Help to prepare for the law changes

Tools, information and resources to help you prepare for the incorporated society law changes

The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (the new Act) was passed on 6 April 2022. There is a transition period of several years to allow societies time to prepare for the new regime. There are some things you can do now to get ready for the law changes.

On this page:

Create or review your dispute resolution processes

Many societies don't have any documented processes for dealing with internal disputes. The new law will make it mandatory to document your dispute resolution processes in your rules (constitution). Before updating your rules, you will need to decide what that process will look like for your society.

Schedule 2 of the new Act contains a set of dispute resolution procedures societies may choose to adopt. If a society includes these procedures in their rules, they will be guaranteed to comply with the new Act.

Review the way members join your society

Members will need to consent to becoming a member of your society under the new Act. To avoid disagreements about whether someone has consented, we recommend societies have processes to ask for, and record, consents.

In most cases societies will already meet this requirement and there is no reason why you can't check now to make sure it does.

Think about the new Act if you're updating your constitution

Section 26 of the new Act defines what each society’s constitution will need to contain. You may wish to include these requirements in your constitution now, although technically they will only apply to societies incorporating or reregistering from October 2023.

Some rules can only be changed when you reregister

If you do look to update your constitution earlier than required, be aware there are some rules that will only be able to be updated as part of reregistering. For example, under the new Act, societies can choose whether to have a common seal. However, under the 1908 Act, it is mandatory. Your society can't change this rule now, as it won't comply with the existing legislation.

If you need to review your whole constitution soon for other reasons, you might want to use our Constitution Builder tool to help prepare your updated rules. However, as mentioned above, there are some rules that will only be able to be updated as part of reregistering.

Use our Constitution Builder tool

How you can stay up to date

We will update the information here on our website throughout the transition period. You can also choose to receive updates from us directly to your inbox. Alternatively, you can follow us on Facebook.

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If you have any questions or comments about these law changes, you can email us at engage@societies.govt.nz.

Published 18 May 2022, updated 13 June 2022