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Administering unions

Administering unions

Independence from employers

A union must operate independently from employers. If a union does not do so, it may have its registration revoked following an investigation by the Employment Relations Authority.

Annual membership returns

Each year, every union must advise the Registrar of Unions (the Registrar) of the number of members it has as at 1 March that year. It must deliver that information to the Registrar by 1 June.

You will be sent a reminder notification the month before the annual return is due to be filed.

After 1 June each year, the Registrar produces a Union membership return report


Administering incorporated societies

General information


Membership of the society

An incorporated society must have no less than 15 members when it is first registered. The Registrar will check the unions’ annual return membership numbers and contact any unions that have dropped below the 15 member threshold.

Annual financial statement

Each year, every union society must get approval for its annual financial statement at an annual general meeting of members and must deliver a copy of that statement to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.  Read more...


Changes to rules

A union's society’s rules will state how the union may change its rules. Any change to the rules is not valid until the amendment has first been approved by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.


Note | A union must ensure that any rule changes also comply with the ERA.


Registered office

Every union society must have a registered office and must advise the Registrar of Incorporated Societies of it. If a union society changes its registered office, it must advise the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.  Read more...


Last updated 12 September 2013


Contact the Registrar of Unions

New Zealand Companies Office
Private Bag 92061
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1141

Freephone | 0800 20 90 20



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