The Law Commission is recommending that Parliament enact a modern statute for incorporated societies to replace the current statute, which is more than 100 years old.
The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 has played a critical role in community life by enabling organisations to incorporate. This means members of a community group can apply to establish the group as a separate legal entity, a society. Once registered, the society is a legal person in its own right, with rights and obligations that are separate from its members.
There are over 23,000 incorporated societies, covering a huge range of purposes. Societies play a vital role in the social fabric and economic success of New Zealand. Because of that, it is important that societies are supported by clear, modern legislation that assists them and their members to attain their goals.