To comply with the 2022 Act there are records that your society must keep. You can keep any of these records in English or in te reo Māori. Normally physical records are kept at the society’s registered office. Your society may decide to also keep electronic copies.
Keep copies of the current constitution document and any amendments that have been made. You must upload copies to the register, but you should also store the original documents in your own records.
Register of members
You won’t need to provide us with copies of members' consents when you’re registering for the first time or updating the register, but you should hold copies with your register of members.
- The name of each member — both current and former members
- The last known contact details of each current member
- The date on which a person became a member (if there is no record of the date they joined, societies can state ‘Unknown’).
- For former members, the date that they ceased to be a member within the last 7 years.
Officers have a duty to disclose interests to the committee. They must make this disclosure as soon as they become aware they have an interest in any matter being considered by the committee. The committee must keep and maintain a register of these disclosures in an interests register.
Learn more about interests registers
The new Act has made it a requirement for societies to have an Interests Register, which records actual, perceived, or potential conflicts of interest.
Recognising different types of conflicts of interest can help avoid more serious issues in the future. Conflicts of interest can result in disagreements or concerns about a society’s governance. Being open and honest about any actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest from the start encourages greater transparency and trust.
What an interests register is
An interests register is where a committee keeps a record of an officer’s interests and ensures those involved in running a society are aware of them. Managing conflicts of interest can prevent bigger issues further on and ensures decisions are made legitimately and impartially.
Officers have a duty to disclose conflicts of interest
Under the new Act, officers have a duty to disclose any conflicts of interest to your society’s committee. They must make this disclosure as soon as they become aware they have an actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest in any matter being considered by the committee.
If an officer has an interest in a matter, they would not be able to participate or vote on a committee decision regarding the issue because they have an interest in it. They would also be excluded from signing any documents relating to a transaction or the commencement of a matter.
An officer with an interest may participate in a committee’s discussions on the issue - including voting or signing of documents - if all members of the committee who are not interested in the matter approve it.
If more than half of the officers have an interest in the matter and cannot vote, the committee will need to call a special general meeting to discuss the issue.
Your committee's responsibilities
Your society’s committee is required to keep and maintain an Interests Register.
At your society’s annual general meeting (AGM), your committee will need to present to your society's members any disclosures of interests made by its officers during that period.
Outside of an AGM, your committee may also be required to notify your society's members if:
- an officer did not disclose an interest.
- an officer with an undisclosed interest voted or took part in a decision or signed documents despite having an interest.
The society’s accounting records —
- must correctly record the transactions of the society
- allow the society to produce financial statements, and
- would enable the financial statements to be readily and properly audited (if required).
You must keep the accounting records for the current accounting period and for the last 7 completed accounting periods.
Copies of officer consents
Every officer that is appointed or elected must consent in writing to being an officer and meet eligibility criteria set out in the 2022 Act. You won’t need to provide us with copies of the consents when you’re registering for the first time or updating the register, but you will need to confirm that you’ve obtained each officer’s consent and certification that they’re eligible to hold their office.
We have prepared a template that your society may choose to use to collect your officers’ consents. This template includes all the information that you will need to provide when you add an officer to the register.
We will update the information here on our website throughout the reregistration period. You can also choose to receive updates from us directly to your inbox.Sign up to receive updates from us
If you have any questions or comments about these law changes, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 7 September 2023, last updated 13 September 2023