New Incorporated Societies Act – Progress?

NOTE These notes, prepared by Mark von Dadelszen QSM, provide an overview of the more significant elements of the proposals to replace the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. This overview is a much abbreviated summary of the main proposals approved by cabinet in late June (Reform of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908). The Exposure Draft of the Incorporated Societies Bill released in November 2015 (see Incorporated Societies), largely followed the recommendations in the 2013 Law Commission Report 129 (see Incorporated Societies Act 1908 Report). We recommend that new and existing societies be proactive in anticipating the reforms when adopting or revising constitutions. The most recent advice we have is that a Bill may be introduced in 2019, and enacted in 2020. Incorporated Societies Act Reform The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs hopes the reform Bill will be introduced to Parliament by the end of 2019. The following is a brief background to the reform: The Incorporated Societies Act 1908 has effectively remained unchanged for over a century (in 1920 it was amended to allow for branch societies, and on the introduction of decimal currency in 1967 a shilling fine was changed to 10 cents). In contrast, our companies’ legislation has been totally re-enacted six times since the Joint Stock Companies Act 1860 (1868, 1882, 1901, 1903, 1933 and 1993), all with regular amending Acts. The Law Commission’s 2013 Report 129, A New Act for Incorporated Societies, recommended a complete overhaul of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908. A 2015 Exposure Draft of the Incorporated Societies Bill largely followed the recommendations in the 2013 Law Commission Report. In a 26 June...