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Operating in line with the rules of the society

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One of the advantages of being an incorporated society is that the society has a set of rules that determine how it should be run. The things that must be covered in a society’s rules are outlined in our resources about rules of incorporated societies.

Read about rules of incorporated societies now.

If a society wants to change the way it is administered or functions, then the rules can be changed at any time (as long as this is done in the way the rules specify).

The rules must include an objects, or purpose, clause. This sets out the reason why the society has been incorporated. The society should always ensure that the activities it undertakes fall within the scope of the objects clause.

An incorporated society’s rules can be viewed online for free.


What if the society is not being run in line with its rules or legislation?

A society may experience internal problems or disputes about how it is being run or the way in which its rules are being interpreted and applied. These problems need to be dealt with by the society itself. The Registrar is not empowered to intervene in disputes or provide interpretations of rules. The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 does give the Registrar certain powers to investigate alleged breaches of the Act, but not breaches of a society's rules.

In situations where you may be concerned that the activities of the society breach other New Zealand laws, it may be appropriate to forward your concerns, along with any supporting evidence, to the appropriate authority. For example, in the case of possible criminal activity you should contact the police.


Last updated 29 September 2015