Protecting the Privacy of Individuals

Privacy Act 2020 The Privacy Act 2020 applies to governmental, commercial and community organisations (societies and charities), as, under section 4(1), the Act applies to a “New Zealand agency” which is defined in section 8(a)(iii) as including “a New Zealand private sector agency,” and s. 7(1) of the Act makes it clear that “In this […]

Reform of Incorporated Society and Charitable Trust Law

The problem with outdated legislation Many society members and lawyers regularly advising on society and charitable trust issues will be aware of the inadequacy of the legislative framework for the governance and management of incorporated societies and charitable trusts.  The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 is over a century old, and the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 […]

Registrar’s Dissolution of Societies and Charitable Trusts

Amending legislation in 2010 The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and Charitable Trusts Act 1957 were both amended in 2010.  The primary focus of those amendments was on the Registrar’s power to dissolve societies and charitable trusts (other minor amendments had little impact on societies and trusts).  Most significantly, section 28, Incorporated Societies Act 1908, and […]

Resolving deadlocks in Societies and Charities

Dealing with Deadlocks At a mediation I was involved in some years ago, a mediator observed that those who go to Court should be seeing a psychiatrist rather than a lawyer.  That is doubly true where society deadlocks cannot be resolved, especially in view of the deficiencies of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 (see Porima […]

Responsibilities of those in Governance

Judging from email correspondence I received after my article “Liability of Charitable Trustees”LINK was first published, it appeared to have hit some raw nerves, as I received illustrations of (allegedly) inappropriate behaviour by those governing community organisations.  Without considering whether the allegations are justified, it is worth recording some of the issues raised.  This I […]

Strategic Planning for Societies and Charities

Why plan strategically? Strategic planning is required of councils under the Local Government Act 2002, and Parliament presumably believed that this would improve the performance of local authorities – this principle may have wider applicability.   The rules of societies and the deeds of charitable trusts set out the purposes (objects) and powers of those entities, […]

They Made a Mistake

What societies and charitable trusts should do when mistakes are alleged or identified was discussed in We Made a Mistake LINK.  This article looks at the reverse side of that discussion.  Despite the best of intentions (but sometimes with malice aforethought) entity governance or management often falls short of what is legally required, and the […]

Trusts Act 2019 and Not-for-Profits

Updated statute applying to Trusts The Trusts Act 2019 was enacted in July 2019, and it came into force on 30 January 2021.  The delay gave many trusts time to amend the documents that control how they operate and to alter their procedures.  However, many trusts will still be caught by surprise by this updated […]

Winding up a Society or Charitabl Trust

“Big brother” is interested It should come as no surprise that the State has an interest in the winding up of societies and charitable trusts, as noted two decades ago in Hunt v Border Fancy Canary Club of NZ (Inc) (2000) 8 NZCLC 262,140, para [30]: The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 [and the Charitable Trusts […]

Adequate Notice of Meetings

Who cares?  Those governing societies and charities are, generally, not too worried about what’s in the organisation’s constitution (and some of those in governance may never have read the Constitution!).  However, they should be concerned, as the proceedings of meetings called without adequate notice to members can be declared to be invalid (as occurred in […]