The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 5 April 2022 and came into force on 6 April. It will replace the 1908 legislation.

The provisions of the Act come into force at various times. We asked Steven Moe of ParryField Lawyers if he could explain. His response:

” I agree it is confusing!

… The 1908 Act is still in force, with the 2022 Act coming into force in stages up until the transition date (either 1 December 2025 or 2.5 years after clause 4 commences, whichever is later).

An application for the incorporation of a society under the 1908 Act may not be made after the commencement of clause 4 of schedule 1 of the Incorporated Societies Act 2022. This clause will commence anytime between now and 5th October 2023 per section 2 of the 2022 Act.

Under clause 2 of schedule 1 of the 2022 Act, a society which does not register under the new Act by the transition date will cease to exist from that date. MBIE has also released guidance here.

We therefore recommend registering [ie with a Constitution reflecting the requirements of the 2022 Act but with 15 members – Ed] as if the 2022 Act applies so that the society’s rules do not need to be updated again to comply with the 2022 Act.”

<View the Act>

<There is an excellent resource on the ParryField website here
including details of a number of  talks on the subject in June 2022

Main changes when fully enacted:

  • 10 Members required to incorporate (previously 15)
  • Membership of 10 must be maintained (no previous requirement)
  • A body corporate which is a member of an Incorporated Society will be treated as the equivalent of 3 members “in some cases”.
  • A society must have a committee consisting of at least 3 members
  • A Membership Register must be maintained. The minimum data to be included is specified.
  • Annual Financial accounts must contain specified information
  • An Annual Return is required in a manner specified in regulations (unless the society is also a registered NZ Charity in which the requirements of the Charities Act 2005 take precedence)
  • Every Society must have at least one nominated contact person
  • Existing societies remain liable to the 1908 Act until re-registering under the 2022 Act or 1 Dec 2025 (the later of 1 December 2025 or 2.5 years after clause 4 commences.)




What is the difference between a Charitable Trust and an Incorporated Society?

Annual Returns for Incorporated Societies

A review of the structure of Incorporated Societies?

Definition of ‘non-profit’, ‘not for profit organisation’, or ‘charity’ – what’s the difference?


Incorporated Societies Bill – Proposed Accounting & Audit Requirements

The Purpose of your Incorporated Society – Can it make money? And who can take it home?