Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982

Reprint as at 26 March 2015

Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982

Public Act1982 No 118
Date of assent1 December 1982
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

Part 1
Registrar and officers

3 Registrar of Friendly Societies and Credit Unions

4 Deputy Registrar of Friendly Societies and Credit Unions

5 Registry Office and registers

6 Appointment of officers and employees

7 Functions of Registrar

8 Powers of inspection of records by Registrar

9 Registrar may publish statements, etc

10 Annual report [Repealed]

Part 2
Friendly and other societies


11 Societies which may be registered

12 Applications for registration of societies

13 Certain societies not disentitled to registration because of division of funds

14 Branches to be registered concurrently with society

15 Actuary to certify rates of contributions before registration

16 Revising Barrister may examine rules

17 Acknowledgment of registration

18 Refusal to register

19 Establishment of new branches

20 Secession or expulsion of branches

21 Seceded or expelled branch may apply for registration


22 Acknowledgment of registration deemed to be acknowledgment of rules

23 Amendment of rules

24 Revising Barrister or actuary may examine amendments

25 Acknowledgment of registration of amendment of rules

26 Amendment of rules by Registrar

27 Society or branch to supply copy of rules

Trustees and officers

28 Appointment of trustees

29 Property to vest in trustees

30 Registrar may authorise transfer of property to existing trustees

31 Delegation of duties by trustee

32 Notice to District Land Registrar of names of trustees

33 Dealing with land under Land Transfer Act

34 Officers required to give security

35 Duty of officers to account

36 Priority on death, bankruptcy, etc, of officer

Membership and rights of members

37 Members generally to have 1 vote only

38 Members' subscriptions not generally recoverable

39 Membership of minors

40 Register of members

41 Inspection of books and accounts of society [Repealed]


42 Maximum gross sum for contracts of insurance

43 Member may nominate person to receive money on death

44 Payment on death of nominator

45 Evidence of death

46 Restriction on payments on account of death of minors

47 Power to make loans against surrender value of policies

48 Money payable by friendly societies to their members protected

Investment, funds, and property

49 Duties of trustees in relation to investments

50 Trustees of society may make investments for branch, etc

51 Borrowing powers, overdrafts

52 Investment powers

53 Society providing medical or surgical requisites may issue debentures and invest in certain shares

54 Subscriptions to hospitals or other institutions

55 Donations for charitable or other purposes

56 Participation in government of other society or branch or contribution to its funds

57 Powers of society or branch with respect to land

58 Public Trust or trustee company may hold securities and invest funds for societies

Accounting records and financial reporting

59 Financial year

60 Accounting records must be kept

61 Non-application of section 63 if alternative financial reporting duties under financial markets legislation

62 Meaning of specified not-for-profit entity

63 Financial statements must be prepared

64 Registered society or branch may opt out

64A Obligation to appoint auditors

64B Registrar may appoint auditor

64C Offences relating to accounting records and financial reporting

64D Audit must be carried out in accordance with auditing and assurance standards

64E Auditor must report to society or branch

65 Reappointment and removal of auditors

66 Notice of resolution relating to appointment and removal of auditors

67 Proceedings subsequent to notice of intention to move resolution

68 Auditors' report [Repealed]

69 Auditors' rights to attend and be heard at meetings

Annual returns and valuations

70 Annual return

71 Annual return by society under dissolution, etc

72 Annual return to be supplied to members

73 Financial statements must be available

74 Actuarial valuation and report

75 Obligation on branches to supply particulars for annual return or actuarial valuation and report

76 Appropriation and transfer of surplus funds

77 Registrar may advise society on financial position


78 Settlement of disputes generally

79 Reference of dispute to Registrar

80 Statement of case, etc, in settlement of dispute

81 Reference of disputes to court otherwise than under rules

Special resolutions

82 Special resolutions

Amalgamations, transfers of engagements, and conversions

83 Amalgamation of societies and transfer of engagements

84 Society may apply to be registered as company

85 Objections to amalgamations and transfers of engagements

86 Registrar may approve amalgamations, transfers, and conversions

87 Branches amalgamating, transferring engagements, or converting to company

88 Conversion of society into branch

Inspection, winding up, and suspension of business

89 Registrar may appoint inspectors or call special meeting

90 Registrar may apply to put society into liquidation

90A Transitional provisions applying to liquidation of societies [Repealed]

91 Registrar may forbid new business or the accepting of new members of society

Cancellation and suspension of registration, and dissolution

92 Registrar may cancel or suspend registration

93 Dissolution of societies and branches

94 Instrument of dissolution

95 Dissolution by award

96 Notice to Registrar of proceedings to oppose dissolution

97 Property to be transferred before final dissolution

Part 3
Credit unions


98 Credit unions to be registered

99 Exemptions from registration

100 Society may register as credit union

101 Objects of credit union

102 Qualifications for admission to membership of credit union

103 Name to contain words “credit union”

104 Registration and rules of credit union

105 Effect of rules on members of credit union

106 Membership of credit union, voting rights

Operation of credit union

107 Credit union to have shares

107A Credit union may offer credit union securities

108 General prohibition on taking deposits [Repealed]

109 Power of credit union to borrow money

109A Power of credit union to appoint supervisor for debt securities

110 Credit union may make loans to members

111 Minister may fix maximum amount of loans to members [Repealed]

112 Credit union property to vest in trustees

113 Credit union may hold land

114 Officers of credit union to give security

115 Duty of officers of credit union to account

116 Priority on death, bankruptcy, etc, of officer

117 Investment of surplus funds

Distribution to members

117A Meaning of distribution

117B Distribution must be authorised

117C Distribution must not be authorised unless credit union solvent

117D Solvency test


118 Disputes in relation to credit unions

Accounting records and financial reporting

119 Credit union to maintain general reserves [Repealed]

120 Financial year of credit union

121 Accounting records must be kept

122 Financial reporting

123 Obligation to appoint auditors

124 General matters relating to auditors

125 General matters relating to auditors, the auditors' report, and auditors' rights of access [Repealed]

126 Registrar may advise credit union on financial position

Annual returns

127 Annual return

128 Annual return by credit union under dissolution

129 Annual return to be supplied to members

Miscellaneous provisions

130 Register of members of credit union

131 Inspection of books and accounts of credit union [Repealed]

132 Financial statements must be available

133 Credit union to be insured against fraud or other dishonesty

134 Guarantee funds

135 Amalgamation of credit unions and transfer of engagements

136 Registrar may approve amalgamations or transfers of engagements of credit unions

Inspection, liquidation, and suspension of business

137 Registrar may appoint inspectors or call special meeting

138 Registrar may apply to put credit union into liquidation

138A Transitional provisions applying to liquidation of credit unions [Repealed]

139 Registrar may suspend business of credit union

140 Cancellation or suspension of registration, and dissolution of credit union

141 Liability of members on winding up

Nomination of shares

142 Nomination of shares in credit union

Associations of credit unions

143 Associations of credit unions to be registered

144 Membership of association

145 Application for registration of association

146 Registration of association

Part 4
Miscellaneous provisions

147 Changes of name

148 Exemptions from Customs duty

149 Recovery of costs, etc, awarded by Registrar

150 Certain persons prohibited from managing societies or credit unions

151 Appeals

152 Regulations

153 Offences and penalties

154 Recovery of fines, etc, imposed on society, branch, or credit union

155 Status of trustees and officers for purposes of Crimes Act 1961

156 Liability of officers and of members of committee on commission of offence

157 Institution of legal proceedings by or against society or branch or credit union

158 Proof of documents

159 Fines imposed under rules recoverable as a debt

160 Savings and transitional provisions

161 Amendments, repeals, and revocations

Schedule 1
Purposes for which friendly societies may be established

Schedule 2
Matters to be provided for by the rules of societies registered under Part 2

Schedule 3
Matters to be provided for by the rules of or for branches registered under Part 2

Schedule 4
Matters to be provided for in rules of credit unions

Schedule 5
Persons, societies, or bodies of persons exempt from registration as a credit union

Schedule 6
Enactments amended

Schedule 7
Enactments repealed

Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Amendment Act 2006

Financial Reporting (Amendments to Other Enactments) Act 2013

Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to friendly and certain other societies, to make better provision for the formation and administration of credit unions, and to provide for matters related thereto