NfP Law General Not-for-profit

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 […]

Why Incorporate?

The issue In the first of this series of articles (originally published in 2010) I outlined the disadvantages of unincorporated societies, noting that a 2007 Statistics New Zealand report stated that there were then some 97,000 Not-For-Profit entities in New Zealand.  Given that statistic I suggested that less than half were incorporated, which I believed […]

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 […]

Governing Charitable Trusts and Charitable Societies

Background This article seeks, briefly, to help trustees of a charitable trust or committee members of a charitable society governing the charity more readily to understand the obligations they assume when appointed or elected (and those governing general incorporated societies have similar duties).  Before doing so it may be helpful to explain the differences between […]

Health and Safety Issues and Not-for-Profits

There is a world of difference between operating an underground coal mine and governing a not-for-profit community organisation, but the two are now connected, even if that may not be immediately obvious.  The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 was passed in large part because of the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster, and this […]

NFP Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism

Risks relating to Money Laundering or Financing of Terrorism  The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT) is intended to prevent money-laundering by criminals and the financing of terrorism.  Societies and charitable trusts (“not-for-profits”) and those providing them with services (such as legal, accounting and banking) are affected by this legislation: The […]