Societies and Trusts losing their way

Is there a problem?  Members of a society or trustees of a charitable trust may be concerned that the entity has “lost its way.”  That phrase can apply to a not-for-profit entity in different circumstances and be evidenced in a number of ways: Falling attendances at entity events and meetings, Vocal grumbling amongst the membership […]

Dealing with Dissidents

Being all things to all people? “There’s nowt so queer as folk” is a phrase (variously attributed to different parts of the British Isles) that reminds us that every individual is different and, even, that some may appear to be irrational.  Most community organisations welcome into their fold almost anyone who is interested in their […]

Personal Liability of those in Governance

My article, “Winding up a society or charitable trust” LINK, closes with a warning of the officers’ potential liability on liquidation: Society committee members and charitable trustees may be personally liable following liquidation if the entity they have governed has suffered losses caused either by the failure to keep adequate accounting records or by misapplication […]

Poor Governance – Lessons from a Polytechnic

According to a Dominion Post report (17 August 2010) a police investigation was instigated after more than $750,000 was drained from Whitireia Polytechnic Students’ Association funds over a 12 month period.  An audit report is said to show that huge cash payments were made to former Association executive members, that about $17,000 was spent through […]

Privacy of Society and Charity Records

The problem – ignorance about the Privacy Act 1993 For many lawyers and other professionals the implications of the Privacy Act 1993 are scarcely “top of mind,” or particularly well-known and well-understood.  Briefly, the Privacy Act controls how what are called “agencies” in the Act collect, use, disclose, store and give access to “personal information.”  […]

We Made a Mistake

Errors in governance and administration are inevitable, and in voluntary organisations those governing and administering an entity often lack the skills to know what, who, how, and when to do things.  Another article, Good Governance of a Society LINK set out some of the potential problems, while other articles in this series have discussed the content […]

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 […]