The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 is badly out-of-date, having seen little change in over 100 years. This means the Act does not reflect current good governance practice, has been overtaken by technological advances, is well past its “use-by” date, and does not reflect modern legislative drafting.
A major revision is underway with the proposed new Incorporated Societies Act. Hastings lawyer Mark von Dadleszen QSM, who was a member of the Reference Group advising the Law Commission on the proposed reforms, and was engaged by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Technology to advise on the proposed Model Constitution, has prepared an overview of the proposed new Incorporated Societies Act.
This is a brief summary of the key proposed reforms (click here for more information):
• Societies will continue to be prohibited from operating for the financial gain of members.
• The minimum number of members will be 10 (corporate members counting as three individuals) on and after incorporation.
• Members will not be liable for a society’s obligations.
• Societies will be deemed to have full capacity to carry on or undertake any business or activity, do any act, or enter into any transaction.
• The list of what must be included in society constitutions has been expanded and “standard” recommended provisions are likely to be provided.
• Societies must have a committee of at least three “natural persons.”
• Every incorporated society will have a Registrar’s “contact officer.”
• Statutory duties will be imposed on society officers.
• There will be detailed requirements about complaints and grievances and conflicts of interest.
• There will be statutory powers to require compliance with society constitutions.
• All societies will file annual financial reports with the Registrar.
• Amalgamations and mergers of societies will be facilitated.
NZCF is an incorporated society.