A new Incorporated Societies Act was passed on 5 April 2022. If your choir is an incorporated society you will need to re-register under the new Act sometime from October 2023, and will most likely need to make some changes to your constitution in order to comply with the new legislation.
The 2022 Act introduces new features such as a contact person, consent to be a member, the requirement for a society to have a committee, duties for officers, dispute resolution processes, the ability for societies to amalgamate and new accounting standards for financial reporting, amongst other things.
Although the new Act has been signed into law, many of its provisions will not take effect immediately. There is a transition period of several years - until around April 2026 - that gives you time to prepare for the new regime. Until you re-register under the 2022 Act, your choir will continue to operate under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
Useful links to help you understand the requirements of the Incorporated Societies Act 2022:
- This link on the New Zealand Companies Office website has a useful summary of the key changes, including a table showing a comparison between the 1908 and 2022 Acts: https://is-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz/law-changes-for-societies/key-changes/
- Former Chair of the NZCF East Coast region, Mark von Dadelszen, is the author of the only detailed New Zealand legal text on not-for-profit organisations, “Law of Societies” (3rd Edition). His NfP Law website has a detailed guide to the changes: https://nfplaw.co.nz/the-new-incorporated-societies-act-guide-for-societies/
- For new societies, The New Zealand Companies Office website has some useful tips regarding things you should do before you apply to become an incorporated society: https://is-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz/help-centre/starting-an-incorporated-society/things-to-do-before-you-apply/
- The New Zealand Companies Office website also has a Constitution Builder, which new incorporated societies wishing to register under the new Act may find useful: https://isb.companiesoffice.govt.nz/constitutionbuilder/startscreen