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  • Proposed Changes to the Incorporated Societies Act - by Denise Lormans, Manager Southland Community Law Centre and Chair Community Networks Aotearoa

    In 2013 the NZ Law Commission wrote a paper entitled “A New Act for Incorporated Societies”. The Government agreed that change was required and also agreed with the majority of the suggested changes.  The third draft of the legislative bill that is driving the change is now out, along with an exposure draft that is being processed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The main things that will affect current Incorporated Societies are:

  •  A reduction in the required number of members in order to be an Incorporated Society (Inc) to 10 from 15
  • No Inc. may make financial gain for its members. The law relating to this has been strengthened with some hefty fines being levied toward any offending member and/or Society.  Inc.’s can also recover any financial gains that members have received.  The Registrar of Incorporated Societies may also apply for proceedings and a Court Order to recover such gains.
  • Regulations that will come with the new Act will require all 10 members to be named on any application for incorporation.
  • The new Act also deals with minimum requirements within constitutions. This is a good move in my view as in my work I have seen an enormous variation in constitutions, many of which are simply inadequate.
  • We have already developed a template (available soon via the CNA website), to help re-write these documents for those organisations with constitutions that were written in the last century (!), and which will not comply with the new Act.
  •  Included within the new requirements is a clear definition of the Management/Executive Committee, along with the requirements covering complaint or dispute resolution. 
  • Liquidation or Winding Up clauses must also comply with the requirements of the new Act.
  • Amalgamation or merging of two (or more) Inc.’s into one entity will be easier than it is now.
  •  Each Inc. will have to have a “Contact Officer” within their Management/Executive committee.  This person will be the point of call for all communication with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies

The good news is that all changes will have a lengthy “Transition” period of at least two years.  This will enable all Inc.’s to take time to revise their constitutions and ensure that they comply with the requirements of the new Act and Regulations once they are passed and put into place.

For further information about changes to the Incorporated Societies Act, download and listen to Ros (Community Networks Aotearoa) interview lawyer Mark von Dadelszen. Mark is a Partner with Bannister and von Dadelszen and specialises in societies and charitable trusts.

Radio Interview

Even more info proposed-new- incorporated-societies- act/



  • Minister Tolley has released the final report of the Expert Panel about modernising Child, Youth and Family.
    The report and associated Cabinet papers can be found on the MSD website by following this


  • Ministry of Social Development - Here is an information sheet on MyMSD: Introducing MyMSD  This new MyMSD tool is proving to be a game changer for those receiving Work & Income, senior and student services – and so far there are 43,000 users and its growing by 600 per day. 


  •  Denise Lormans from Community Law has developed the Generic Health & Safety Polic y Templates for use by NGOs. They are:

Health & Safety Policy

Governance Duties H & S at Work

Hazard Management Register

Form for Reporting Accidents



  •  Find relief carers and support workers with the National Carer Matching Service!  Do you have a disability or support a disabled person under the age of 65? If so, you may be eligible to use this free new service, developed for people with disabilities and their families to help them easily connect with relief carers in their areas.  Operated by Carers NZ and its online partner, MyCare, the National Carer Matching Service is funded by the Ministry of Health.  You can ask your NASC to refer you to the service, or self-refer by contacting Jude at Carers NZ (phone 0800 777 797 or send an email to An information sheet about the service can be found here


Two excellent Resources now available to organisations are:

NZ Navigator This is a free self-assessment tool to assist your organisation's journey

CommunityNet Aotearoa  An online hub of resources designed to strengthen community organisations


Do you know about Community Access Radio?

 Community access radio stations are by, for and about their communities and exist to provide a media platform for groups whose voices usually aren’t heard in mainstream radio.  One regular programme featured by Wellington Access Radio is Collaborative Voices.  Hosted by Ros Rice, EO of Community Networks Aotearoa, this programme profiles community organisations and  their people as well as keeping the sector up to date with topical issues. Some of the recent interviews available to listen to are with Murray Edridge (Deputy CE, Community Investment) discussing the investment strategy; James Lord of Careerforce about pathways to qualifications for non-profit social service agencies; and Paul Barber of NZCCSS on inequality and poverty.  Collaborative Voices is replayed by some access radio stations throughout the country, however is also available to download as a podcast by clicking on or by visiting  so have a listen and enjoy hearing some informal conversation about issues which are relevant, informative and important to all of us working in and with our communities.


0800 Support Directory provided by Carer NZ - Here


How are New Zealand families faring today?  Ros Rice, Executive Officer at Community Networks Aotearoa, attended the launch of the 2015 Families and Whanau Status Report produced by the Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (Superu).  Published annually by Superu (formerly the Families Commission) the report measures how New Zealand families and whanau are faring measured against a range of well-being indicators.  The report draws on the New Zealand Census, the General Social Survey and Te Kupenga (the Maori Social Survey) and contains interesting and valuable information for all organisations working with families. To read the Executive Summary and/or the full report please visit
 “Families and whanau are key building blocks of our society. They give us a sense of identity and belonging, and provide a collective basis for managing resources to generate material wellbeing. Family and whanau members provide care, nurturance, support, socialisation and guidance for one another. Families raise children on whom the future of this country depends. But families do not stand in isolation – they are connected to other families, schools, workplaces and communities.” 
(Excerpt from the 2015 Family and Whanau Status Report)


Guidelines for people working with children

Supporting the Government's Children's Action Plan, Social Development Minister Hon Anne Tolley recently launched new guidelines for people working with children.

Safer Recruitment, Safer Children will help organisations select safe people to work with children.

Safer Organisations, Safer Children is a set of good practice advice to help organisations develop high quality child protection policies, which are now required in law for many organisations that work with children.

You can find these and more information about them on the Children's Action Plan website:


Child Poverty Monitor

On the 2nd of December 2014 the latest Child Poverty Monitor Report was released.  This report tracks progress on NZ Child Poverty Rates, using data from the University of Otago and the Ministry of Social Development.  The number of children living in poverty is still unacceptably high at 260,000 (24% of children) and an astounding 180,000 kiwi kids go without the things they need.  See the report at


ACC Safety Engagement Newsletter March 2015

In this edition we have focused on Road Safety.


With the 2014 summer road toll being one of the highest for many years, we have included some simple tips and tools that you can pass on to your employees to help keep them and their families safe when on the road.



The Waste Exchange

The Waste Exchange (Nothrow) is a free online tool which matches businesses who have unwanted by-products, surpluses and resources to donate, with community organisations and schools who have a use for them.  Check it out


New Reporting Standards for Charities

 Most of you will be aware that the recent changes to the Charities Act, creating statutory audit and review requirements for medium and large Registered Charities, will take effect from 1 April 2015.


For further information about what this will mean for your organisation:

Download and listen to the most recent broadcast of Collaborative Voices where Ros Rice speaks with Sarah Doherty from the Charities Services’ Capability and Engagement Team.

Visit the Charities Services’ website

Keep your eye out for a Charities Services’ workshop near you (these will run from March/April until June)




 COGS New Grant System Guidance  Information here

 COGS Accessing Online System  Steps 1 - 3


 A Mountain All Can Climb

The Social Policy & Parliamentary Unit of the Salvation Army recently released A Mountain All Can Climb, it's latest Sate of the Nation report.  The report aims to give a picture of how well we are addressing various social issues in New Zealand.  It does this by examining and discussing a number of indicators under five broad topics:  Our Children; Crime & Punishment; Work & Incomes; Social Harzards; and Housing.  By following each indicator from year to year, each successive report builds on the previous ones to give a picture of whether progress is being made in the field.  The report can be found at


 Fair Trading Act - changes came into effect on March 17

The Commerce Commission will be targeting historically problematic industries, including low-tier finance lenders that can be harsh on vulnerable consumers.  More information about the changes and new protections can be found  at


 The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook

This is an up-to-date resource written with the aim of improving the literacy of dyslexic students.  The authors are experienced unversity teachers and researchers with expertise in literacy.  Order at


IRD: GST & Games of chance

GST Registered Non-profit groups that hold lottery, raffle, sweepstake or prize competitions need to account for these games of chance in your GST returns.  Essentially, you’ll pay GST on any ticket sales less and cash prizes paid or payable.  You will also be able to claim the GST on the cost of any non-cash prizes you purchase for the game of chance, but you can’t claim back GST on any prizes that are donated goods or services.  You can find a full explanation of these rules in “QB 14/13: GST – Lotteries, raffles, sweepstakes and prize competitions” at (search keyword: QB: 14/13).


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