What Is An Incorporated Society?

An incorporated society differs with a body corporate in the legal requirements and the obligations of each member. An incorporated society must file annual returns and hold Annual General Meetings etc. Members must contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of communal areas in the society but are solely responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their own property.

Can also be known as a Residents Society.

What Is An Incorporated Society

An Incorporated Society or Residents Society is a group or organisation that has been registered under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and is authorised by law to run its affairs. It is becoming more common in areas of larger subdivisions where there is a requirement to share costs, usually for maintenance of common or facilities shared by all members.

Each Society will have their own individual Constitution that advises of the rules and requirements, such as: - members' obligations and restrictions, the process for handling internal disputes, requirement for financial year end audit, requirement to pay membership levy's, Annual General Meetings, format of all accounts, the reason for the need for the society, etc.

Often the requirement for this type of authority is to maintain common infrastructure, examples are: - parks, roading, stormwater and sewerage treatment systems, covenants on the type of buildings allowed to be built under Resource Consent (RC) conditions, Compliance to Resource Consent conditions, etc.

Need help with your Incorporated Society?

Talk to our Body Corp & Community Living experts today. Contact the team on  09 968 3311 or bc@crockers.co.nz 


The Society will have little interest in the individual Lot owners or members private Lots, (except in the case of building covenants under any Resource Consent conditions and ensuring they are adhered too). However the Society may still have rules around pets, changes to the external appearance, cleaning of sceptic tanks, paint colours which require consent to be given.

It is important that you read the Constitution for any Society that you may be looking to buy into or have bought into, to see the reason for the Society and the potential ongoing costs to you.

For example, the Incorporated Society may own a Lot, and as a member you own a share/s in that Lot, be it a roadway, park or bush area etc, and you are therefore required to contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of that particular Lot. The other members have no requirement to contribute to your own private Lot and vice versa.

The Society needs to file certain documents with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies annually however unlike a company; it is not required to keep the list of members updated on this particular register. Larger Society's will engage a professional management / secretarial company like Crockers to work with an elected committee to help administer the members register, file annual returns, hold Annual General Meetings etc  - as is required under their Constitution.