are certain things you need to do, including giving notice to the Registrar.

Read more about this law change and download the form you need to give notice of your use of electronic means.

All help topics

Getting started on the register 6 guides

Find out about incorporated societies and the Incorporated Societies Register, and what's needed to register and maintain an incorporated society in New Zealand.

Searching the Incorporated Societies Register 2 guides

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

Starting an incorporated society 4 guides

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

Running your incorporated society 7 guides

Once you've registered your incorporated society, you'll need to maintain it by keeping your details up to date, filing annual financial statements, and meeting your other legal obligations.

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. There are two ways this can be done – by dissolving the society, or having it liquidated.

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

Forms you'll need to register your incorporated society and keep it up to date, along with a schedule of fees payable.

Managing your online account 6 guides