As a property investor, staying updated with regulatory changes is crucial for managing your investments effectively. The Incorporated Societies Act 2022 has introduced several important updates that affect resident societies in New Zealand. Here’s a breakdown of the key changes and what they mean for you.

1. Membership Requirements

Old Rule: A minimum of 15 members was required.

New Rule: The minimum number of members has been reduced to 10.

What This Means: Easier formation and management of smaller societies, making it more feasible for smaller developments or investment groups to incorporate.

2. Committee and Governance

Old Rule: No requirement for a governing body.

New Rule: Societies must have a committee with at least three members, who must be society members or representatives of a member organization.

What This Means: More structured governance, ensuring better oversight and management. This can improve decision-making processes and accountability within the society.

3. Defined Officer Roles and Duties

Old Rule: Roles and duties of officers were not clearly defined.

New Rule: The Act outlines six key duties for officers, including acting in good faith, exercising powers properly, and complying with the Act and the society’s constitution.

What This Means: Clearer responsibilities and legal protections for those managing the society, leading to better governance and reduced risk of mismanagement.

4. Annual General Meetings (AGMs)

Old Rule: No specific guidance on AGMs.

New Rule: Societies must hold AGMs within six months of their balance date.

What This Means: Regular meetings to review and update operational information, ensuring transparency and continuous engagement with all members.

5. Financial Reporting

Old Rule: Financial statements had to be filed annually.

New Rule: Financial statements must still be filed annually, within six months of the balance date. Additionally, societies must now file annual returns.

What This Means: More stringent reporting requirements ensure that societies maintain accurate and up-to-date financial records, enhancing transparency and financial accountability.

6. Constitution Requirements

Old Rule: Societies operated under a set of “rules.”

New Rule: Societies must operate under a “constitution” with specific mandatory provisions.

What This Means: A more comprehensive and legally sound framework for society operations, providing clear guidelines and reducing ambiguity.

7. Dispute Resolution Procedures

Old Rule: No specific requirement for dispute resolution.

New Rule: Societies must have documented procedures for managing internal disputes consistent with natural justice principles.

What This Means: Formalized processes for handling disputes can prevent conflicts from escalating, ensuring smoother operations and member satisfaction.

8. Bilingual Documentation

Old Rule: Documents had to be in English.

New Rule: Documents can be maintained in either English or te reo Māori.

What This Means: Greater cultural inclusiveness and flexibility in how societies maintain their records.

9. Amalgamations

Old Rule: No framework for amalgamations.

New Rule: The Act provides a process for the amalgamation of two or more societies.

What This Means: Easier consolidation of societies, which can lead to more efficient management and resource utilization.

10. Criminal Offenses

Old Rule: Generic offenses were covered under the Crimes Act.

New Rule: Specific offenses related to society management have been introduced, targeting serious misconduct like making false statements or fraudulent destruction of property.

What This Means: Enhanced legal protections against misconduct, ensuring greater integrity and trust in society operations.


These changes aim to modernize and streamline the operation of incorporated societies, making them more effective and transparent. For property investors, understanding these updates is essential for compliance and optimal management of your investments.

For more detailed information, visit the Companies Office and the Opes Partners’ guide.

By keeping abreast of these changes, you can ensure that your investments are managed in accordance with the latest legal requirements, safeguarding your assets and enhancing the overall efficiency of your property management activities.